EVALUATION OF CHANGES TO GENERAL PLAN UPDATE,
5.1 CHRONOLOGY OF GENERAL PLAN EVENTS
A draft General Plan (Draft 2, General Plan Update) was approved by the General Plan Steering Committee on July
20, 1999. The approved draft General Plan Update became the "project" subject to environmental evaluation
by the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR). The DEIR was published and forwarded to the State
Clearinghouse for circulation, review, and comment on August 23, 1999. The mandatory 45-day review and comment
period ended on October 8, 1999.
During the 45-day review period, the Grass Valley Planning Commission held three public hearings on the General
Plan Update and Draft Environmental Impact Report. Planning Commission hearings were held on August 23, September
13, and September 20, 1999. In the period spanned by the Planning Commission hearings (August 23 through September
20, 1999), the Planning Commission received and considered written and oral testimony, which offered opinions on
and requests for changes in the General Plan and DEIR.
Based upon written and oral testimony, the Planning Commission made selected recommendations for changes to
Draft 2, General Plan Update, and approved the General Plan Update with those recommended changes on September
20, 1999. The version of the General Plan Update approved by the Steering Committee, along with recommendations
for change from the Planning Commission, were then forwarded to the Grass Valley City Council.
The City Council held a public hearing on the General Plan Update and Draft Environmental Impact Report on October
19, 1999. The Council accepted both oral and written testimony on the Plan and DEIR. The Council closed the public
hearing on the General Plan Update and DEIR following all testimony on the night of October 19, 1999.
On November 9, 1999, the City Council met to discuss the General Plan, DEIR, recommendations for change to the
Draft 2 General Plan Update recommended by the Planning Commission, and comment and requests for changes in the
Plan by members of the public. This meeting was not a public hearing, although the Council invited members of the
audience to discuss and clarify specific requests upon which the Council was taking action.
The City's General Plan consultant presented to the Council individual comments and requests for which Council
action was requested or required. The Council discussed each comment/request, followed by a formal vote on each.
The resulting General Plan Update, hereafter called the Proposed Plan November 1999, is the version on which
the Council is prepared to vote at its November 23, 1999 meeting. The Proposed Plan November 1999 contains some
land use designations that are different from those in the Draft 2 General Plan.
The remainder of Chapter Five describes the changes made to the Draft 2 General Plan Update to produce the Proposed
Plan November 1999, and discusses an effects these changes may have on the findings and conclusions contained in
5.2 LOCATIONS OF LAND USE DESIGNATION CHANGES, DRAFT 2 GENERAL PLAN UPDATE TO PROPOSED PLAN NOVEMBER
Figure 5-1 shows the parcels or portions of parcels whose land use designations were changed between the Draft
2 General Plan Update (8/99) and the Proposed Plan November 1999 under consideration by the City Council. Shaded
parcels (or portions of parcels) were changed.
5.3 SUMMARY OF LAND USE DESIGNATION CHANGES, DRAFT 2 GENERAL PLAN UPDATE TO PROPOSED PLAN NOVEMBER
Table 5-1 on the following page provides an acreage comparison of the Draft 2 General Plan Update and the Proposed
Plan November 1999, for each land use designation used in the General Plan and depicted on the Land Use Plan Map.
Since all land use changes were made from one land designation to another, the positive (gained acreage by virtue
of the changes) and negative figures in the "Changes" column cancel one another out, resulting in a net
change of zero acres.
The changes described here were all changes to the Land Use Plan map. The General Plan Update Land Use Plan
map is "parcel based." That is, land use designations are depicted and recorded in a geographic information
system for whole parcels, except for a very few "split parcel" designations.
Overall, land use designation changes were made affecting 158 parcels, out of a total of 6,372 parcels in the
Grass Valley Planning Area. Thus, approximately 2.5% of all parcels in the Planning Area experienced land use designation
The Planning Area contains 9,894 acres (15.46 square miles). The area of the 158 parcels experiencing land use
designation changes (whole parcels and split parcels combined) constitute a total of 367.57 acres, approximately
3.7% of the total Planning Area.
