Bear River Plaza proposed environmental document _Initial Study_

					                                    COUNTY OF NEVADA
                                       CALIFORNIA
                                      INITIAL STUDY
To:            Applicant; Representative; DPW; EH; Nevada County Fire Prevention Planner; Higgins
               Fire District; Nevada County Sanitation District No. 1; NID; DFG; Caltrans; RWQCB;
               State Clearinghouse; NCTC; NSAQMD; Pleasant Ridge School District; NUHS; West
               Hacienda Drive Road Assn; LOP Assn.; South Nevada County Concerned Citizens.


Date of Initial Study Preparation: January 28, 2008

Prepared By:         Tyler Barrington, Senior Planner
                     e-mail: tyler.barrington@co.nevada.ca.us

File No:             GP05-003; Z05-002; PM05-023; U05-012; and EIS05-035

Assessors Parcel No: 21-730-74 (7.47-acres) and 21-730-73 (2.01-acres)

Applicant/Owner:     LOP Partners, LLC
                     391 Nevada St.
                     Auburn, CA 95960
                     Telephone: (530) 823-1776

                     Forest Lake Christian School
                     12515 Combie Road,
                     Auburn CA 95602
                     Telephone: (530) 268-3562

Representative:      Dale Creighton, A.I.C.P.
                     SPO Planning and Engineering, Inc.
                     140 Litton Drive, Suite 240
                     Grass Valley, CA 95945
                     Telephone: (530) 272-5841

Existing Zoning:     C1-SC-SP

Proposed Zoning:     C1-SC-SP-PD, R3-SC-SP-PD and OS-SC-SP

Existing General Plan: Planned Development “PD”: (2.6-acres Neighborhood Commercial “NC”, Remainder
                       Open Space “OS”)

Proposed General Plan: 4.27-acres NC, 1.7-acres Urban High Density “UHD” and 3.51-acres OS

Project Location:    10762 Combie Road at the intersection of Combie and West Hacienda Road in
                     southwestern Nevada County, California.



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PROJECT DESCRIPTION:

The proposed project is a General Plan Amendment (GPA) and Zoning Map Amendment (ZMA) proposal to
develop a 7.47-acre site in south Nevada County into Bear River Plaza. The proposed GPA and ZMA are intended
to change the land use designations of two adjacent parcels located at the corner of West Hacienda Drive and
Combie Road, also known as APNs 21-730-73 (2.01-acres) and 21-730-74 (7.47-acres) and to change the General
Plan and Zoning designations of the 1.7-acre residential and 1.5-acre open space parcels created as a part of the
proposed parcel map. The General Plan Amendment is a proposal to amend the General Plan designation for the
two parcels from Planned Development (PD): 2.6-acres of Neighborhood Commercial (NC) and 6.88-acres of
Open Space (OS) to 4.27-acres of NC, 1.5-acres of OS, 1.7-acres of UHD for (APN 21-730-74) and 2.01-acres of
OS (APN 21-730-73) (See General Plan Map Amendment Exhibit in Appendix B). The Zoning Map Amendment is
a proposal to amend Zoning District Map (ZDM) 46A to change the site’s Zoning from an existing C1-SC-SP to
4.27-acres of CI-SC-SP-PD, 1.7-acres of R3-SC-SP-PD and 1.5-acres of OS-SC-SP for APN 21-730-74 and from
C1-SC-SP to OS-SC-SP for APN 21-730-73 to be consistent with the proposed uses on the site (See Zoning Map
Amendment Exhibit in Appendix C).

The Bear River Plaza project is a mixed-use development concept on the project site, however once subdivided the
project will create separate land uses on the resultant parcels. Bear River Plaza is a Master Plan proposal to
construct approximately 40,000-square feet of commercial space in four buildings, twenty-eight 2-bedroom for sale
residential housing units in four buildings, and an 877-square foot clubhouse and pool as amenities for the
residential component of the development and approximately 3.51-acres of open space (See Overall Site Plan in
Appendix D). Along with the General Plan Amendment and Rezone element discussed above, the project requires
a Use Permit to develop the site with a Master Plan and a Tentative Parcel Map (commercial) to subdivide the
project site into four commercial lots, one 1.7-acre residential parcel to be split into twenty-eight individual units
utilizing a density bonus of 3-units and one common parcel, one 3.7-acre common area lot for parking and
landscaping, and two open space lots consisting of one 1.5-acre parcel and one 2.01-acre parcel. The Master Plan
is required pursuant to County Ordinance No. 1961, which states: “…The commercial area shall be defined
pursuant to a master plan for the entire site approved by the Planning Agency reviewing any concurrent
development application…”. County regulations require a Use Permit for the approval of a master plan.

The project proposes to develop the site in seven construction phases as follows:

    1. Residential Building 7 – A two-story eight-unit 10,048-square foot multi-tenant condominium building
       consisting of eight 1,256-square foot 2-bedroom single ownership units.

    2. Residential Building 8 – A two-story six-unit 7,536-square foot multi-tenant condominium building
       consisting of six 1,256-square foot 2-bedroom single ownership units.

    3. Residential Building 5 – A two-story eight-unit 10,048-square foot multi-tenant condominium building
       consisting of eight 1,256-square foot 2-bedroom single ownership units.

    4. Residential Building 6 and the Clubhouse – A two-story six-unit 7,536-square foot multi-tenant
       condominium building consisting of six 1,256-square foot 2-bedroom single ownership units and an 877-
       square foot clubhouse and swimming pool.

    5. Commercial Building 1 – A one-story 3,108-square foot general office building.

    6. Commercial Building 2 and 3 – Commercial Building 2 is a two-story general office building consisting of
       1,816-square feet on the lower floor and 3,542-square feet on the main floor for a total of 5,358-square feet

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         of general office space. Commercial Building 3 is a two-story specialty retail building consisting of 6,825-
         square feet on the lower floor and 6,994-square feet on the main floor for a total of 13,819-square feet of
         specialty retail space. This phase includes the construction of a detached elevator between Commercial
         Buildings 2 and 3.

     7. Commercial Building 4 – Commercial Building 4 is a two-story general office building consisting of
        10,725-square feet on the first floor and 6,475-square feet on the second floor for a total of 17,200-square
        feet of general office space.

The following land use permits are needed for this project:

A.   General Plan Amendment
B.   Zoning Map Amendment
C.   Use Permit (Master Plan)
D.   Tentative Parcel Map (commercial/condominium parcel map)

LIST OF APPENDICES

APPENDIX A: Reference Sources
APPENDIX B: General Plan Amendment Exhibit
APPENDIX C: Zoning Map Amendment Exhibit
APPENDIX D: Site Plan and Tentative Map Reduction
APPENDIX E: Color Rendering




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Other Permits Which May Be Necessary:

Based on initial comments received, the following permits may be required from the designated agencies:

    1.   County Road Encroachment Permit - Nevada County Department of Transportation – (530) 265-1411.
    2.   Building and Grading Permit - Nevada County Building Department (530) 265-1444.
    3.   Dust Control Plan – Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District (530) 274-9360.
    4.   Main Line Extension – NID Nevada Irrigation District (530) 273-6185.
    5.   Annexation to Sanitation District No. 1 – Nevada County Sanitation District No. 1 (530) 265-7103.

                                      INITIAL STUDY AND CHECKLIST
Introduction:

This checklist is to be completed for all projects, which are not exempt from environmental review under the
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The information, analysis and conclusions contained in the
checklist are the basis for deciding whether an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) or Negative Declaration is to
be prepared. Additionally, the checklist shall be used to focus an EIR on the effects determined to be potentially
significant.

Project Environmental Setting:

The project site consists of two undeveloped parcels located at the corner of West Hacienda Drive and Combie
Road in south Nevada County, also known as APNs 21-730-73 and 21-730-74. Both parcels are included in the
proposed Rezone and General Plan Amendment, but only APN 21-730-74 is included in the proposed Use Permit
and Tentative Parcel Map applications. Both parcels are undeveloped and consist of most non-native annual
grasslands with a few scattered trees. No other sensitive environmental resources are located within the
boundaries of the project site.

Relationship to Other Projects:

Staff is not aware of any other project directly related to this development.




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SUMMARY OF PROPOSED MITIGATION MEASURES

Environmental Factors Potentially Affected:

All of the following environmental factors have been considered. Those environmental factors checked below
would be potentially affected by this project, involving at least one impact that is a "Potentially Significant
Impact" as indicated by the checklist on the following pages.


       1. Land Use / Planning               2.   Population / Housing          3.   Geology / Soils
 

      4. Hydrology / Water                5.   Air Quality                   6.   Transportation /
          Quality                                                                    Circulation

      7. Biological Resources              8. Mineral Resources                9.   Hazards / Hazardous
                                                                                     Materials

      10. Noise                           11. Public Services                 12. Utilities / Service
                                                                                    Systems

      13. Aesthetics                       14. Agricultural Resources         15. Cultural Resources


       16. Recreation                       17. Mandatory Findings of Significance




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                            RECOMMENDED MITIGATION MEASURES


1.     LAND USE AND PLANNING: To ensure that the proposed project does not result in potentially
       significant impacts to land use and planning the following mitigation measures shall apply:

Mitigation Measure 1.A: Prior to issuance of any permits tied to the entitlements required for the proposed Use
Permit and Commercial Parcel Map, approval must be obtained from the Nevada County Board of Supervisors to
amend the project sites General Plan Designation from Planned Development (PD): 2.6-acres of NC and 6.88-acres
of Open Space (OS) to 4.27-acres of NC, 1.5-acres of OS, 1.7-acres of UHD for (APN 21-730-74) and 2.01-acres of
OS (APN 21-730-73) as shown on the Zoning Map Amendment Exhibit in Appendix B of this document.

