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.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The SDA Redo

Brittany Retherford writes Council heeds public Decision to accept SDA study reversed, November 2, 2005
Grass Valley's elected officials decided Tuesday it would be better to wait for residents' feedback before accepting a weighty study on proposed area developments, essentially reversing their Oct. 27 vote.
Now after two year of waiting, any action on the SDA Economic Study will be delayed until March 2006. Yes, next year! If I were the SDA Developers, I would give the City notice they plan to seek other options, then go to the County. I know they have annexation agreements in place, but an agreement implies that both parties are acting in good faith. I am not sure that the delaying tactics the Grass Valley City Council, egged on by the nay sayers, are in good faith. I do not have access to the agreements, but if it were me I would be asking my lawyers to be look for escape clauses in them, just in case they would be needed, should the City ask for major time consuming revisions to the economic study.

The Economic Study is not perfect. But letting the public throw monkey wrenches at it for 30 to 60 day is not going improve it. The wrench throwers goal is to discredit the study and then ask for a do over. Another year or two of delay. This study is only a tool, it only provides some insight in to multifaceted problem. The time for all this public comment is during the EIR, when the City addresses the impacts of individual developments. Agreed, it would be better to address them as whole, but that is not how the process works. Governing would be a lot easier, if we all had a shared vision of what we wanted our community to be in ten years, twenty years.

My advice to the City is to ask each SDA for their business plan. What are their visions, goals, their strategies for insuring commercial properties are going to be profitable and contributing the taxes needed to build and maintain the required infrastructure. How will they market the project, not just to new home buyers, but to new business owners as well. How are they going to support the needed infrastructure upgrades. The whole economic analysis does not work unless the commercial properties generate sufficient tax revenues. Approve the one with the best business plan, and tell the others they will be reconsidered when they have a better plan in a few years. Lets have a little competition to see which development is best for Grass Valley.

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