Eileen Jorgensen: Our quality of life is Nevada City’s gold | TheUnion.com

Eileen Jorgensen: Our quality of life is Nevada City’s gold

The quality of life in Nevada City is the new gold: our vibrant arts, beautiful environment, our dedicated nonprofits and schools and unique downtown shops all contribute to our desirable culture. Providing short-term rental for guests ensures this quality of life.

Tourism provides audiences, consumers and shoppers who revel in our community, spend their money and then go home happy. It is a beautiful thing because their visits allow us to continue living our rural life style. If you can appreciate how tourism is one of the engines that fuels our economy and provides for our lifestyle, then Vote No on Measure Y.

The “Forces of No” who drafted Measure Y, as well as the infamous Measure G, which got rid of B&B’s in our town, are engineering the slow erosion of our precious commodity — tourism. The facts speak:

• We have 100 fewer rooms available for guests than 10 years ago.

• Nevada City already has the highest sales tax of any city or county nearby, yet it is not enough to provide services like police and fire.

• With the decline of hospitality, Nevada City has experienced sales tax revenue declines of 28 percent and TOT tax shortfalls of 29 percent as of last year.

• On top of this, the poorly written initiate, Measure G, has recently been litigated in court costing the City of Nevada City $75,000. Measure Y has many of the same authors. Vote No on Measure Y.

The summation paragraph of The Story of the Nevada City Historical Ordinance written in 1996 by a great town-father, Bill Wetherall, goes like this:

“Thanks to the Historical Ordinance and to the many devoted people who brought it to life and who have lived with it and worked with it over the years, Nevada City has retained a unique character and ambience which is truly reminiscent of its historical past. As a result, the City attracts thousands of visitors each year who contribute greatly to the local economy thereby maintaining and augmenting property values within and outside the Historical District. Perhaps more important is the fact that the Ordinance has helped spawn a cultural environment which makes Nevada City a better place to live …”

The existing Ordinance was blessed by a majority of our city council: it has restrictive policies that will safeguard neighborhoods while satisfying the need for more hospitality while providing a much-needed revenue stream for Nevada City.

Let’s give the Ordinance a chance! Vote No on Measure Y.

Eileen Jorgensen is the co-owner of the Magic Carpet in Nevada City.

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