Grass Valley’s home-grown housing vision |

Grass Valley’s home-grown housing vision

While Nevada County and Nevada City seem to be standing around, shrugging their shoulders and hoping the growing demand for work-force housing goes away, Grass Valley deserves credit for stepping forward and trying to find solutions that gibe with the foothills way of life.

This week, the city’s Workforce Housing Task Force unveiled what it has been working on since being formed in 2000: Housing with our civil employees in mind. Housing that fits the historical gold-town model instead of the houses-to-the-horizon projects more fitting of the flatlands than the mountains.

As our growth reporter, Becky Trout, noted in her story on Wednesday, the task force seeks to break free from antiquated development standards by “embracing the area’s tricky topography instead of leveling it, building narrow streets and vertical, not horizontal, houses, and shrinking private yards to make way for public parks and paths.”

People who weren’t involved in this brainstorming effort already are taking potshots and saying it would never work. And sure, it probably needs some tweaking. But take a drive down to Roseville and see what the alternative has in store.

How do we know if we don’t try? And there is plenty of opportunity to get involved. Check out the task force’s draft report at our Web site ( Join with Grass Valley’s City Council when it seeks public comment on how to make it happen. Urge county and Nevada City politicos to get on the bandwagon.

Don’t fool yourselves that growth will not occur if we drag our feet. And don’t put faith in developers outside our county to do what’s right for us. A home-grown vision – with everyone’s input and responsive public officials – is the only way to go.

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