Table 5-1 shows the distribution of land use designations by acreage and percentage of total, for the Draft
Plan (8/99) and the Proposed Plan November 1999 following the changes made subsequent to the Draft EIR. Table 5-1
also shows changes in acres and percentage change for each land use designation. As shown in Table 5-1, the predominant
land use designations are Urban Estate Density - Residential (2,221 acres in the Proposed Plan November 1999, or
22.4% of the total Planning Area), Special Development Area (1,528 acres, 15.4%) and Urban Low Density - Residential
(1,396 acres, 14.1%).
The designations experiencing the largest acreage changes were Urban Estate Density (a net "loss"
of 127 acres), Public (net gain of 100 acres), and Special Development Area (net gain of 71 acres).
Most significant percentage changes were Public (an increase of 30.0% to 433 acres), Institutional Non-governmental
(a decline of 15.4% to 104 acres), and Office-Professional (net loss of 10.5% to 145 acres).
5.4 DETAILS OF CHANGES BY LAND USE DESIGNATION, DRAFT 2 GENERAL PLAN UPDATE TO PROPOSED PLAN NOVEMBER
Table 5-2 provides a detailed statistical summary of changes affecting the various land use designations. The
terms "transferred from" and "transferred to" are used, indicating the status of each designation
prior to and after changes were made. Information for each land use designation in Table 5-2 includes: 1) net change
in acres, 2) acreage transferred "from", 3) acreage transferred "to", 4) number of parcels
involved in transfers from and 5) number of parcels involved in transferred to. Land use designations are shown
in descending order, from designations experiencing the largest net gains to those experiencing the largest net
5.5 DESCRIPTION OF CHANGES BY LAND USE DESIGNATION, DRAFT 2 GENERAL PLAN UPDATE TO PROPOSED PLAN NOVEMBER
Section 5.5 contains descriptions of the significant changes in land use designation between the Draft 2 General
Plan Update Land Use Plan Map and the Proposed Plan November 1999. Table 5-3, Land Use Change Summary Matrix, provides
a summary of acreage changes from each land use designation (left column) to each other designation (second row
from top of table). The figures represent acreages transferred from one to another.
An examination of Table 5-3 shows that the largest single land use designation change was from Commercial to
Special Development Area (SDA) of 65.90 acres. Acreage was also transferred from Urban Estate Density to Public
(52.89 acres), Urban Low Density (42.77), and Business Park (28.09 acres).
The remainder of this section describes parcels and groupings of parcels where a change is involved. For each
change, a discussion of its effect on findings and conclusions contained in the DEIR is made.
- Commercial Designation Changed to Special Development Area (SDA) -- 65.90 acres
All or portions of seven parcels totaling 65.90 acres at the Bear River Mill site were designated
Commercial in the Draft 2 General Plan. The designation was changed to Special Development Area to facilitate mixed
use on this large property between Highway 49 and LaBarr Meadows Road. Although the planned distribution of land
uses within the SDA has not been determined, mixed use will reduce environmental impacts as compared to a 65 acre
commercial development, particularly in terms of traffic, air quality, and percentage impervious surface on the
site at buildout. The change can, in fact, be viewed as additional mitigation and does not change any of the findings
or conclusions contained in the DEIR
2. Urban Estate Density (Residential) to Public -- 52.89 acres
A change in designation for parcels in the northwest portion of the Planning Area owned by the Bureau
of Land Management and Nevada Joint Union High School District, respectively. This change is a correction of the
previous map and reflects the property's status as "public." The change will have no impact on planned
land use and will have no impact on findings and conclusions contained in the DEIR.
- Institutional Non-governmental to Public -- 46.79 acres
Redesignation of cemeteries on West Main Street and immediately east of the Golden Center Freeway.
This change corrects the map to properly designate the subject cemeteries as public ownership and will have no
effect on planned land use, or on the findings and conclusions contained in the DEIR.
- Urban Estate Density to Urban Low Density -- 42.77 acres
Redesignation of 28 parcels in the Ridge Road, Slate Creek Road, and Upper Slate Creek Road area
to reflect compatibility with surrounding residential areas and existing parcel sizes. Eighteen of the parcels
are currently too small to meet the UED one-acre minimum parcel size, and would have been rendered "non-conforming
lots." Because the affected area is essentially developed, this change will have no effect on future land
use, or on the findings and conclusions contained in the DEIR.
- Urban Estate Density to Business Park -- 28.09 acres
Designation of three parcels located east of LaBarr Meadows Road south of McKnight Way currently
utilized for industrial purposes (sand and gravel processing, batch plant) to better reflect the future reuse potential
of parcels unsuitable for residential use. The change expands an adjacent area already designated Business Park
and will not have a significant effect on future land use and on DEIR findings and conclusions.