Mitigation Measure 1.B: Prior to issuance of any permits tied to the entitlements required for the proposed Use
Permit and Commercial Parcel Map, approval must be obtained from the Nevada County Board of Supervisors to
amend Zoning District Map (ZDM) 46a to change the existing Zoning from C1-SP-SC to 4.27-acres of C1-SP-SC-
PD, 1.7-acres of R3-SP-SC-PD, and 3.51-acres of OS-SP-SC as shown on the Zoning Map Amendment Exhibit in
Appendix C of this document.

Mitigation Measure 1.C: Prior to approval of the proposed Zoning Map and General Plan Amendment, reorder
the phases of the project to construct, at the minimum, at least one of the commercial buildings prior to the
residential buildings and then subsequently mix the commercial phases with the residential phases. The phasing
shall provide for a mix of commercial uses and residential uses as the development proceeds.

3.     GEOLOGY / SOILS: To ensure that the proposed project does not result in potential geological and soil
       impacts, the following mitigation measure shall be required:

Mitigation Measure 3.A: Grading plans shall include the time of year for construction activities. No construction
shall occur after October 15 and before May 15 unless the Chief Building Official, or his/her authorized agent,
determines that project soil conditions are adequate to accommodate construction activities.

4.     HYDROLOGY / WATER QUALITY: To offset the potential for significant off-site drainage impacts to
       result from project development, the following mitigations shall apply. The mitigation measures shown
       below must be included as a note on all grading and improvement plans.

Mitigation Measure 4A: A detailed grading and drainage plan shall be prepared by a registered civil engineer and
reviewed and approved by the Nevada County Department of Public Works prior to the issuance of any grading
permits or construction activity. The grading and drainage plans shall include the following:

       a.    Direction of all surface runoff to a stable off-site water source;
       b.    Sizing and capacity of off-site drainage facilities;
       c.    Temporary erosion control measures;
       d.    Schedule and time of year for construction activities;
       e.    Stabilization of all cut and fill slopes with plant material, irrigation system and maintenance
             provisions; and
       f.    All stabilization techniques shall be installed within thirty days of site grading work.




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Mitigation Measure 4.B: Storm water facilities shall be designed to maintain the peak storm water discharge at
pre-project conditions. The developer’s engineer shall provide pre-project and post-project storm water analysis
identified in Mitigation Measure 4.A. The recommendations of the storm water analysis shall be incorporated
into all improvement and grading plans.

Mitigation Measure 4.C: Grading plans shall include verification that an NPDES permit, issued by the State
Water Resources Control Board, has been approved for the project.

Mitigation Measure 4.D: To prevent draining discharges from carrying silt, grease and other contaminants into
the storm drain system, silt and grease traps shall be installed on site, prior to water entering the drainage system.
The traps shall be monitored for cleaning and repair needs prior to October of each year, unless required by a
State Water Quality Control Board permit to be monitored more often. Records of monitoring and maintenance
shall be maintained by the road maintenance entity or other appropriate agency such as a Home or Business
Owners Association.

Mitigation Measure 4.E: All run-off water from impervious, areas, including roofs, patios, and driveways shall
be captured and directed by way of impervious conduits or culverts to the detention ponds. Outflow ends of the
culverts and/or drainpipes should be fitted with energy dissipaters, such as rip-rap boulders or concrete baffles.
CC&Rs shall identify the responsibility of the homeowners that the drain systems be inspected and cleaned on a
regular basis to ensure that they are functioning correctly.

Mitigation Measure 4.F: Prior to issuance of grading permits or map recordation, improvement plans for all
grading including road construction and drainage improvements shall be submitted to and approved by the
Department of Transportation and Sanitation and/or Building Department. The plans shall incorporate measures
to minimize localized flooding and prevent water quality degradation to the roadside drainage ditch. The erosion
control plan shall ensure that the potential for soil erosion from disturbed areas is decreased to a less than
significant level. The applicant shall plant native grasses and/or landscaping on exposed soil in a timely fashion
and before the onset of seasonal precipitation. The erosion control plan shall be approved by the County prior to
issuance of improvement plans and implemented concurrently with grading and construction activities on the site.
Erosion control features and landscaping shall be installed prior to final inspection.

5.      AIR QUALITY: Construction activities may have short-term impacts to the environment; these impacts
        are adequately mitigated below. A Note showing Mitigation Measures 5.A-5.E shall be included on all
        improvement, grading and building permit plans.

Mitigation Measure 5.A: The developer shall be responsible for ensuring that adequate dust control measures are
implemented during construction activities, including the application of water on all graded surfaces and excavated
or stockpiled materials. Dust control measures shall be included in Improvement or Grading Plans.

Mitigation Measure 5.B: Open burning of site or road-cleared vegetation is conditionally prohibited. Cleared
vegetation should be treated by legal means other than open burning, such as chipping, shredding or grinding.
Open burning of site-cleared vegetation will be permitted only upon Northern Sierra Air Quality Management
District acceptance of documentation showing alternatives are unobtainable or economically unfeasible. Prior to
approval of improvement plans for road construction, an approval letter from the NSAQMD shall be obtained,
indicating the approved method of cleared vegetation disposal. Such methods shall be noted on the improvement
plans. At no time shall open burning of materials generated by this project occur at another site unless approved in
advance by the NSAQMD.



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Mitigation Measure 5.C: All parking and driving areas shall be paved.

Mitigation Measure 5.D: Each commercial unit owner shall be responsible for ensuring that no odors constituting
a nuisance are emitted from that unit or any source appurtenant to that unit, such as an exhaust pipe, duct or vent.
Complaints about odors should be addressed to the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District, which for
purposes of enforcing this condition, may determine if a “nuisance” situation exists.

Mitigation Measure 5.E: Any person building, altering, replacing, or operating any source of air contaminants
during construction, whether portable or stationary (but not mobile), shall first obtain an Authority to Construct
from the Air Pollution Control Officer, unless the District has determined that such equipment is exempt from
permitting or unless such equipment is currently registered with the California Air Resources Board under the
Portable Equipment Registration Program. The applicant shall be responsible for communicating with the District
regarding the possible need for permitting. Examples of equipment for which an air pollution permit may be
required to include, but are not limited to:

        a.    Portable or stationary equipment units including confined and unconfined abrasive blasting, Portland
              concrete batch plants, sand and gravel screening, rock crushing, and unheated pavement recycling
              and crushing operations.

        b.   Engines used in conjunction with the aforementioned equipment and the following types of portable
             operations: pumps, compressors, diesel pile-driving hammers, welding equipment, cranes,
             woodchippers, equipment necessary for the operation of portable engines and equipment units.

6.      TRANSPORTATION AND CIRCULATION: To offset potential impacts to transportation and
        circulation, the aforementioned conditions of permit approval and the following mitigation measures shall
        apply.

Mitigation Measure 6.A: Spot Traffic Safety and Operational Improvements: To be completed prior to occupancy
of any phases of this project.

         a. Construct a two-way left turn lane west from this site’s Combie driveway to connect to the
            existing Rosewood Road/Combie Road left turn lane. Widen Combie Road if necessary and
            restripe.

         b. Construct a left-turn-out center merge/refuge lane on Combie Road to 250 feet east of this site’s
            driveway centerline, plus taper. Widen Combie Road and re-stripe.

Mitigation Measure 6.B: The developers shall pay their fair-share cost of improving the future capacity of the
State Route 49/Combie/Wolf intersection. The project identified at this time to provide the additional future
capacity plus the addition of a second southbound left turn lane on State Route 49.

7.      BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES: To offset the potential biological impacts and residual impacts, the
        following mitigation measures shall be required:

Mitigation Measure 7.A: To avoid take of raptor nests, removal or disturbance of larger trees located on site
should be avoided to the extent feasible. If determined to be necessary, tree removals should be conducted only
between mid-September and mid-February, outside of the typical breeding season. If tree removals are determined
to be necessary during the typical breeding season, a qualified biologist should conduct a raptor nest survey no
more than 30 days prior to initiation of proposed development activities. Survey results should then be submitted

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to the State of California Department of Fish and Game. If the biologist determines that a tree slated for removal
is being used for nesting at that time, disturbance should be avoided until after the young have fledged from the
nest and achieved independence. If no nesting is found to occur, necessary tree removal may then proceed.

10.     NOISE: To offset the potentially adverse impacts associated with grading, road construction, vegetation
        clearance, and building construction on surrounding residential uses, the following mitigation measure
        shall be required and a Note showing Mitigation Measure 10.A-10.C shall be included on the
        Supplemental Map and incorporated into all grading or improvement plans.

Mitigation Measure 10.A: Hours of operation for construction activities shall be limited to the hours of 7:00 a.m.
to 7:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday. Grading and improvement plans shall reflect these limited hours of operation and
shall be reviewed by the Planning Department prior to permit issuance.

Mitigation Measure 10.B: Fixed construction equipment, including compressors and generators, shall be located
as far as feasibly possible from residential properties (proposed on the southern side of the building). All noise-
generating tools shall be shrouded or shielded, and all intake and exhaust ports on power construction equipment
shall be muffled or shielded.

