NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Monday, October 24, 2005

What’s Wrong With the SDA Economic Impact Study?

While we have been critical of the SDA study, as it relied too much on past trends in a world that is changing too rapidly. Too rapid for planners to use past trends as a base for our future, without modifying them with some educated guesses on how technology and boomers will impact our future.

On the other hand, the RQC is not interest in the economy of the SDAs and their impact on the community. They see it as growth or no-growth issue. Here is what they told their members:
1 .It’s the wrong study.

The study is flawed. But most importantly, it’s the wrong study. What we residents are concerned about is the impact that major development in the SDAs will have on our lives - traffic, air quality, noise, public services, sprawl, and our small town quality of life. Is this level of development what our community really wants? These are the issues that need to be studied.

2. There is plenty of vacant urban zoning in GV’s Sphere of Influence:

No General Plan amendments are needed in the big 4 annexation areas.

The Grass Valley General Plan includes a surrounding area called the Sphere of Influence which includes residential, commercial, and business park zoning. The SDAs are only part of this area. Yet, the study did not inventory the vacant land in the Sphere of Influence. If inventoried, we believe that there would be adequate land available for the projected needs to 2020 without increasing allowed housing units in the SDAs.
Well, a previous inventory found that much of the vacant land zoned commercial, manufacturing, and business park was not useable, due to terrain limitations, or no infrastructure (water, sewer, and power). The SDAs will provide this critical infrastructure.

The other issue is that the Sphere is Influence, is not yet in the City, it is property that they anticipate will someday be annexed to the city. This is true of the SDA’s as well. What make these non-SDA properties special? They do not have any advocates for development.

Come to the City Council meeting at 6pm on the 27th and see the no growthers in action. Bring your skepticism, as RQC testimony can be an awesome exercises in misinformation.

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