- Urban Low Density (Residential) to Institutional, Non-governmental -- 19.48 acres
Designation of an 8.70 acre parcel on Rough and Ready Highway as ING, a designation designed for
churches, civic clubs, and non-profit organization activities, in order to accommodate a future planned use. Also,
four church properties totaling 10.78 acres, more appropriately designated ING rather than ULD, were redesignated.
Changes to existing properties containing churches will no impact on DEIR findings and conclusions. The change
to property on Ridge Road could have a minor impact on traffic, but will not change EIR conclusions. Land use compatibility
may be enhanced due to the properties location adjacent to a veterinary clinic. Other DEIR conclusions will not
be altered by the change.
- Office-Professional to Commercial -- 14.29 acres
Involves five parcels on Taylorville Road, north of McKnight, and adjacent to the North Freeman Lane.
Included is a parcel of 10.63 acres occupied by PG&E. The remaining four parcels are presently developed as
commercial. The site is located in large commercial complex which includes the Pine Creek shopping center and K-Mart
center. The change in land use designation will have no effect on DEIR conclusions.
- Urban Low Density to Business Park -- 13.65 acres
Redesignation to Business Park of 7.25 acres fronting on Rough and Ready Highway currently zoned
Commercial by the County. Although the project proponent wished to have a Commercial designation in the City, a
Business Park designation has been proposed to assure that the change would not conflict with the findings and
conclusions contained in the DEIR. Also, redesignation of four parcels on the south side of the "S" curve
on East Bennett, currently occupied by a door manufacturing plant is proposed. Due to the limited scale of the
change and the existing use, this modification will not have significant effect on DEIR findings and conclusions.
- Urban High Density to Commercial -- 12.68 acres
Redesignates a 7.21 acre parcel near the intersection of East Main Street and Sierra College Drive,
currently zoned commercial by the City, to a Commercial designation on the General Plan Land Use Map. The parcel
is included in a project presently in the early stages of development as an Indian Health Clinic. The change also
redesignates 5.47 acres of a larger parcel (Amaral property) in the Glenbrook Basin, in keeping with a Nevada County
development agreement with the owner and conforming to other land uses along Plaza Drive. Due to the limited scale
of development proposed for the two sites and the preexisting nature of the commitments, the two changes will not
have a significant effect on DEIR findings and conclusions.
10. Business Park to Manufacturing-Industrial -- 7.93 acres
Redesignation of eight parcels historically and currently devoted to heavy industrial uses in the
Idaho-Maryland Road industrial area. This change was made to reflect long-established existing uses and will have
no impact on land use or on DEIR findings and conclusions.
- Urban High Density to Open Space -- 5.95 acres
Part of the aforementioned Amaral property (item 9, above). In keeping with an agreement between
the owner and Nevada County, this change will designate as "Open Space" a sensitive environmental area
(former Lake Olympia) and an adjacent area. This change will have no impact on DEIR findings and conclusions.
- Urban High Density to Institutional, Non-governmental -- 5.56 acres
One parcel along Brunswick Road currently under development as a senior care living facility was
inadvertently designated Urban High Density on the previous map. An "Institutional, Non-governmental"
designation is more appropriate for the land use currently under development at the site. This change will have
no impact on DEIR findings and conclusions.
- Business Park to Urban Low Density -- 5.08 acres
Three single family parcels adjacent to Nevada County Country Club and Litton Business Park, were
incorrectly designated Business Park on the previous map in the belief that they were part of the Litton property
and planned business park. Redesignation corrects previous drafting error. This change has no impact on DEIR findings
- Business Park to Commercial -- 5.02 acres
Portions of several parcels along the Nevada City Highway are redesignated to reflect actual land
use patterns and provide commercial frontage in an area planned for future mixed commercial/business park development.
Previous designations, based upon whole parcels, resulted in inefficient pattern of land use due to unconventional
parcel shapes and sizes. Although the amount of commercial acreage increases, due to the nature of the existing
uses and parcel configuration, this change will have no impact on DEIR findings and conclusions.