Mitigation Measure 10.C: Noise levels generated by this use shall not exceed the standards established by the
General Plan, for commercial zoning districts adjacent to residential and open space zoning districts. In the event
that noise complaints are received, the property owner shall obtain an acoustical analysis evaluating noise levels
generated by the business(es). If noise levels exceed the 60 Leq or 80 Lmax (between 7.a.m. and 7 p.m.), 55 Leg
and 70 Lmax (between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.) and 50 Leq and 60 Lmax (between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.) standards, as
established by Section L-II 4.1.7.D.4 of the Land Use and Development Code, the acoustical analysis shall provide
methods to attenuate excessive noise levels, including but not limited to measures that restrict operations or that
require noise barriers along the southern and eastern property lines of the site, compatible with approved building
colors and materials.

11.     PUBLIC SERVICES: To offset potential impacts on public services, the following mitigation measures
        shall apply:

Mitigation Measure 11.A: The developer shall obtain necessary Equivalent Dwelling Units (EDUs) of sewer
capacity needed for each phase of the proposed project, prior to the recordation of the Tentative Parcel Map. The
actual number of EDUs needed for each phase of the project shall be consistent with County Ordinance, and may
vary depending on engineered flow rates of the project. The Nevada County Department of Public Works,
Wastewater Division shall approve the final number of required EDUs per each phase of the project.

Mitigation Measure 11.B: The applicant shall design and construct onsite and offsite wastewater collection
system in accordance with District standards and ordinance up to convey wastewater to the Lake of the Pines
wastewater treatment facility. The system would need to be sized to accommodate the planned future service area
of the Lake of the Pines Zone 2.

13.     AESTHETICS: To offset the projects potential to result in significant impacts to aesthetic resources in
        the Higgins Area Scenic Corridor, the aforementioned conditions of permit approval and the following
        mitigation measure shall apply.




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Mitigation Measure 13.A: To lessen the aesthetic impact of the proposed development, the 15,000-gallon propane
tank shown on the Preliminary Utility Plan shall be installed underground. Prior to map recordation, obtain the
necessary permits to install the 15,000-gallon propane tank below grade.

15.    CULTURAL RESOURCES: To offset the potentially adverse impacts associated with construction
       activities and the discovery of cultural or historic resources, the following mitigation measure shall be
       required:

Mitigation Measure 15.A: The following requirement shall be shown as a Note on the Supplemental Map and
incorporated into improvement plans/grading/construction plans submitted to the Department of Transportation
and Building Permit Department.

       “Contractors and construction personnel involved in any form of ground disturbance (i.e. utility placement
       or maintenance, grading, etc.) shall be advised of the remote possibility of encountering subsurface
       cultural resources. If such resources are encountered or suspected, work shall be halted immediately, and
       the Planning Department and a professional archaeologist shall be consulted who shall assess any
       discoveries and develop appropriate management recommendations for archaeological resource treatment.
       If bones are found and appear to be human, California Law requires that the Nevada County Coroner and
       the Native American Heritage Commission be contacted. If Native American resources are involved,
       Native American Organizations and individuals recognized by the County shall be notified and consulted
       about any plans for treatment.”

Mitigation Monitoring Matrix:

       MEASURE            MONITORING AUTHORITY                             WHEN IMPLEMENTED
        1.A-1.C        Planning                                    Prior to Map Recordation of Phase 1
          3.A          Planning, DPW, Building Department          During review of improvement plans.
        4.A-4.F        DPW                                         Prior to map recordation of individual
                                                                   map phases.
         5.A-5.E       DPW, Planning, Building Department          Prior to map recordation of individual
                                                                   map phases.
         6.A-6.B       DPW                                         Prior to map recordation of Phase 1.
           7.A         Planning Department                         Prior to map recordation.
        10.A-10.E      Planning and Building Department            During review of improvement plans.
        11.A-11.B      DPW, Sanitation District No. 1              Prior to map recordation of individual
                                                                   map phases.
          13.A         Building Department                         During review of improvement plans,
                                                                   prior to map recordation.
          15.A         DOTS, Planning and Building                 During review of improvement plans and
                       Department.                                 construction inspections.
With implementation of the above mitigation measure(s), no significant impacts are expected to occur.




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                                                   CHECKLIST

1.      LAND USE / PLANNING

Environmental Setting: The project site is at the corner of the West Hacienda Drive and Combie Road
intersection within the Lake of the Pines Community Region in south Nevada County. The project site includes
two undeveloped parcels (APNs 21-730-73 and 21-730-74) both of which are included in the proposed Rezone and
General Plan Amendment with only one of the parcels proposed for development (APN 21-730-74). The project
site is designated Planned Development (PD) with 2.6-acres of Neighborhood Commercial (NC) and the remainder
as Open Space (OS) on the General Plan land use maps and is zoned Neighborhood Commercial with Scenic
Corridor and Site Performance combining district (C1-SC-SP). The SC combining district identifies these
properties as within the scenic corridor of Combie Road. The SP combining district identifies the project site as
falling within and subject to the Higgins Area Plan. Additionally, the SP zoning overlay requires that the
commercial area be defined pursuant to a master plan for the entire site. The primary purpose of the C1 zoning
district is to provide for the retail and service needs of nearby neighborhoods, and to provide limited mixed-use
employment opportunities.

The proposed project is a General Plan Amendment (GPA) and Zoning Map Amendment (ZMA) proposal to
develop a 7.47-acre site in south Nevada County into Bear River Plaza. The proposed GPA and ZMA are intended
to change the land use designations of two adjacent parcels located at the corner of West Hacienda Drive and
Combie Road, also known as APNs 21-730-73 (2.01-acres) and 21-730-74 (7.47-acres) and to change the General
Plan and Zoning designations of the 1.7-acre residential and 1.5-acre open space parcels created as a part of the
proposed parcel map. The General Plan Amendment is a proposal to amend the General Plan designation for the
two parcels from Planned Development (PD): 2.6-acres of Neighborhood Commercial (NC) and 6.88-acres of
Open Space (OS) to 4.27-acres of NC, 1.5-acres of OS, 1.7-acres of UHD for (APN 21-730-74) and 2.01-acres of
OS (APN 21-730-73). The Zoning Map Amendment is a proposal to amend Zoning District Map (ZDM) 46A to
change the site’s Zoning from an existing C1-SC-SP to 4.27-acres of CI-SC-SP-PD, 1.7-acres of R3-SC-SP-PD and
1.5-acres of OS-SC-SP for APN 21-730-74 and from C1-SC-SP to OS-SC-SP for APN 21-730-73 to be consistent
with the proposed uses on the site.

Based on the approval of the proposed ZMA and GPA, Bear River Plaza is a phased development proposal to
construct approximately 40,000-square feet of commercial space in four buildings, twenty-eight 2-bedroom for sale
residential housing units in four buildings, including an 877-square foot clubhouse and pool as amenities for the
residential component of the development and approximately 3.51-acres of open space. Along with the General
Plan Amendment and Rezone element discussed above, the project requires a Use Permit for the approval of the
Master Plan proposing to construct the commercial and residential buildings of the project and a Tentative Parcel
Map (commercial/condominium) to subdivide the project site into four commercial lots, one 1.7-acre residential
parcel to be split into twenty-eight individual units utilizing a density bonus of 3-units and one common parcel, one
3.7-acre common area lot for parking and landscaping, and one 1.5-acre open space lot. The residential component
of the development consists of 28 approximately 1,256-sqauare foot 2 bedroom units in 4, 2-story buildings with a
clubhouse and pool as amenities for the residential uses. The project proposes to construct the buildings on the site
in 7 phases with the 4 residential structures being the first 4 phases and the commercial buildings to be constructed
in the last 3 phases of the development. A detailed breakdown of the phasing of the project is shown in the project
description above.

The project is adjacent to another Neighborhood Commercial zoned property to the west that is developed with a
small strip commercial development consisting of a post office, grocery store and various retail suites. Located
directly to the north of the project site is the Forest Lake Christian School. To the east of the project site across of
West Hacienda Drive is a site zoned for Office Professional (OP) land uses. Located cattycorner from the project

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site is another Neighborhood Commercial zoned property that is developed with a small strip commercial
development consisting of several varied retail and service commercial uses. To the south and southwest of the
project site are several properties with an Urban Medium Density General Plan Designation and a R2 base zoning
designation. Several properties west of the project site and north of Combie Road are also designated for Urban
Medium Density residential land use. Three of these parcels located to the west of the project site and north of
Combie Road have received approval for the Saddle Ridge development consisting of 73-single family lots and one
lot to be developed as a 24-unit senior affordable housing complex. Located to the southeast of the project site is
the Lake of the Pines Subdivision a major population center in southwestern Nevada County.

