Residents can speak Tuesday about rezoning for high-density residential plan |

Residents can speak Tuesday about rezoning for high-density residential plan

Nevada County residents get another chance this Tuesday to voice their opinions on proposed rezoning for high-density residential units, a state-mandated change that in August led several opponents to decry the move.

The Board of Supervisors will gather at 9:30 a.m. for its meeting at the Eric Rood Administrative Center, 950 Maidu Ave.

The rezoning hearing is scheduled for the board’s 1:30 p.m. afternoon session.

The county’s Planning Commission in August recommended the board approve rezoning for land along Brunswick Road, near Grass Valley; as well as parcels near Penn Valley Drive and Spenceville Road in Penn Valley; and spots in Lake of the Pines, near Highway 49 and Combie Road.

The rezonings would permit 699 high-density housing units in the affected parcels. The state has mandated counties have zoning that allows a certain number of high-density residential units, though there’s no mandate the units must be built.

The Planning Commission only recommended rezoning parcels with willing owners. No one has filed construction plans for any of the parcels, said Brian Foss, the Planning Department director.

“This is a complex project,” said Tyler Barrington, principal planner. “It’s taken several years.”

Opponents from across the county spoke at the Planning Commission’s August meeting about the rezonings. They cited the potential impact to home values, traffic and public services as concerns.

Attendees to Tuesday’s meeting also will get the chance to speak on the issue.

“It’s a public hearing,” Barrington said. “There will be a public comment portion of the meeting.”

In other matters the board:

• Will vote on accepting a $30,000 grant for an electric vehicle charging station slated for construction at the Eric Rood Administrative Center.

Officials say the charging station will be ready by late spring or summer 2016, about the same time the county plans to purchase its first electric car, said Steven Castleberry, Public Works director.

The decision to build the charging station came after officials realized a majority of employees who used the county’s car pool took trips under 20 miles.

“They would really invite the use of electric vehicles,” Castleberry said. “They’re good for short trips.”

The grant, from the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District, might be enough for two stations, though Castleberry has received no final purchase price.

It’s also unknown if the grant will be enough to install a charging station the public could use. If not, only county employees would have access.

• Will vote on increasing the contract amount for law firm Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley to $425,000 — a $150,000 addition.

The law firm is representing the county in the civil case involving Juliet Erickson, an owner of a Penn Valley ridgeline property who wants to build an office/garage. The county opposes the construction, saying it would impact the “visually important ridgeline.”

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

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