Nevada City hires consultant for old airport plan |

Nevada City hires consultant for old airport plan

It’s been more than 50 years since an airport that used to serve Nevada City has seen a plane land.

But at Wednesday’s council meeting, the city inched one step closer to a plan for the 109-acre site, whose re-use has been a topic of discussion for years. In a unanimous vote, the council members agreed to award a contract to JK Architecture Engineering to develop a conceptual plan for the property.

In March, the City Council was presented a list of priorities to include in a master plan.

Desired amenities included multi-use biking and hiking trails, interpretive/cultural signs and exhibits, ornamental landscaping/botanical gardens, space for Public Works and a Nisenan gathering space. Solar Infrastructure needed further study, the report noted.

Amenities that got the thumbs-down were formal athletic fields for specific sports, high intensity lighting, and equestrian or motorized trails. Picnic tables, bathrooms and multi-use fields remain open for discussion.

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Staff was directed to look into a feasibility study for solar and draft a request for proposals for a consultant.

JK Architecture Engineering submitted a proposal with three phases — meeting with city staff, meeting with stakeholders, and providing a concept site plan and a 3-D rendered image concept of what the space could look like once the property is developed. The consultant fee would be $5,000, with the firm donating approximately $3,500 in staff time. According to the proposal, all three phases would be completed within two months.

“The final product will be something that the city can use to move forward with the creation of a master plan, get the community interested and excited about development of the property, and increase chances for funding opportunities,” City Planner Amy Wolfson said.

“I’m really ecstatic that we’re at this level,” said council member David Parker. “We’ve taken quite a time to get here, (but) I think things will change fairly drastically once the public can see the (3-D) renderings.”

Cannabis ordinance amended

The City Council also approved the first reading of an amendment to its cannabis business ordinance to better regulate the use or production of hazardous materials.

The change came about after concerns were raised about volatile extraction methods. The amendment adds a section of the code applicable to those businesses that use or produce hazardous materials in large enough quantities that additional conditions are warranted for public safety, and imposes a proximity limit of 600 feet for schools.

Wolfson noted that city staff is currently reviewing a cannabis manufacturing business application proposing to use a volatile solvent in its business operations, in a proposed facility located approximately 300 feet from an existing school. She said staff recommended allowing the application to continue through the process at the proposed location, including the testing and conditions as required by the draft ordinance.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4236.

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