Will the proposal result in:                           Potentially      Less Than       Less Than       No       Reference
                                                       Significant   Significant with   Significant   Impact      Source
                                                         Impact         Mitigation        Impact               (Appendix A)
                                                                      Incorporation
a. Structures and/or land-use incompatible
   with existing land-use?                                                                                       16,17,A

b. The induction of growth or concentration
   of population?                                                                                                  A

c. The extension of sewer trunk lines or
   access roads with capacity to serve new
   development beyond this proposed
   project?                                                                                                       B,C

d. The loss of open space?                                                                                         A

e. Conflict with general plan designation or
   zoning?                                                                                                       16,17

f.   Conflict with any applicable land use plan,
     policy, or regulation of an agency with
     jurisdiction over the project (including, but
     not limited to the general plan, specific plan,
     or zoning ordinance) adopted for the
     purpose of avoiding or mitigating an
     environmental effect?                                                                                       16,17

g. Disrupting or dividing the physical
   arrangement of an established community
   including a low-income or minority
   community?                                                                                                       A

Impact Discussion: This project is proposing a Use Permit to construct 4 commercial buildings to be placed on
individual parcels, 28-single ownership 2 bedroom condominiums in 4 2-story buildings, a clubhouse and pool, a
1.5-acre open space parcel, and a 3.7-acre common commercial area that includes all parking and landscaping for
the commercial portion of the proposed project. The project also includes the consideration of a Tentative Parcel
Map (commercial/condominium) to allow individual ownership of the commercial buildings, individual ownership
of the 28-residential units and shared ownership of the commercial and residential parking areas. The project as
designed exceeds the amount of commercial and residential use allowed by existing Zoning and General Plan


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designations. Further, the project proposal, although a mixed-use concept on the existing property, will create
separate stand-alone land uses once the Tentative Parcel Map records. Therefore the applicant has proposed a
General Plan and Zoning Map Amendment to ensure that the site will have the required land use designations for
the entitlements requested. The proposed land uses include both neighborhood commercial, high density
residential, and open space land uses. The resultant parcels will require a PD overlay to allow for zero lot lines and
shared ownership/upkeep of the landscaping and parking areas. To ensure that the uses proposed do not conflict
with the Zoning or General Plan designations on the site, mitigation is added below requiring that the applicant
obtain approval of the General Plan and Zoning Map Amendments from the Nevada County Board of Supervisors
prior to receiving permits to begin constructing any entitlements received from the potential Use Permit and Parcel
Map approvals.

The project is proposed as a phased development to be constructed in 7 overall construction phases. The first 4
phases of the development are proposed to be the construction of the residential portion of the project with the
remaining 3 phases proposed to be the construction of the commercial portion of the project. The primary use of
the site however, is proposed to be neighborhood commercial and because the project as proposed has the potential
to construct the residential portion of the project and then let the entitlements to construct the commercial buildings
expire, Staff recommends that the phasing be mixed to provide for at the minimum at least one commercial building
as the first phase of the project. Staff then recommends that the remainder of the phasing be mixed between
residential and commercial uses as the development proceeds. This mitigation is shown below and will ensure that
the site is developed with neighborhood commercial land uses as the primary land use and the high-density
residential portion as a secondary land use.

The proposed Zoning Map and General Plan Amendment, if approved, will create a small island of UHD General
Plan and R3 Zoning designations in an area of varied zoning and land use designations. The closest UHD zoning to
the project site is approximately 1,500-linear feet away to the southwest of the project site along Combie Road.
The project is located within approximately 300-feet to several properties zoned for medium density residential
development. Although spot zoning and creating islands of separate land use designations is not a recommended
practice in planning, the proposed project is a unique situation where the residential component is beneficial use for
both the applicant and the community. The residential component will provide an element of affordable housing
and could serve the project’s commercial element with housing in close proximity to jobs.

With the approval of the proposed General Plan and Zoning Map Amendments the proposed project will be
substantially compliant with the sites zoning. The site is currently zoned and has a General Plan designation for
2.6-acres of neighborhood commercial use and 6.88-acres of open space. As a result of the proposed project the
site will retain approximately 3.51-acres as open space, have 1.7-acres of high density residential, and 4.27-acres of
commercial use with approximately 3.7-acres of the commercial use utilized as landscaping and parking. The
project proponent also proposes to construct an 8-foot wide multi-purpose trail along the frontage for the project
site, which will further reduce the overall use of the site for commercial purposes. Overall with the approval of the
proposed General Plan and Zoning Map Amendment and the observation of the mitigation measures shown below
the project is not foreseen to result in an unmitigated impact to Land Use and Planning.

Mitigation & Residual Impact: To ensure that the proposed project does not result in potentially significant
impacts to land use and planning the following mitigation measures shall apply:

Mitigation Measure 1.A: Prior to issuance of any permits tied to the entitlements required for the proposed Use
Permit and Commercial Parcel Map, approval must be obtained from the Nevada County Board of Supervisors to
amend the project sites General Plan Designation from Planned Development (PD): 2.6-acres of NC and 6.88-
acres of Open Space (OS) to 4.27-acres of NC, 1.5-acres of OS, 1.7-acres of UHD for (APN 21-730-74) and 2.01-
acres of OS (APN 21-730-73) as shown on the Zoning Map Amendment Exhibit in Appendix B of this document.

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Mitigation Measure 1.B: Prior to issuance of any permits tied to the entitlements required for the proposed Use
Permit and Commercial Parcel Map, approval must be obtained from the Nevada County Board of Supervisors to
amend Zoning District Map (ZDM) 46a to change the existing Zoning from C1-SP-SC to 4.27-acres of C1-SP-
SC-PD, 1.7-acres of R3-SP-SC-PD, and 3.51-acres of OS-SP-SC as shown on the Zoning Map Amendment
Exhibit in Appendix C of this document.

Mitigation Measure 1.C: Prior to approval of the proposed Zoning Map and General Plan Amendment, reorder
the phases of the project to construct, at the minimum, at least one of the commercial buildings prior to the
residential buildings and then subsequently mix the commercial phases with the residential phases. The phasing
shall provide for a mix of commercial uses and residential uses as the development proceeds.


2.        POPULATION / HOUSING

Environmental Setting: The C1 zoning district allows residential dwellings at a density of 4-units per acre is part
of a mixed-use development. The R3 zoning district, which is being proposed for the 1.7-acre residential parcel,
allows for 15/20 units per acre. 20 units per acre are allowed when the development is within an incorporated area
Sphere of Influence and 15 units per acre is allowed elsewhere. The project is not within an incorporated area’s
Sphere of Influence and therefore the 15-units per acre criteria is applicable to the proposed project. The project
proposes to construct 28, 1,256-square foot 2 bedroom units in 4, two story multifamily buildings. Utilizing the
15-unit per acre density allowed by the R3 zoning district, the 1.7-acre site has the density for 25-units. Therefore
the applicant is required to utilize the County’s provisions for a Density Bonus to achieve the 28-units proposed.
The project is located within the Lake of the Pines Community Region.

Will the proposal result in:                        Potentially      Less Than       Less Than       No       Reference
                                                    Significant   Significant with   Significant   Impact      Source
                                                      Impact         Mitigation        Impact               (Appendix A)
                                                                   Incorporation
a. Induce substantial population growth in an
   area, either directly (for example, by
   proposing new homes and businesses) or
   indirectly (for example, through extension
   of roads or other infrastructure)?                                                                          P

b. Displace substantial numbers of existing
   housing, necessitating the construction of
   replacement housing elsewhere?                                                                               P

c. Displace substantial numbers of people,
   necessitating   the     construction of
   replacement housing elsewhere?                                                                               P

Impact Discussion: The project has the potential to increase the population of the Lake of the Pines Community
Region by approximately 68 persons, utilizing 2.4 persons per unit determination as established by the County’s
General Plan Policy 1.22. Both the Nevada County General Plan and Subdivision Ordinance require that all
subdivisions within the UHD, UMD and USF General Plan designations, and creating 20 or more lots, must
provide for a minimum of 10% of the resulting units to be made available to only the very low, low, moderate,
senior citizen or disabled households at a ratio distribution equal to those of the Housing Allocation from the


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State. The applicant however, based on the allowed density of the 1.7-acre residential site (25-units), must
received approval for a Density Bonus to achieved the proposed build out of 28-units. The County’s Land Use
and Development Code Section L-II 3.16 allows for a density bonus of at least 25 percent more residential units
than normally allowed by the applicable zoning district if the development can meet a set of criteria. The criteria
require that a proposed residential development must: 1) Consist of 5 or more rental units, or dwelling units
offered for sale; and 2) Be designed and constructed so that at least: a. 20% of the total number of proposed units
are for lower income households, as defined in the California Health and Safety Code, Section 50079.5; or b. 10%
of the total number of proposed units are for very low income households, as defined in the California Health and
Safety Code Section 50105; or c. 50% of the total number of proposed units are for qualifying residents as
determined by Section 51.3 of the California Civil Code (senior citizens or any income level); or d. 15% of the
total number of proposed units are for families of moderate income (80 to 120% of median income) as defined by
Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code.

Based on the 28-units proposed, a total of 3 affordable units will have to be provided for. When providing
inclusionary or affordable housing the applicant is also eligible for a voluntary density bonus of up to 25 percent
over the density allowed by the General Plan land use maps and implementing zoning. The residential portion of
the project will occur on an approximately 1.7-acre parcel and based upon the 15 units per acre allowed in the R3
zoning district, the overall allowed density on the site is 25-units. Therefore the applicant will have to utilize the
density bonus provision to achieve the 28-units proposed. The applicant has indicated that the 3 affordable units
will be achieved by restricting 3 of the total 28-units for senior citizens. To be eligible for the density bonus,
however the applicant will have to provide the affordable units to only the very low-income group as discussed
above. It is within the applicant’s right to restrict the affordable units to senior citizens as long as those persons
are within the very low-income group as defined by the California Health and Safety Code Section 50105. It will
be up to the applicant to determine which units will be utilized as affordable. Provisions for ensuring affordability
will be addressed by conditions of project approval, pursuant to existing ordinance requirements for inclusionary
housing. The recommended condition of permit approval is shown below.

