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Townhouses proposed for Nevada City site

A day after the Nevada City City Council approved new regulations to limit the size of new subdivisions, a company has submitted plans to build a housing development off West Broad Street.

The plans, presented by The Cohousing Co. of Berkeley, show 34 townhouses, designed to create a small-neighborhood atmosphere, and seven lots for single family houses on a 11-acre lot off West Broad Street. The single houses could have secondary units.

Under the ordinance the City Council adopted Monday 4-1, the city can only approve a developer’s project 35 units or smaller on any given year. A project that promotes the “public good” could be exempted from the restriction. City Councilman Steve Cottrell voted against the majority.



Katie McCamant, an architect with The Cohousing Co., said Tuesday, the Cohousing Co. wants the city to approve the project as a whole.

If the city does not approve the entire plan, she said, each cohousing unit, now estimated at $200,000 to $450,000, could cost an extra $23,000, she said. The Cohousing Co. will not build the individual lots, she said.




The cost will go up in part because the members of the cohousing complex will not be able to split the costs of installing the infrastructure, grading of the land, engineering and planning with the owners of the single family lots.

The housing project will be a neighborhood very much part of Nevada City, McCamant said. “We firmly believe the project makes sense for Nevada City,” she said, adding 60 percent of the land will be left open space.

Members of the city council who supported the new rule stressed the ordinance was not related to any particular project. The ordinance stands on its own, City Councilman Conley Weaver said at the Monday meeting.

The first public review may be scheduled early March, Paul Cogley, Nevada City planner said Tuesday.

Another ordinance the City Council passed Monday requires 30 percent of all houses in a new subdivision to be 1,500 square feet or smaller; and 20 percent of all homes to have a second unit. That vote was 3-2, with Cottrell and Councilman Tom Balch voting in the minority.

How they voted

Vote on the 35-unit ordinance:

Kerry Arnett…………….Yes

Tom Balch……………….Yes

Steve Cottrell………….. No

David McKay…………..Yes

Conley Weaver…………Yes


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