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Workforce housing draft presented

Consultants unveiled plans to develop affordable housing Monday evening that shake the foundations of everything planners have held dear for decades.

Topography is a friend, not something to be bulldozed. Streets are narrow and curbless, not wide expanses of empty asphalt. Houses are built up, not out. Private yards are shrunk, saving space for public parks and walkways.

Speaking to a crowd of Nevada County’s housing insiders, consultants from Sacramento-based Mogavero Notestine Associates presented a draft version of Grass Valley’s long-awaited workforce housing program.



The consultants targeted three sites within the city: a three-acre sloped site on Dorsey Drive, a 3.5-acre site west of downtown on East Bennett Street, and a seven-acre site on South Auburn Street near Empire Mine State Park.

On each property, they developed a prototype subdivision that includes a mix of three house plans. The three plans ” two and three bedroom homes all under 1,450 square feet ” have been developed to minimize development expenses, consultant Renner Johnston said.




After compiling comments obtained during the meeting, the final report will be issued and presented to the City Council. City leaders will then work to actually develop the homes.

Kicked off in 2000, the workforce program was created to provide housing for teachers, nurses, public safety officials, and other well-paid officials who are priced out of Nevada County’s skyrocketing real estate market, where the median home price in Grass Valley now tops $400,000.


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