Nevada County Planning Department Condition:

    1. To be eligible for a Density Bonus and to meet the County’s inclusionary housing requirement, the
       developer shall provide a total of three (3) inclusionary/affordable housing units within this project as
       required by the Nevada County Subdivision Ordinance Sec. L-IV 3.12 and the Land Use and Development
       Code Sec. L-II 3.16. All required inclusionary/affordable housing units shall be made available to the
       Very Low Income group, as defined by the Nevada County Housing Element, to received the proposed
       density bonus of 3-units.

           Bear River Plaza (28-units), 3 units: 3 Very Low Income households

        Prior to the map recordation, the developer shall identify, which of the proposed 28 residential units will
        be the inclusionary lots/units to be restricted. A secured commitment to construct the required affordable
        units shall be provided and a declaration of affordable housing restriction, in a form mutually agreeable to
        County and developer, shall be recorded concurrently with the map, restricting occupancy of the
        inclusionary units. In addition, prior to map recordation, the developer shall enter into an agreement with
        the Nevada County Department of Housing and Community Services, as the monitoring authority for
        qualifying occupants for the affordable units.

Mitigation Measures: Because this project proposes to increase the existing housing potential, and because
assurance of affordability for those units designated “affordable” is required by County Ordinance and General


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Plan Policy, no impacts to housing opportunities will occur as a result of the proposed project and no mitigation
measures are required with the inclusion of the condition of permit approval shown above.


3.        GEOLOGY / SOILS

Environmental Setting: Topography of the site varies from mild to moderate slopes with elevations ranging from
approximately 1,400 to 1,510 feet above mean sea level. The Soil Survey of Nevada County, prepared by the Soil
Conservation Service, identifies this site as dominated by loamy, metamorphosed volcanics in the Boomer soil
series (5 – 15% slopes). These moderately slow-draining soils have a slight to moderate hazard of erosion on
slopes less than 15%. The Boomer soils are typically suited for annual range and irrigated pasture.

Will the proposal result in:                          Potentially      Less Than       Less Than       No       Reference
                                                      Significant   Significant with   Significant   Impact      Source
                                                        Impact         Mitigation        Impact               (Appendix A)
                                                                     Incorporation
a. Exposure to or production of unstable earth
   conditions such as landslides, earthquakes,
   liquefaction, soil creep, mudslides, ground
   failure (including expansive, compressible,
   collapsible soils), or similar hazards?                                                                     6,11,29

b. Disruptions, displacements, compaction or
   over covering of the soil by cuts, fills, or
   extensive grading?                                                                                             A,29

c. Be located on a geologic unit or soil that is
   unstable, or that would become unstable as a
   result of the project, and potentially result in
   on- or off-site landslide, lateral spreading,
   subsidence, liquefaction or collapse?                                                                       6,18,14

d. Have soils incapable of adequately
   supporting the use of septic tanks or
   alternative wastewater disposal systems
   where sewers are not available for the
   disposal of wastewater?                                                                                     C,11,29

e. Any increase in wind or water erosion of
   soils, on or off the site?                                                                                   11,26

f.   Changes in siltation, deposition or erosion,
     which may modify the channel of a river, or
     stream, or the bed any bay, inlet or lake?                                                                11,26,29

g. Excessive grading on slopes of over 30
   percent?                                                                                                     A, P




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Impact Discussion: The project site is currently undeveloped. The proposed project consists of approximately
40,000-square feet of commercial space in 4 buildings, 28 residential units in 4 buildings, a clubhouse and pool,
and vast areas of parking and landscaping. Public sewer and water will serve the development. The site will be
mass-graded, primarily to achieve adequate drainage and ADA required grades throughout the site.

Slopes on the site are relatively flat near Combie Road with steeper areas of approximately 30% slopes near the
rear property line. The steep slopes are results of what appears to be previous grading activities and are not
naturally occurring on the site. Section L-II 4.3.13 of the Land Use and Development Code (LUDC) and Policy
1.17 and 1.18 identify steep slopes in excess of 30% as environmentally sensitive resources. However, because the
limited areas of steep slopes were a result of grading activities and area not naturally occurring on the site, they are
not considered to be sensitive resources as defined by the LUDC. The projects preliminary grading plan show that
retaining walls of approximately 10-feet in size will be utilized to stabilize any grading within the steeper areas of
the site. Grading activities through the limited areas of steeper slopes are included in the engineered improvement
and grading plans and any potential impacts through these small areas will be less than significant.

The proposed project will perform mass grading on the project site (APN 21-730-74) with 1.5-acres to be retained
as open space. The project’s application estimates that approximately 19,500 cubic yards of cut and fill will occur
as a result of the proposed project. The project’s application also estimates that an undisclosed amount of cut
material may be exported off of the project site. The location of the receiving site will be determined and approved
of during the grading permit process. A Geotechnical Report prepared by the applicant’s consulting engineers and
geologist, evaluated the surface and subsurface conditions of the project area for the purpose of future grading.
The Report concludes that the soils on the project site area can support the development as proposed, subject to a
number of mitigation measures to be incorporated into the grading permit improvement plans. These mitigation
measures include recommendations for treatment during clearing and grubbing, fill placement, cut and fill slope
grading, erosion control, foundation systems and subsurface and surface water drainage. The Report reviewed the
project when the proposal was for 5 commercial buildings and 2 multi-family residential buildings and therefore
the Report will most likely have to be amended for the new design prior to submitting a grading permit application.

The Nevada County Building Department has reviewed the proposed project and has provided recommended
conditions of permit approval shown below. The project is proposed as a phased development to be constructed in
7 phases, however to ensure that the site is properly graded and prepared for construction the building department
will require that all site improvements and site development be completed, approved and accepted by the building
department via a grading permit prior to recordation of phase one of the project. With the observation of the
recommendations of the project’s Geotechnical Report and the provisions of a grading permit, the proposed project
is not anticipated to result in a potentially significant impact to geology and soils.

Building Department Conditions:

        1. Applicant shall secure appropriate building permits from the building department for the construction
           of the proposed structures this includes the site retaining walls.

        2. Prior to recordation of phase one all site improvements and site development shall be completed,
           approved and accepted by the building department via a grading permit.

        3. A geotechnical engineering report shall accompany the application for the grading permit and building
           permits. The report shall include but not be limited to site grading recommendations and building
           design criteria as established by the 2007 California Building Code.



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          4. As an advisory note; The 2007 California Building Code will be in affect at the time of building permit
             application which includes fire resistive construction requirements as outline in Chapter 7A "Wildland
             and Urban Interface".

Mitigation & Residual Impact: To ensure that the proposed project does not result in potential geological and
soil impacts, the following mitigation measure shall be required:

Mitigation Measure 3.A: Grading plans shall include the time of year for construction activities. No
construction shall occur after October 15 and before May 15 unless the Chief Building Official, or his/her
authorized agent, determines that project soil conditions are adequate to accommodate construction activities.


4.        HYDROLOGY / WATER QUALITY

Environmental Setting: The U.S.G.S. maps indicate there are no seasonal or intermittent watercourses on the
project site. According to the project’s biological report the nearest water feature to the project site is a roadside
drainage ditch along Combie Road. The Nevada Irrigation District will provide domestic water to the site.

Will the proposal result in:                         Potentially      Less Than       Less Than       No       Reference
                                                     Significant   Significant with   Significant   Impact      Source
                                                       Impact         Mitigation        Impact               (Appendix A)
                                                                    Incorporation
a. Violate any water quality standards or waste
   discharge requirements?                                                                                     C,26

b. Substantially deplete groundwater supplies
   or interfere substantially with groundwater
   recharge such that there would be a net
   deficit in aquifer volume or a lowering of
   the local groundwater table level (e.g., the
   production rate of pre-existing nearby wells
   would drop to a level, which would not
   support existing land uses or planned uses
   for which permits have been granted)?                                                                         C

c. Substantially alter the existing drainage
   pattern of the site or area, including through
   the alteration of the course of a stream or
   river, in a manner that would result in
   substantial erosion or siltation on- or off-
   site?                                                                                                        P,26

d. Substantially alter the existing drainage
   pattern of the site or area, including through
   the alteration of the course of a stream or
   river, or substantially increase the rate or
   amount of surface runoff in a manner, which
   would result in flooding on- or off-site?                                                                    P,26



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e. Create or contribute runoff water which
   would exceed the capacity of existing or
   planned storm water drainage systems or
   provide substantial additional sources of
   polluted runoff?                                                                                           P

f.   Otherwise   substantially   degrade    water
     quality?                                                                                               A,26

g. Place housing within a 100-year flood
   hazard area as mapped on a federal Flood
   Hazard Boundary or Flood Insurance Rate
   Map or other flood hazard delineation map?                                                                15

h. Place within a 100-year flood hazard area
   structures, which would impede or redirect
   flood flows?                                                                                             15

i.   Expose people or structures to a significant
     risk of loss, injury or death involving
     flooding, including flooding as a result of
     the failure of a levee or dam?                                                                         15

j.   Inundation by mudflow?                                                                                 11

Impact Discussion: As stated above the project site does not contain any watercourses or hydrological features.
The nearest water feature is a roadside drainage ditch, which according to the project’s biological inventory is not
considered jurisdictional waters of the United States. The proposed project will result in significant grading on the
project site, which has the potential to impact the water quality downstream in the drainage ditch. Grading
activities require a County grading permit. Additionally, construction activities greater than one-acre in
disturbance require a National Pollutant Discharge Eliminate System (NPDES) Permit issued by the State Water
Resources Control Board to address storm water runoff. The NPDES permit requires the developer to prepare a
Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) with the intent of keeping storm water discharge at pre-
construction levels. Further, the project will result in creating a significant amount of impervious surfacing on the
project site for the construction of interior parking and structures. This impervious surface is anticipated to result
in increased runoff on the project site. Therefore, the applicant will be required to ensure that the development
will result in no net increase in storm water runoff from pre-project conditions consistent with General Plan Policy
3.19 and Higgins Area Plan Policies 10 and 41. Higgins Area Plan Policy 9 requires that water quality assurances
be included in improvements plans to ensure long-term protection of water quality. Mitigation Measures are
provided below to ensure that no net increase in runoff or sedimentation will occur as a result of the proposed
project.

