GV planning wisdom: Send a retiree up three flights of stairs with their groceries

The Grass Valley Planning Commission approved the Dorsey Marketplace mall, as expected: A mix of a 172-unit apartment complex with 104,350 square feet of commercial and retail space on the 28.6 acre site near the southeast corner of Dorsey Drive and the northbound Highway 49 off-ramp, as The Union reports.

Whether the big-box shopping cannibalizes downtown shopping remains an open question. (In the lastest warning sign, Pine Street Burger is consolidating to one location “because the population in Nevada County is not quite enough to operate both locations.”)

But wait, there’s more:

“(Commissioner Terry) McAteer also recommended adding an elevator to the proposed three-story housing complexes, but that motion was not supported by a majority of the council. ‘I think you made a terrible decision in not putting elevators in this project,’ McAteer said. ‘Americans aren’t used to walking up three stories.’

Good point. We are an aging and declining demographic, not a town of millennials and boomers. Imagine a retiree lugging his/her groceries up three flights of stairs. I guess it’s now up to the ERC to reel in those youngsters. Dream on.

(Credit: MagicMurals.com)

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 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

4 thoughts on “GV planning wisdom: Send a retiree up three flights of stairs with their groceries”

  1. Hello,
    > I’m Warren Hughes, project representative for the Dorsey Marketplace
    > project. I’d like to provide some clarifications and information
    > about the project.
    > We reached out to and have worked directly with the Grass Valley
    > FREED Center for Independent Living, Ana Acton and her staff. We
    > asked FREED to review the project and offer their comments. FREED
    > suggested design changes and also some additional accessibility
    > features for the project, which we gladly redesigned the project to
    > include.
    > We have also worked with FREED to provide ADA and independent living
    > units for those needing and benefiting from additional design and
    > function features. All first floor residential units will be ADA
    > accessible and have accessible use and adaptive design.
    > The Dorsey Marketplace project designs for the public spaces,
    > commercial, residential and even the public Dog Park and Community
    > Garden go above and beyond the required ADA standards for new
    > projects.
    > While some of the residential apartment units are on a third floor, it’s
    > important to note this does not mean walking up three flights of
    > stairs. The units are tiered so there is one flight of stairs to the second floor units and
    > one additional flight of stairs to the third floor, thus two flights
    > of stairs to the third floor units, not three. This is an industry wide standard for
    > apartment buildings.
    > Below is the link to the Dorsey Marketplace project narrative. It has
    > all the project information and tells the history of the site,
    > project design and key issues:
    > https://dorseymarketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/Dorsey-Marketplace-Narrative-Project-Description-and-Jusification-March-2019.pdf
    > I’m also providing the link to the Dorsey Marketplace website that
    > has all the information, plans and details:
    > https://dorseymarketplace.com/

  2. Warren,

    Thanks but you are dancing around the obvious question that would-be occupants might have for a building that is three stories high with 172 units in a community with one of California’s more aging demographics. Not just “because you could.” We figured that. It might be that adding the elevator would be “good for business” and really convenient for the occupants, not bankrupt the project.

    This is the demographic: “Compared to its surrounding counties, Nevada County has the highest percentage of residents over 65 years of age …. There are fewer residents under the age of 30 in
    Nevada County (29%) than statewide (41%).” —

    As far as the overall project, a “dog park” and a “community garden” are appreciated but quite trivial in the big scheme of things. To be sure, I welcome new development in our community and the tax receipts I HOPE it will bring (as I’m sure others do), but the track record of development here has been a mixed bag considering the potential to be pioneering (and profitable and generate needed tax revenue at the same time).

    In the end, I guess the market will decide when it comes to the apartments and new shopping mall, but let’s hope it is “additive” and doesn’t subtract from what we already have. As the report also states: “In the decade from 2000 to 2010, Nevada County population grew by 7%, considerably less than the
    40% growth in Placer and 20% in Yuba counties. In the past five years, however, all of the
    comparison counties have seen significantly less growth than in the previous decade.”

  3. ” 3,200sf Clubhouse with health & fitness
    center, community meeting room, outdoor
    swimming pool, outdoor patio area and an on-site
    management office.” An outdoor swimming pool? How about an indoor swimming pool, like the one at Eskaton for year-round use?

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