Oregon man pursues North Star property | TheUnion.com

Oregon man pursues North Star property

The largest of the four properties slated to be annexed into the city of Grass Valley is reportedly changing hands.

Sandy Sanderson, a developer based out of Bend Ore., is buying the North Star property, a Dec. 2 letter from the city to Sanderson indicates. The land is still in escrow, Sanderson’s office confirmed Friday.

The 760-acre property is south of Grass Valley, sandwiched between Allison Ranch Road and Old Auburn Road.

Lowell Robinson, one of the current owners, Friday said “there is paperwork in the making.”

“There are details to work out,” Robinson also said. He did not elaborate.

Andy Cassano of Nevada City Engineering, a representative for the present owners, said the sale looks promising.

Exactly how Sanderson could develop the land is not yet known.

The land is also home to a house designed by Julia Morgan,who also designed the San Simeon mansion for newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst. The house has reportedly been in dire need of repairs for years.

Sanderson is scheduled to meet again with city officials Dec. 12 to discuss the project, Patti Ingram, the city’s vice mayor, said Friday. Three other large properties could be annexed and developed into the city:

— The former Bear River Mill site – 175 acres south of the city on Highway 49, owned by Caitlin Properties of Sacramento

— Loma Rica – 452 acres off of Brunswick Road, owned by a Ronald Getty Trust.

— Kenny Ranch – 330 acres off the Rough and Ready Highway, owned by a group headed by Philip Lester.

Ingram, who is expected to be sworn in as mayor Tuesday, said the city will consider what each proposal has to offer. The city also has to make sure the developments will not be a burden on the city’s services, she said. The state is in a financial crunch, and the city has to be fiscally prudent, she said.

Critics have repeatedly said the city does not need and cannot afford to annex all four properties.

None of the four applications are considered complete, Joe Heckel, community development director said this week.

Ed Sylvester of SCO Planning & Engineering of Grass Valley on Friday said his Bear River Mill site client has submitted additional information and hopes to soon hear from the city.

The preliminary plans include a Safeway store and a Longs Drug store, restaurants, offices and housing, trails and vacant land. Open-space land could be given to the Empire Mine State Historic Park, Sylvester said.

Brian Bisnett, the planner for Kenny Ranch, said the project’s specific plan is virtually done. A representative for the Loma Rica project could not be reached Friday.

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