Mitigation & Residual Impact: To offset the potential for significant off-site drainage impacts to result from
project development, the following mitigations shall apply. The mitigation measures shown below must be
included as a note on all grading and improvement plans.




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Mitigation Measure 4A: A detailed grading and drainage plan shall be prepared by a registered civil engineer and
reviewed and approved by the Nevada County Department of Public Works prior to the issuance of any grading
permits or construction activity. The grading and drainage plans shall include the following:

        a.    Direction of all surface runoff to a stable off-site water source;
        b.    Sizing and capacity of off-site drainage facilities;
        c.    Temporary erosion control measures;
        d.    Schedule and time of year for construction activities;
        e.    Stabilization of all cut and fill slopes with plant material, irrigation system and maintenance
              provisions; and
        f.    All stabilization techniques shall be installed within thirty days of site grading work.

Mitigation Measure 4.B: Storm water facilities shall be designed to maintain the peak storm water discharge at
pre-project conditions. The developer’s engineer shall provide pre-project and post-project storm water analysis
identified in Mitigation Measure 4.A. The recommendations of the storm water analysis shall be incorporated
into all improvement and grading plans.

Mitigation Measure 4.C: Grading plans shall include verification that an NPDES permit, issued by the State
Water Resources Control Board, has been approved for the project.

Mitigation Measure 4.D: To prevent draining discharges from carrying silt, grease and other contaminants into
the storm drain system, silt and grease traps shall be installed on site, prior to water entering the drainage system.
The traps shall be monitored for cleaning and repair needs prior to October of each year, unless required by a
State Water Quality Control Board permit to be monitored more often. Records of monitoring and maintenance
shall be maintained by the road maintenance entity or other appropriate agency such as a Home or Business
Owners Association.

Mitigation Measure 4.E: All run-off water from impervious, areas, including roofs, patios, and driveways shall
be captured and directed by way of impervious conduits or culverts to the detention ponds. Outflow ends of the
culverts and/or drainpipes should be fitted with energy dissipaters, such as rip-rap boulders or concrete baffles.
CC&Rs shall identify the responsibility of the homeowners that the drain systems be inspected and cleaned on a
regular basis to ensure that they are functioning correctly.

Mitigation Measure 4.F: Prior to issuance of grading permits or map recordation, improvement plans for all
grading including road construction and drainage improvements shall be submitted to and approved by the
Department of Transportation and Sanitation and/or Building Department. The plans shall incorporate measures
to minimize localized flooding and prevent water quality degradation to the roadside drainage ditch. The erosion
control plan shall ensure that the potential for soil erosion from disturbed areas is decreased to a less than
significant level. The applicant shall plant native grasses and/or landscaping on exposed soil in a timely fashion
and before the onset of seasonal precipitation. The erosion control plan shall be approved by the County prior to
issuance of improvement plans and implemented concurrently with grading and construction activities on the site.
Erosion control features and landscaping shall be installed prior to final inspection.


5.      AIR QUALITY

Environmental Setting: The overall air quality in Nevada County is good, yet two known air quality problems
exist: Ozone and Suspended Particulate Matter (PM-10). Nevada County is considered to be “non-attainment” for


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both pollutants. PM-10 in Grass Valley meets federal ambient ozone standards, but exceeds more stringent State
standards in the winter, primarily due to wood smoke from the use of woodstoves and fireplaces. Violations in
the summer months have been noted during forest fires or periods of open burning. Western Nevada County’s air
quality problems are directly tied to upwind transport of airborne pollutants from the greater Sacramento Area
and from the San Francisco Bay Area.

Will the proposal result in:                                Potentially      Less Than       Less Than       No       Reference
                                                            Significant   Significant with   Significant   Impact      Source
                                                              Impact         Mitigation        Impact               (Appendix A)
                                                                           Incorporation
a. Substantial air emissions or deterioration of
   ambient air quality?                                                                                               22

b. A violation of any air quality standard or
   contribute to an existing or projected air
   quality violation?                                                                                                 22

c. Exposure of                 sensitive   receptors   to
   pollutants?                                                                                                        21,P,I

d. The creation of objectionable smoke, ash or
   odors?                                                                                                             A,P,I

e. Dust generation?                                                                                                   A,P,I

f.   Exceeding any potentially significant
     thresholds adopted in County Plans and
     Goals?                                                                                                           16,18,I

g. Result in a cumulatively considerable net
   increase of any criteria pollutant for which
   the project region is non-attainment under
   an applicable federal or state ambient air
   quality standard (including releasing
   emissions     that    exceed     quantitative
   thresholds for ozone precursors)?                                                                                    I

Impact Discussion: This project site is not mapped as having a high potential for ultramafic rock containing
asbestos. The proposed on-site construction activities will require some substantial grading and vegetation
removal. If improperly managed or controlled, these activities may have the potential to produce off site dust and
smoke impacts depending upon the time of year and air conditions. Standard mitigation measures should be
imposed to minimize the potential for adverse air quality impacts to result. Site specific grading permits will
require erosion control measures and best management practices to ensure that the proposed project will not
result in impacts to air quality. Comments received from the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District
(NSAQMD) state that the District has three primary concerns relating to air quality impacts from the proposed
project. These are: 1) Dust created during construction; 2) Smoke that would result from any open burning
associated with project development; and 3) Incompatible long-term uses of the developed facility. To help
alleviate the NSAQMD’s concerns, the District has proposed mitigation measures and conditions of permit
approval, which are anticipated to make the impacts from the proposed project, to air quality, less than


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significant. Below is a list of recommended conditions from the NSAQMD, followed by mitigation measures to
bring impacts of the proposed project on air quality below the threshold of significance.

Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District Conditions:

    1. Pursuant to District Rule 226: Dust Control applies to any construction project. It states that, “Any
       person must take all reasonable precautions to minimize dust emissions.” Additionally if the area to be
       disturbed exceeds one acre, then a “Dust Control Plan” must be submitted to, and approved by, the
       District before soil is disturbed. Frequently, this consists of a set of conditions on the grading plan or a
       land use permit. The following are the District’s recommended dust control measures, which may
       constitute an approvable dust control plan.

            a. The applicant shall be responsible for ensuring that all adequate dust control measures are
               implemented in a timely manner during all phases of project development and construction.

            b. All material excavated, handled, stock0piled, or graded shall be sufficiently watered, treated, or
               covered to prevent fugitive dust from being generated and crossing the property boundaries.
               Water should occur as needed to accomplish these objectives.

            c. Visible track-out onto public roadways shall be minimized and shall be removed at least twice
               per week, and additionally as needed to prevent visible dust from crossing any property line.

            d. All land clearing, grading, earth moving, or excavation activities on a project shall be suspended
               as necessary to prevent excessive windblown dust when winds are expected to exceed 20 mph.

            e. All materials transported off-site shall be either sufficiently watered or securely covered to
               prevent public nuisance.

    2. If any machine, equipment, apparatus, device, process or combination thereof which results in the
       emission of air contaminants through a duct or vent are proposed for the site, an Authority to Construct
       permit may be required. This applies to any paint spray booth, generator, solvent tank, baghouse or other
       air contaminant sources. Additional information and application forms are available from the NSAQMD.

    3. If serpentine, ultramafic rock or naturally occurring asbestos are discovered during construction or
       grading, or otherwise determined to exist on site, the District should be notified immediately (no later
       than the following business day), and specific requirements contained in Section 93105 of Title 17 of the
       California code of Regulations must be strictly complied with. It is important to not that site is only one
       half or a mile from mapped ultramafic rock to the northwest.

Mitigation & Residual Impact: Construction activities may have short-term impacts to the environment; these
impacts are adequately mitigated below. A Note showing Mitigation Measures 5.A-5.E shall be included on all
improvement, grading and building permit plans.

Mitigation Measure 5.A: The developer shall be responsible for ensuring that adequate dust control measures are
implemented during construction activities, including the application of water on all graded surfaces and excavated
or stockpiled materials. Dust control measures shall be included in Improvement or Grading Plans.

Mitigation Measure 5.B: Open burning of site or road-cleared vegetation is conditionally prohibited. Cleared
vegetation should be treated by legal means other than open burning, such as chipping, shredding or grinding.

