A room with a view in Nevada City, CA

We keep hearing about the draconian planning policies of the City of Nevada City, but don’t let the perception fool you. Here’s the “new” view from our kitchen table, thanks to the wisdom of our Nevada City Fathers (and Mothers).

What we get to see beyond the white picket fences and pink Crepe Myrtle tree, is a pickup truck parked on somebody’s lawn, and “framing” that scene, a new “affordable housing” unit that the City approved without giving the neighbors a chance to weigh in on its design.

Nevada City blames the the State for its affordable housing mandates and the need to comply. We support affordable housing, including in our backyard.

But the City needs to be much more thoughtful about how it implements the plan — and the unintended consequences on neighbors and neighborhoods. In short, it needs to think.

We’re the lucky ones too. The high-pitched roofline you see is several houses down the road and way across the street from us. Think how the next-door neighbors must feel with it towering above them. The Berlin Wall, let alone a fence, would not obscure that.

Let the buyer beware of the R1 neighborhood in Nevada City. It isn’t “your grandma’s R1” anymore.


Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

3 thoughts on “A room with a view in Nevada City, CA”

  1. If the current trend continues this may become a vacation rental. People are getting these “affordable” units approved with a streamlined process and then turning them into vacation rentals with negative impacts in R1 neighborhoods. The city needs tighten up the affordable housing vs vacation rental issue. There is an ordinance in place that does not allow short term vacation rentals in Nevada City but there are about 20 now operating in the city limits.

    1. We are headed in that direction. It’s sure has happened in the neighborhoods around Tahoe. Nevada City’s “R1” neighborhoods are under constant pressure around here. It’s hard to put the genie back in the bottle too. And this particular one towers above the neighbors’ houses. Let the “R1” buyer beware in Nevada City CA!

  2. Gregory Goodknight writes: “Think Mr. Purple’s distress over a plain Granny Flat that ruined the view from his bathroom window or some such.”

    A terrible memory, but this guy should interview my neighbors across the street! I will share his comment with them.

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