No sooner had we begun a public debate about a “lifestyle center” at the new (albeit uncompleted) Dorsey Drive Interchange than the “powers that be” in Grass Valley on Tuesday are going to consider another shopping center with “big box” written all over it: this one at Berriman Ranch at the south end of the City.
You can find the proposed shopping center under “C” (for commercial) on the page marked “8-9” of the map in this document.
It is about a 26-acre parcel at Highway 49 and LaBarr Meadows Road (again, near where the highway has been widened, thanks to our generous government, which we ironically like to bash).
The “gung ho”-for-development Grass Valley City Council no doubt wants to see both projects go forward (as well as the Loma Rica housing project near Brunswick Basin).
I have no idea how much development is enough for them, because I’ve never heard them say what constitutes “stop.” There’s also been a vague plan floated to build a mega-resort in the county by the same group.
But the community will need to decide how much it thinks is enough — and it will be vocal about it. It will just as happily “un-elect” all of these people, even the “I was appointed-by-my friend” ones.
I really don’t understand how our western county — given its aging and declining demographics, the relatively small population base, a dearth of job opportunities and plenty of existing commercial vacancies — can support so many big new shopping complexes.
We must be awfully optimistic about our growth potential — or merely trying to benefit a few at the hands of many. Construction jobs are ephemeral, unless the goal is to build until you drop (like “shop ’till you drop.”)
We happen to love shopping at the “mom and pops,” as we did in our childhood and youth, and we can find everything we need. It’s a good lifestyle. We also realize that you have to support local businesses to preserve a rural lifestyle, so we put our “money where our mouth is.”
Still, I understand the electeds desire to “feed the beast” of city services and help prevent retail leakage with some kind of development strategy. And I support sewer service (rather than septic) for the business near the airport, though I’m not sure you need a housing project to help supply it.
What they’ve come up with (including a less-desirable Loma Rica project) is not very creative.
Maybe the south end of Grass Valley is more suited to it, rather than a highly visible hill at the top of Dorsey Drive near the existing downtown shopping district.
The South County seems to embrace development more than the middle, and it has a significant population base and less development.
Here’s the official agenda item:
H. PUBLIC HEARING
8. Consideration of the Planning Commission’s recommendation to certify the Environmental Impact Report and approve the General Plan Amendment, Prezoning, and Annexation applications (13PLN-08) for the Southern Sphere of Influence Planning and Annexation project.
RECOMMENDATION: After conducting the public hearing: 1) waive the reading of the ordinance in its entirety and read by title only; 2) introduce the ordinance prezoning 416 acres; and 3) adopt Resolution No. 2014-03, which approves the General Plan Amendment, Prezone, and Annexation applications (13PLN-08), and certifies the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) as being compliant with the California Environmental Quality Act