Project passes on 3-2 vote
The Grass Valley City Council approved the DeMartini’s RV Sales project by a 3-2 margin tonight, marking the culmination of nearly two years of meetings regarding the project’s design.
DeMartini RV Sales, one of Grass Valley’s leading generators of sales taxes, has been trying to move from East Main Street and Dorsey Drive to a 12-acre property on Idaho-Maryland Road since the spring of 2004. Since that time, owners Timothy and Margie DeMartini have met with the city’s Development Review Committee four times and with the Planning Commission three times.
Timothy and Margie DeMartini appeared at Tuesday night’s meeting joined by numerous family members. A handful of residents spoke during the public comment session. Mike Walsh, the owner of a property adjacent to the proposed project, expressed wholehearted support for it. Another resident said she felt the project should have architectural improvements before gaining approval.
Mayor Gerard Tassone and council members Patti Ingram and Lisa Swarthout voted in favor of the project. Vice-mayor Mark Johnson and council member Dean Williams voted against it.
Johnson listed roof design and architectural cornices as reasons for voting no, saying that he didn’t think the current plan for the RV Sales store conformed to Grass Valley’s architectural character, which the city’s General Plan mandates all new projects must do.
Williams said he didn’t “have a strong opinion about the changes (he) would like to see.” However, he expressed concern about the large parking lot people would see from the freeway.
According to a survey presented at Tuesday’s meeting, for someone driving at the speed limit, the parking lot would be visible at a non-direct angle for approximately 10 seconds.
Williams had previously submitted photos likening DeMartini’s latest design to staples of big box architecture in suburban California, such as Home Depot, Chuck E. Cheese, and REI.
Tassone, Ingram and Swarthout said they were comfortable with the current design plan, aside from such potential changes as the building’s base color.
DeMartini has said he hopes to open the RV Sales store by this fall.
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