Supervisor Hank Weston, District 4
Hank Weston, District 4 Supervisor

Teamwork

By Hank Weston, District 4 Supervisor
November, 2017


On October 26, 2017 the Nevada County Planning Commission reviewed the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and project proposals for three Dollar General Store projects in Alta Sierra, on Rough and Ready Highway and in Penn Valley.  Subsequently, the Planning Commission approved and certified the EIR, approved the Penn Valley Project but denied the Rough & Ready Highway Project.  In continuation of the meeting, on November 9, 2017, the Planning Commission denied the Alta Sierra Project as well. However, members of the public have 10 days from the date of the decision to appeal the Planning Commission’s actions, of which the Board of Supervisors may then decide whether to hear and consider the appeal.  At the date of this writing, the County has received two appeals for the decisions made at the October 26 meeting: 1) Appeal against the Planning Commission’s approval of the Final EIR and approval of the Penn Valley project, whose approval relies on the Final EIR; and 2) Appeal against the denial of the Rough & Ready Highway project.  So what does this mean for the Penn Valley Dollar General Store? Well, because both the Final EIR and the Penn Valley project are being appealed, the project remains pending until after the Board has decided whether or not to accept and hear the appeal. Then, upon deciding whether to hear the appeal, the Board would decide whether to uphold or overturn the Planning Commission’s actions. The Board will be considering whether or not to hear the appeal at an upcoming meeting, which will be posted on the Agenda. You can always find the Board’s Agenda at MyNevadaCounty.com.

In other news, the Board adopted Resolution 17-552 at its November 7, 2017 meeting, requesting that Caltrans re-evaluate its proposed Safety Improvement Project in Highway 174.  On October 24 the Board of Supervisors heard presentations from both Caltrans and the community organization Save Highway 174 regarding the project which will realign several curves, widen shoulders, add a southbound left-turn pocket at the Greenhorn Access Road intersection, and widen the Clear Recovery Zone (CRZ) from Maple Way to You Bet Road. At the meeting, Caltrans explained that they were applying an adaptive solution, instead of their full design standard to the project, to lessen the project’s impact but will still impact 49 parcels, remove approximately 1,700 trees, require 20 feet of clearance from the edge of the road (CRZ). Save Highway 174 community group and members of the public expressed strong concern over the project and suggested that 1) Caltrans reassess and revise the project by re-examining the safety data and verifying its safety statistics; 2) actively engage with community over options on how to make the road safer; 3) consider scenic and historic resources as important values in the project’s design; 4) utilize and evaluate other safety countermeasure options; and 5) conduct a phased or interim approach to the project.  As such the Board adopted the aforementioned resolution requesting Caltrans to consider the community’s concerns and re-evaluate the project.  

Also, as an update on the Lobo and McCourtney Fires, the County remains in a State of Emergency to allow Federal and State Funds to be used for cleanup and recovery purposes.  Nearly 30 homes were destroyed during the fires in October. Nevada County is currently helping connect residents who lost their homes to services and information to assist in the recovery process including opening a Local Assistance Center (LAC) County webpage where affected residents can easily find information on Federal, State and local resources.  Additionally, residents who were displaced from their home, have suffered a loss to their home, or have suffered financial hardship may be eligible for monetary assistance from the Community Disaster Response Fund. Residents can fill out an application and return to sbarger@gvpd.net or to the Grass Valley Police Department. Our Assessor, Sue Horne, serves on the Oversight Committee for this fund. Affected residents may also dial 211 to connect with services such as gift cards and vouchers for local grocery and shopping stores for clothing, furniture, and school supplies; clothing available for no cost; tree removal; transportation; and other requested needs. 

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