Imagine waking up to the sound of a tractor grading land in your next-door neighbor’s backyard, only to find out that a new unit — up to 800 square feet and 35 feet high — is being built as little as five feet from your own home. And you have no say in the matter.
Sound like the Great State of Texas? Nope, it’s little Nevada City, CA.
Yes, it could happen to you! This is the fallout of the Nevada City’s plan to bring more “affordable housing” to town, allowing “granny units” to be built without giving their neighbors enough opportunity to provide input (for example, “Could you please move it back a little.”) Only an in-house city review is required.
The City Council agreed to this “policy” too. It’s a classic case of government blaming the “other guy”: The City pointing to the State for its affordable housing mandates and the need to comply.
But the City needs to be much more thoughtful about how it implements the plan — and the unintended consequences on neighbors and neighborhoods.
It’s ironic, too, for a town that has such a “pinheaded” reputation for its city planning, whether it be the paint colors or the design.
As Robert Frost put it: “Good fences make good neighbors” Or “let the buyer beware”!