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Big Crowd Presses Council on Big Issues

Three hot-button topics made for a long City Council meeting in Nevada City last night. The meeting ran close to four hours, and lots of citizens attended, primarily to speak on three issues. First, the council is considering changing requirements to demolish a structure. There’s an ordinance that prohibits demolition of buildings that were built before World War Two in the Historical District, but this summer, an 1890s building on Spring Street was torn down–given approval even though it shouldn’t have. After long public comment, no action was ultimately taken, but the council is considering amending the ordinance so they will have the final say before any demolition can happen. Next was the issue of opening the Veterans Hall to the homeless on cold nights, one that the public mostly spoke against. Many of the comments were like these from Christine Foster…

Listen to Christine Foster

There were a few speakers in favor, including one homeless man who calls himself Mario…

Listen to Mario

The Council was ready to vote 3-2 against the group Sierra Roots, who has volunteered to staff the building, only when the weather is extremely cold or snowy. The Council amended a motion and approved the cold weather shelter, but only until January. And finally, the council voted 3-2 to reject an offer by two Nevada City Rotary Clubs to build a trail up Sugarloaf Mountain…

Listen to Rotary Club

But part of the grant requires construction be well underway by April.  Duane Strawser and Robert Bergman voted in favor, Terri Anderson and Jennifer Ray were against, saying they didn’t want the side of the mountain defaced. Mayor Sally Harris, who claimed she was in favor of the trail, cast the deciding vote against, because she said there was not enough time to think the project through.

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