Nevada City accepts Cashin’s Field project | TheUnion.com
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Nevada City accepts Cashin’s Field project

John Orona
Staff Writer

The Nevada City Council has approved the site plan and architectural review application for Cashin’s Field, a 56-unit affordable housing project at 170 Ridge Road.

The Wednesday approval was the final step from the council before developers could submit their application to fund the project through special tax credits. Developers will find out in September if they’ve received funds from the state tax credit allocation committee. If funded, construction is projected to start in spring 2021 and be completed by summer 2022.

The 4.6-acre site will host six apartment buildings spanning up to three stories, a community center with public-facing patio, open green space, and outdoor/play areas.

After initial concerns about evacuation and emergency service access to the site, developers added a right-turn only exit and entrance to the east of the main entrance. Nevada City Fire Chief Sam Goodspeed said with the new design the city is as prepared as it can be.

To address continued traffic concerns, developers proposed widening Ridge Road to elongate the two-way left turn lane, which would allow more cars to use the lane when exiting or entering the development.

Due to state laws imposed on cities that didn’t add the minimum amount of affordable housing units required, Nevada City only had 90 days to approve the project and could only do so based on objective standards found in its municipal code. Between 2014 and 2019, Nevada City had a goal to build 85 housing units, 49 of which were to be affordable units. It built 17 units, only two of which were affordable.

The city has asked for, and developers agreed, to other changes, like including bike racks, enclosing stair wells and to consider porches and balconies that have a less modern aesthetic.

“This project fills a need that we have needed for my 50 years in this town,” council member David Parker said. “I look forward to its completion.”

OLD AIRPORT

At the meeting the council also received an update about the Old Airport project, which the city has considered using for a solar farm.

After the city put out a request for proposals exploring the concept, officials met for a site visit with potential developers on June 16.

According to the report, the plan seems feasible and the city expects to receive five or six proposals. It states the project has the potential to meet the power needs for Nevada City schools, and that potential will be followed up on.

It also recommends the city place a city-owned property for use at the site in order for PG&E to upgrade the lines and maximize “creating significant transmission upgrade savings to the developer.”

The report also finds the idea of a community-based power arrangement to be acceptable to at least some developers.

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email jorona@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.


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