Our View: Wildwood vote doesn’t address housing concerns | TheUnion.com

Our View: Wildwood vote doesn’t address housing concerns

It doesn’t appear that Nevada County has enough interest in providing affordable housing if the Planning Commission’s approval of the plans for Wildwood Estates is any indication.

The commission voted 5-0 on Thursday for a 352-home subdivision, which includes 36 affordable “homes” and allows the developer to meet the county’s already low threshold of having 10 percent of a project being designated as affordable.

In this case, the affordable housing component includes 26 carriage apartments of 500 square feet. Those tiny apartments will sit on top of the garages of the no-doubt expensive homes that will attract more newcomers and their vehicles to the area.

The other 10 affordable “homes” are duplexes.

Commissioner Bob Jensen of Truckee does agree that the apartments don’t meet a decent affordable housing standard, but nonetheless did for the project.

The Planning Commission’s approval of this project comes comes nine days after the Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to forgive nearly $1 million in fees and fines on that 207-acre piece of property near Lake Wildwood. In exchange, the county gets $600,000 in back taxes.

The developer, Los Angeles-based Stone and Youngberg LLC, purchased the property with its delinquent taxes, fees and fines for $10.

The county has been looking for years to unload this property and now it’s close to accomplishing its goal.

Unfortunately, it won’t benefit many county residents directly unless supervisors reject or modify the current plan and demand real affordable housing opportunities.

On the other hand, a developer has been handed a prime opportunity to take advantage of our sizzling real estate market.

While the developer is complying with the letter of the law on affordable housing, it, as Jensen said, is violating the spirit of the law and it, at the same time, is showing little interest in meeting the needs of those who now live and work here and want to buy a house.

Now it’s time the supervisors do the right thing for their constituents and demand real affordable housing in this project.

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