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Nevada City Council puts historic district initiative on November ballot

The Nevada City Council in a 4-to-1 vote on Wednesday opted to send a historic district initiative to the voters in November.

Council members had four options on Wednesday — adopt the initiative, put it on the November ballot, put it on the June 2024 ballot, or ask for a study. After the vote, Mayor Doug Fleming asked city staff to perform a study, which is expected to reach the council in what the city attorney called a reasonable amount of time.

Councilman Adam Kline opposed putting the issue on the ballot.

Several people spoke during public comment, alternatively opposing the effort or asking the council to let voters decide.

Supporters say the move is intended to retain local control after the passage of Senate Bill 9, which they say could change the character of Nevada City. The new historic districts wouldn’t face the same restrictions as the existing downtown, commercial historic district. They also would be exempt from SB 9.

Opponents claim homeowners in the districts would face new, onerous hurdles to overcome when making basic repairs to their homes.

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