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Open burning of site-cleared vegetation will be permitted only upon Northern Sierra Air Quality Management
District acceptance of documentation showing alternatives are unobtainable or economically unfeasible. Prior to
approval of improvement plans for road construction, an approval letter from the NSAQMD shall be obtained,
indicating the approved method of cleared vegetation disposal. Such methods shall be noted on the improvement
plans. At no time shall open burning of materials generated by this project occur at another site unless approved in
advance by the NSAQMD.

Mitigation Measure 5.C: All parking and driving areas shall be paved.

Mitigation Measure 5.D: Each commercial unit owner shall be responsible for ensuring that no odors constituting
a nuisance are emitted from that unit or any source appurtenant to that unit, such as an exhaust pipe, duct or vent.
Complaints about odors should be addressed to the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District, which for
purposes of enforcing this condition, may determine if a “nuisance” situation exists.

Mitigation Measure 5.E: Any person building, altering, replacing, or operating any source of air contaminants
during construction, whether portable or stationary (but not mobile), shall first obtain an Authority to Construct
from the Air Pollution Control Officer, unless the District has determined that such equipment is exempt from
permitting or unless such equipment is currently registered with the California Air Resources Board under the
Portable Equipment Registration Program. The applicant shall be responsible for communicating with the District
regarding the possible need for permitting. Examples of equipment for which an air pollution permit may be
required to include, but are not limited to:

          a.      Portable or stationary equipment units including confined and unconfined abrasive blasting, Portland
                  concrete batch plants, sand and gravel screening, rock crushing, and unheated pavement recycling
                  and crushing operations.
          b.      Engines used in conjunction with the aforementioned equipment and the following types of portable
                  operations: pumps, compressors, diesel pile-driving hammers, welding equipment, cranes,
                  woodchippers, equipment necessary for the operation of portable engines and equipment units.


6.        TRANSPORTATION / CIRCULATION:

Environmental Setting: Combie Road provides the primary access to the project site, the Lake of the Pines
residential area, as well as some schools and several commercial properties. The posted speed limit is 35 miles per
hour. Combie Road runs in an east-west direction from SR 49 to West Hacienda Drive, and it runs in a north-south
direction from the Combie Road/Magnolia Road/West Hacienda Drive intersection to the south. Combie Road is a
County maintained major collector road. West Hacienda Drive provides the secondary access to the project site
and is a local roadway providing access to residential, commercial, and industrial uses, as well as a day care and a
church/school. West Hacienda Drive classifies as a Local Class 2 roadway according to Nevada County Road
Design Standards. Levels of Service (LOS) in the area of the proposed project are generally within the standards
adopted by the County and Caltrans. The most significant congestion currently occurs at the SR 49/Combie Road
intersection and is exacerbated by the existence of at least 5 schools, both large and small, in the project vicinity.

Will the proposal result in:                           Potentially      Less Than       Less Than       No       Reference
                                                       Significant   Significant with   Significant   Impact      Source
                                                         Impact         Mitigation        Impact               (Appendix A)
                                                                      Incorporation
a. Cause an increase in traffic that is
   substantial in relation to the existing traffic


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     load and capacity of the street system (a
     substantial increase in the number of vehicle
     trips, the volume to capacity ratio on roads,
     or congestion at intersections)?                 _____                                              B,P,30

b. A need for private or public               road
   maintenance, or need for new roads?                                                                   B,P,30

c. Effects on existing parking facilities, or
   demand for new parking?                                                                                 P

d. Substantially increase hazards due to a
   design feature (e.g., sharp curves or
   dangerous intersections) or incompatible
   uses (e.g., farm equipment)?                                                                            J,P

e. A substantial impact upon existing transit
   systems or alteration of present patterns of
   circulation or movement of people and/or
   goods?                                                                                                  16

f.   An alteration of waterborne, rail or air
     traffic?                                                                                              n/a

g. An increase in traffic hazards to motor
   vehicles, bicyclists or pedestrians, including
   short-term construction and long-term
   operational?                                                                                         B,24,30

h. Inadequate:
     Sight distance?                                                                                       J
     Ingress/egress?                                                                                       P
     General road capacity?                                                                               B,J
     Emergency access (4290 Standard)?                                                                    B,K

i.   Conflicts with adopted policies supporting
     alternative transportation, e.g. bus turnouts,
     bicycle racks?                                                                                        16

Impact Discussion: The project proposes to take primary access off of Combie Road and have secondary access
off of West Hacienda Drive. The primary access has been designed to utilize an existing encroachment onto
Combie Road that already serves the Dickey property to the west. The applicant has provided a “Letter of Intent to
Negotiate Authorization for a Grant of Access Easement” from the Dickey’s stating that they support the concept
of the shared access driveway between their commercial driveway and the Bear River Plaza Project and that they
will negotiate the terms of the access easement agreement in the future once Bear River Plaza has received
conditional approval from the appropriate decision making bodies (Planning Commission and Board of
Supervisors). The project’s residential element will have primary access and road frontage off of Combie Road via
a 50-foot wide easement that will also provide access to the entire commercial development from Combie Road.


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The project proposes approximately 40,000-square feet of office and specialty retail use and 28, two-bedroom
residential units. The project is anticipated to result in a net average increase of approximately 887 daily trips with
61 a.m. peak-hour trips, and 61 school peak hour trips. These figures were based on the project proposing 22,400
square feet of office space and 27,000-square feet of specialty retail shops and 14 apartment units. The current
proposal is for 25,666-square feet of general office and 13,819-square feet of specialty retail with 28 residential
units. Correspondence from the Nevada County Department of Public Works (DPW) stated that the original traffic
study prepared by LSC Transportation Consultants, Inc. was adequate for the revised project and therefore a
revised traffic study based on the latest proposal was not required.

According to DPW, there is a finite amount of capacity available on Combie Road at the intersection of Combie/
West Hacienda Roads, and at the State Route 49/Combie/Wolf Intersection. The uses that are developed on this
parcel could adversely affect traffic on the entire Combie Corridor. Even if a percentage of the vehicles accessing
this site are assumed to be “pass by trips” (already on the road), the local friction caused by site access traffic will
be detrimental to the functioning of Combie Road at the site driveway and at the Combie/Magnolia/West Hacienda
intersection. This intersection is already greatly affected by the presence of five schools in the immediate area, all
of them utilizing this intersection for access.        The widening of Combie Road to the eventual five-lane
configuration, while in the County’s Traffic Impact Mitigation Fee Program, is not in the five-year Capital
Improvement Program for construction. Improvements to Combie Road by this applicant will be necessary for
safety and operational purposes.

To ensure that the proposed project does not result in significant or potentially significant impacts to traffic and
circulation in the Combie Road corridor, Combie Road/SR 49 intersection and the Combie Road/West Hacienda
Drive intersection, the applicant will be required to pay their fair-share cost of improving the future capacity of the
SR 49/Combie/Wolf Road intersection and perform improvements to Combie Road and West Hacienda Drive.
These improvements include rough grading the northern portion of the ultimate Combie Road right-of-way along
this parcel’s frontage to approximate the final five-lane cross section. The purpose of grading the northern portion
of the Combie Road right-of-way is to allow the future widening of Combie Road to the eventual five-lane width
once it is put into the County’s Capital Improvement Program. The applicant will also be required to construct an
exclusive right turn land from West Hacienda Drive to Combie Road and construct the Combie Road and West
Hacienda Drive entrances in conformance with the County’s Commercial Encroachment standards. The
construction of a right-hand only turn lane at the West Hacienda Drive intersection should assist traffic
movements from West Hacienda Drive to Combie Road. Other major improvements to Combie Road include
constructing a two-way left turn lane west from the site’s Combie driveway to connect to the existing Rosewood
Road/Combie Road left turn lane and a left-turn-out center merge/refuge lane on Combie Road to 250 feet east of
this site’s driveway centerline. These center merge/refuge and left hand turn lanes should allow traffic to freely
enter and exit the project site will out causing major slowdowns for traffic passing by the project site. The
aforementioned improvements will assist in reducing the impact of the proposed development to levels of less than
significance and will leave Combie Road in a state that will allow for an easier improvement to the eventual five-
lane configuration.

Comments have been received from the Nevada County Department of Public Works, Transit Services in regards to
the proposed project. Transit services states that the site is served by Gold Country Stage Route 5 (Grass Valley-
Auburn). There are twelve buses a day that pass by the project location and in all likelihood that number will
increase over time. The Transit Services Division recommends that a bus stop be provided on Combie Road
approximately 200 feet from West Hacienda Drive. The project’s site plan shows a turnout to accommodate the
bus stop and the applicant’s Master Plan document states that a bus stop will be provided. To ensure that the bus
stop is provided for a condition a permit approval will be applied to the project. Having a bus turnout off of
Combie Road, in front of this development, will allow the Gold Country Stage to safely pick-up and drop off


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passengers who either live within the residential portion of this development or within the immediate vicinity
without negatively impacting traffic flow on Combie Drive.

