Don’t lose Loma Rica
Imagine a beautiful conference center located between Grass Valley and Nevada City, with cottages, meeting rooms, restaurants and maybe a wedding chapel, that would create new jobs and offer services for residents and tourists.
Now imagine that this center were adjacent to a large regional park, and that the funds from the sale or lease of this property were available to help build and fund this park.
What an asset the Loma Rica property would be to our community if it were developed in this manner. Soon that opportunity will be lost forever.
Whether the county builds a small or large park in the area, it is the developer who will reap the rewards of having a housing development next to a park that is funded by the taxpayers.
Perhaps the area on the west side of Brunswick Road could be sold to be developed for much needed low-cost housing.
What is the value of the Loma Rica Ranch if it is left under the present county zoning and not annexed to Grass Valley so it can be intensely developed? Could the county afford to buy and resell portions of the property while retaining the majority of the land for a park?
When properties are annexed to allow for intense development, the owners benefit greatly, while the community picks up the added costs of population growth. Is it reasonable to expect that the taxpayers also get some benefit.
I think that not only should the Julia Morgan house be donated to the county (probably a nice tax benefit for the donor), but that also a generous amount of money to restore it should be requested.
Before the Lake Wildwood project was approved, Boise Cascade was required to give land for a park and the funds to develop it, so a precedent has been set.
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