Terry Lamphier: Growth, yes, but at a slower pace
On a late summer morning, Terry Lamphier hiked through woods behind a busy shopping center and apartment buildings on parcels slated for development in Glenbrook Basin.
This juxtaposition of rural and urban gave the candidate for Grass Valley City Council a backdrop to make his point: Growth should not sacrifice the very qualities that make the area attractive to new residents and businesses.
“The symbol for Grass Valley is slowly sinking behind the walls of development,” Lamphier said.
Ghettos and gates
Lamphier, 58, earns his living as a small-scale building contractor. He favors the pace of growth called for in the city’s 2020 General Plan, a slower pace than what some developers are urging the city to embrace.
“Whatever growth that occurs should be responsible growth,” Lamphier said.
That means growth should pay its own way, he said. A city study paid for by developers shows that each new house costs the city about $500 in services each year.
The growth that does occur should be affordable and available to local working families, according to Lamphier. City guidelines call for 20 percent of units in larger housing projects to be set aside for special programs for low- and median-income buyers.
Much more housing ” up to 40 percent ” should be sold at market rates within the price ranges that working people can afford, Lamphier said.
“What we’ve had so far is ghettos and gates,” he said, referring to clusters of government-subsidized apartments and gated retirement communities.
He wants the city to demand more of developers.
“You have 10 developers. Eight of them walk away. Two of them stay and scratch their heads and say, ‘How can we do this?’ That’s the American way. Look for creative solutions.”
In addition, the General Plan would limit growth beyond city limits to 644 housing units through 2020. Lamphier opposes four large developments in those areas that could bring as many as 1,900 new units, he said.
Opposes sales tax
Lamphier is the only City Council candidate to oppose Measure T, the proposed city-wide sales tax of half a cent on the dollar.
The biggest chunk of the tax money raised during 20 years would help pay for the long-sought interchange at the Golden Center Freeway and Dorsey Drive. He called it “a windfall” for the Loma Rica Ranch housing development, proposed for the grassy meadow where he likes to hike.
He also questioned the parking garage, another of the Measure T-funded projects, calling it a boon to downtown merchants. The location, size and final cost are yet to be determined.
Developers should pay for those projects, not taxpayers, even if that makes a development untenable for its promoters, he said.
“It’s the responsibility of government to ensure a healthy economy. That’s in the interest of the community,” Lamphier said. “But it’s not the responsibility of the government to assure the profit of any particular business or developer.”
To contact Staff Writer Trina Kleist, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4231.
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