Nevada County supervisors finalize high-density housing plan |

Nevada County supervisors finalize high-density housing plan

The Nevada County Board of Supervisors appeared resigned Tuesday as they rezoned two parcels in the Glenbrook Basin to high-density residential, meeting a planning requirement after state officials threatened local leaders.

The rezonings on Ranchview Court, off Brunswick Road, ended a years-long high-density residential rezoning process. The plan, required by the state, called for rezonings that would allow for 699 high-density housing units in the county.

Supervisors in October 2015 zoned different areas allowing for 532 such units. They needed a total of 699, and were examining spots along Brunswick Road when Grass Valley officials asked them to instead look at spots on East Bennett Road. State officials contacted Nevada County this past summer, after almost three years had passed and no plan was finalized.

Failure to pass the state-mandated plan could mean the loss of state grants and possibly a prohibition on the county issuing building permits, said Brian Foss, director of the county’s planning department.

“Whether we like it or not, we’ve got to do it,” Supervisor Richard Anderson said after three people spoke in opposition to the rezonings.

Anderson noted the housing plan requires high density, not affordability.

Supervisor Heidi Hall said the rezonings must occur near existing infrastructure, which includes sewer.

“We clearly need to move on this today,” she said.

Officials said the proposed land on East Bennett Road required clean-up at a cost the county couldn’t bear. That led them to focus on the Ranchview Court properties, which lay in the unincorporated county but are within Grass Valley’s sphere of influence.

Ralph Silverstein, one of three people who spoke Tuesday in opposition, said cities and their residents should have the power to decide their future.

Supervisors commiserated before rezoning the land in a unanimous vote.

“I find this frustrating,” Supervisor Ed Scofield said. “You have to wonder how much of this zoning you need.”

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email or call 530-477-4239.

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