Population plan unbalanced | TheUnion.com

Population plan unbalanced

Supervisor Martin envisions a county where growth, by her estimate another 50,000 people, is directed toward the cities and existing infrastructure. During 2001, the county seat, Nevada City, did not agree to increase its housing stock by even one residence. Is Grass Valley in a position to accommodate the lion’s share of the growth, tripling or quadrupling its size over 20 years? If it does, will it not inevitably look a lot like Auburn? Will tourism suffer if Grass Valley is a city of 25,000 residents?

In 2001, Nevada City and Grass Valley both signaled hostility to multi-family housing. The Board of Supervisors does not have jurisdiction over the cities. It does not have the power to settle 50,000 people there. Are not city officials justified in looking to the county to accommodate some proportion of the growth? If the current majority on the Board of Supervisors succeeds, will working families be caught in a bind between a county hostile to growth and cities unwilling or unable to accommodate all of it? With housing in short supply, where will those of modest means live and at what cost? Can our economy be healthy if middle-class families cannot afford to live locally?

Some people want to live in town and some people want to live in the country. Some parents believe that country life is the best context in which to raise resourceful, healthy and self-reliant children. The rural areas have an amazing capacity to gracefully fulfill the American dream for hundreds of families with minimal blight – less blight than if the same population was concentrated into the cities.

The county ought to plan wisely to accommodate a proportion of Nevada County’s expected population increase. The previous Board of Supervisors did so. The efforts of the majority of the current board to avoid growth in the county and direct it exclusively to the cities will lower the quality of life in our fair county. It is not a balanced approach.

Doug Donesky

Nevada City

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