Pilot program for second units OK’d | TheUnion.com

Pilot program for second units OK’d

The ship is smaller, but it’s launched.

The Nevada County Board of Supervisors Tuesday afternoon approved a pilot program to allow 30 second housing units to be built over three years.

Supervisors voted in three motions on a modified version of the county Affordable Housing Task Force’s recommendations for increasing the number of living units for moderate- and low-income people.

The pilot program will allow 15 second units to be built near the incorporated cities and community regions and 15 in rural areas.

Joan Lancaster, chairwoman of the task force and sales manager for Network Real Estate in Grass Valley, urged supervisors to “launch the ship” and approve the program in some form.

Supervisor Sue Horne asked that the vote on the ordinance be bifurcated – divided into two parts – so she could vote against requiring that applications for second units in rural areas be approved by the county’s zoning administrator. Horne said she preferred that applications be filed over-the-counter to save fees.

The supervisors voted 4-1, with Horne dissenting, to require zoning administrator approval for second units in rural areas.

Residents of the Cement Hill and Round Mountain area told supervisors during a Jan. 8 public hearing that second units would add to the already high fire danger in their neighborhoods.

Supervisors amended the ordinance to bar second units in areas designated “very high fire districts” on a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection map.

Horne disagreed that some areas should be exempt from allowing second units.

“It’s safe for you to live there, but it’s not safe for anyone else to live there?” Horne asked Jim Hurley, one of the Round Mountain-Lake Vera residents who spoke. “You’re willing to take the risk, but not willing to allow others to take responsibility to take that risk?”

“I don’t want want my neighbor to build a second unit,” Hurley countered. “If (firefighters) are busy defending their second unit, my house burns down because they’re busy defending their second unit.”

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