- Urban Medium Density to Business Park -- 4.59 acres
This change reflects portions of several parcels designated Business Park by Nevada County, and currently
used for industrial purposes on the north side of the "S" curve on East Bennett Street. Because only
existing developed area will be affected by the change and its small size, the modification will not affect DEIR
findings and conclusions.
- Business Park to Special Development Area -- 4.55 acres
This redesignation corrects a previous drafting error. Three parcels on Idaho-Maryland Road were
shown on the Draft General Plan Land use map as Business Park in the Draft 2 General Plan (8/99) and have been
changed to acknowledge that they are part of the Loma Rica Ranch, a Special Development Area (SDA). This change
has no impact on DEIR findings and conclusions
- Additional Changes
Several additional "cleanup" changes, involving very small parcels of land were made between
Draft 2 General Plan Update and the Proposed Plan November 1999. The revisions are reflected on Figure 5-2. Taken
together, these additional changes total 27.98 acres. A case-by-case review of the additional changes leads to
the conclusion that, individually and collectively none will have an impact on DEIR findings and conclusions.
5.6 DESCRIPTION OF RESIDENTIAL CHANGES, DRAFT 2 GENERAL PLAN UPDATE TO PROPOSED PLAN NOVEMBER
The Grass Valley General Plan contains four residential land use designations:
- Urban High Density (UHD) 8 to 20 units per acre
- Urban Medium Density (UMD) 4 to 8 units per acre
- Urban Low Density (ULD) 1 to 4 units per acre
- Urban Estate Density (UED) 1 or fewer units per acre, depending on services
From the Draft 2 General Plan Update (8/99) to the Proposed General Plan November 1999, the four
land use designations experienced the following net changes in acreage: UHD -25 acres; UMD +10 acres; ULD -17 acres;
UED -127 acres. Together, the changes in designation resulted in a net loss of 159 acres.
To calculate the implications for future housing unit and population projections, the net changes
in vacant residentially designated acreage was identified. This step was taken to ensure that already developed
residentially designated parcels would not be included in calculating net change (the assumption being that developed
properties would remain in the same uses and at the same residential densities as they currently maintain.
The identification of vacant residential loss or gain resulted in the following: UHD lost a net 21
vacant acres; UMD -6; ULD +4; and UED -21.
The General Plan Update process utilized an assumption that vacant, residentially-designated land
would build out at average densities lower that the maximum permitted by the General Plan. The assumed build out
units per acre for each designation is as follows: UHD 12; UMD 6; ULD 3; and UED 0.67.
Applying the assumed residential densities to the number of net vacant acres each designation changed,
the following is the change in projected housing units in the Grass Valley Planning Area at buildout of the General
Plan. Please note, remaining unaltered is the Year 2020 projection of 10,203 housing units (7,383 current plus
2,820 added between 1999 and 2020).
- UHD -21 acres times 12 units per acre = 252 fewer units at buildout
- UMD -6 acres times 6 units per acre = 36 fewer units at buildout
- ULD +4 acres times 3 units per acre = 12 more units at buildout
- UED -21 acres times 0.67 units per acre = 14 fewer units at buildout
- Total net reduction of 44 residential acres = 290 fewer units at buildout
To re-calculate buildout population projections, based upon the foregoing change in housing unit
projections, the following average household sizes applied throughout the General Plan Update were utilized: UHD
1.95; UMD 2.15; ULD 2.40; UED 2.40. Applying these household size figures to changes in housing unit projections
resulted in the following buildout population changes:
- UHD -252 units times 1.95 persons per household = 491 fewer people
- UMD -36 units times 2.15 persons per household = 77 fewer people
- ULD +12 units times 2.40 persons per household = 28 more people
- UED -14 units times 2.40 persons per household = 33 fewer people
- Total net reduction in projected buildout population = 573
This information alters page 3-59 of the Draft EIR, Table 3.7-1, Components of Change, Housing and
Population, 1999-2020-Buildout as follows:
- Net Change 2020 to Buildout
Housing Units .......................... 517
Population in Housing Units..... 1,531
Total Population....................... 2,331
Housing Units ..........................10,720
Population in Housing Units.....23,226
Total Population....................... 25,726
Table 5-4 contains a comprehensive listing of parcels whose designations were changed subsequent
to the Draft 2 General Plan Update (8/99) and Draft EIR. Figure 5-2 shows the Proposed General Plan November 1999
Land Use Plan Map.