Besides providing a bus stop other alternative transportation provisions for this type of development are required
by the Nevada County Land Use and Development Code (LUDC). Specifically the LUDC requires that at least one
bike rack from every twenty parking spaces be provided. The primary commercial/office parking lot has a total of
204 parking spaces therefore applying the standard of the LUDC a total of 11 bike racks distributed throughout the
development will be required. The residential portion of the site has a total of 57 parking spaces and therefore 3
bike racks within the residential parking lot shall be required. Each rack shall be designed to provide a minimum
four bicycle spaces in each rack, and so that the bike can be locked to the rack. Additionally, General Plan Policies
4.27 and 4.32 and the Higgins Area Plan Policy 48, require that developments of this type provide a pedestrian
component such as a sidewalk or multi-purpose trail along the project frontage. Specifically Higgins Area Plan
Policy 48, requires that: “[a] multi-purpose trail shall be constructed and a meandering landscaped buffer…shall be
installed on the north side of Combie and Manolia Roads from SR 49 to the Magnolia Intermediate School on
Kingston Road.”       The applicant has proposed an 8-foot wide multi-purpose trail that meanders through a
landscaped area to be constructed on the north side of Combie Road along the project frontage. The intention of
the trail is to connect with other segments of the Combie Road multi-purpose trail constructed as a part of the
Saddle Ridge development west of the proposed project. To ensure that the applicant constructs the trail a
condition of permit approval from the Department of Public Works will be tied to the development and is shown
below.

With the implementation of the mitigation measures and conditions of permit approval discussed above and shown
below, no residual impacts are anticipated as a result of the proposed project.

Nevada County Planning Department Condition:

    1. Bike Racks: Prior to submittal of improvement plans, a minimum of 11 bike racks shall be shown evenly
       distributed throughout the commercial parking area and 3 bike racks evenly distributed throughout the
       residential parking area on all site plans and specifications. Prior to recordation of each individual phase
       of the project, the bike racks shall be installed in the locations shown on the improvement plans as each
       phase records.

Nevada County Department of Public Works Conditions:

    1. Transit Services: Prior to approval of improvement plans, a bus stop approximately 200 feet west of the
       intersection of Combie Road and West Hacienda Drive must be provided on Combie Road. The bus stop
       should include a bus shelter consistent with Transit Services Division specifications in terms of design and
       lcoatioon. If the design of Combie Road does not provide for on street parking at this locatin, a turnout
       should be constructed to enable buses to stop without obstructing through traffic.

    2. Road Improvements: To be completed prior to occupancy of any phase of this project. Improvement plans,
       prepared by the applicant’s engineer, shall be submitted to and approved by the Department of Public
       Works prior to commencement of road or storm sewer improvements. An Encroachment Permit issued by
       the Nevada County Department of Public Works is required prior to any work within the Combie Road
       right-of-way. Prior to commencement of construction the applicant shall submit a traffic management plan
       to be reviewed by the Department of Public Works.

        a.   Combie Road. (In addition to spot safety and operational improvement mitigation)


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              i.   Rough grade the northern portion of the ultimate Combie Road right-of-way along this parcel’s
                   frontage to approximate the final five-lane cross section in connection with the center merge
                   lane widening and the multi-purpose path construction.

             ii.   Construct a bus stop along this parcel’s frontage. Resolve location and design with Transit
                   Division Staff.

            iii.   Construct the project’s Combie Road entrance in conformance with Commercial Encroachment
                   standards.

        b. West Hacienda Drive Improvements:

              i.   Construct an exclusive right turn lane from West Hacienda Drive to Combie Road.

             ii.   Construct this site’s West Hacienda Drive entrance to Commercial Driveway standards.
                   Provide engineer’s certification that it was constructed according to approved plans.

   3. Pedestrian Improvements: (Consistent with GP Objective 4.15 and GP Policy 4.32) To be completed prior
      to occupancy of any phase of this project.
        a. Construct a multipurpose path along the Combie frontage of this parcel consistent with the path
           project’s approved plans and specifications.

        b. Construct a separated all-weather pedestrian path along this parcel’s West Hacienda Drive frontage.

   4. Provide for the ongoing maintenance of that portion of West Hacienda Drive (and path) along this parcel’s
      frontage and used by this site for access.

   5. Storm Drainage: The applicant’s engineer shall prepare an analysis of the pre-project versus post-project
      storm runoff and measures shall be incorporated into the improvement plans that reduce the offsite
      drainage flows to pre-project conditions. Features shall also be incorporated into the plans that minimize
      the discharge of pollutants in conformance with General Plan Policy 11.6A.

   6. Document the legal right of traffic from this project to utilize the proposed driveway on the (Dickey)
      parcel immediately to the west.

   7. Traffic Impact Mitigation Fee:

        a. A Traffic Impact Mitigation Fee, in accordance with the latest adopted Resolution establishing and
           charging a road improvement fee within the unincorporated territory of Nevada County will be levied
           for this development and will be based on the latest fee schedule adopted by the Nevada County
           Board of Supervisors.

Parcel Map Conditions of Approval

   8. Right-of-Way:

        a. Dedicate for all public purposes adequate right-of-way to contain the widening of Combie Road to
           include the multi-purpose path consistent with the Combie Road ultimate right-of- way plan line
           depicted on “Exhibit A” of Board Resolution 05-113.


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           b. Provide adequate right-of-way to contain an exclusive right turn lane from West Hacienda Drive to
              Combie Road.

     9. Common access easement and maintenance agreement:

           a. Establish a mutual use access easement for the common use areas and support facilities and
              provide for their long-term maintenance.

     10. Tax Statement:

               The Tax Statement shall be signed by the Nevada County Treasurer/Tax Collector prior to Final Map
               submittal to the Nevada County Department of Transportation and Sanitation for approval.

Mitigation & Residual Impact: To offset potential impacts to transportation and circulation, the aforementioned
conditions of permit approval and the following mitigation measures shall apply.

Mitigation Measure 6.A: Spot Traffic Safety and Operational Improvements: To be completed prior to occupancy
of any phases of this project.

          a.    Construct a two-way left turn lane west from this site’s Combie driveway to connect to the
                existing Rosewood Road/Combie Road left turn lane. Widen Combie Road if necessary and
                restripe.

          b.    Construct a left-turn-out center merge/refuge lane on Combie Road to 250 feet east of this site’s
                driveway centerline, plus taper. Widen Combie Road and re-stripe.

Mitigation Measure 6.B: The developers shall pay their fair-share cost of improving the future capacity of the
State Route 49/Combie/Wolf intersection. The project identified at this time to provide the additional future
capacity plus the addition of a second southbound left turn lane on State Route 49.


7.        BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES

Environmental setting: The primary habitat within the project site is Annual Grassland. Only a few scattered
trees and shrubs occur within the project site, with most occurring along the western property line. Some small
valley oaks and a foothill pine occur near the southwestern corner of the project site near Combie Road. The site
does not contain any water features nor does it contain any sensitive biological habitat, such as landmark oak trees
or groves. During the biologist’s site visit, a red tailed hawk was observed forging in the annual grasslands of the
site. No sensitive or special status species or habitat occurs on the project site.

Will the proposal result in:                          Potentially      Less Than       Less Than       No       Reference
                                                      Significant   Significant with   Significant   Impact      Source
                                                        Impact         Mitigation        Impact               (Appendix A)
                                                                     Incorporation
a. Have a substantial adverse effect, either
   directly or through habitat modifications, on
   any species identified as a candidate,
   sensitive, or special status species in local or
   regional plans, policies, or regulations, or by



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     the California Department of Fish and Game
     or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service?                                                                   26

b. Have a substantial adverse effect on any
   riparian habitat or other sensitive natural
   community identified in local or regional
   plans, policies, regulations, or by the
   California Department of Fish and Game or
   US Fish and Wildlife Service?                                                                          26

c. A reduction in the extent, diversity, or
   quality of native vegetation, including brush
   removal for fire prevention and flood
   control improvements?                                                                                  26

d. Have a substantial adverse effect on
   federally protected wetlands as defined by
   Section 404 of the Clean Water Act
   (including, but not limited to, marsh, vernal
   pool, coastal, etc.) through direct removal,
   filling, hydrological interruption, or other
   means?                                                                                                 10,26

e. Interfere substantially with the movement of
   any native resident or migratory fish or
   wildlife species or with established native
   resident or migratory wildlife corridors, or
   impede the use of native wildlife nursery
   sites?                                                                                                 26

f.   Conflict with any local policies or
     ordinances protecting biological resources,
     such as a tree preservation policy or
     ordinance?                                                                                          A,26

g. Introduction of any factors (light, fencing,
   noise, human presence and/or domestic
   animals), which could hinder the normal
   activities of wildlife?                                                                               P,26

Impact Discussion: The Biological Inventory prepared for the project area was prepared in June of 2005. The
project site survey did not reveal any endangered, threatened, or special status species. There are no blue line
drainage courses, creeks, or wetlands located within the property. The proposed project may result in the removal
of a few large pine trees and some smaller foothill oak trees. During the biologist’s site visit, a red-tailed hawk
was observed forging in the annual grasslands and therefore the biologist made the conclusion that some of the
larger trees near the northwest corner of the site may act as suitable habitat for nesting of raptors. The biologist
has recommended mitigation, shown below to ensure that nesting sites are not significantly impacted during
construction activities. Additionally, with the majority of the proposed grading disturbing only the non-native
annual grasslands, significant biological resource impacts are not anticipated. Given the limited biological

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resources on site and the minimal loss of trees, the project is not expected to result in any significant biological
resource impacts.

Mitigation & Residual Impact: To offset the potential biological impacts and residual impacts, the following
mitigation measures shall be required:

Mitigation Measure 7.A: To avoid take of raptor nests, removal or disturbance of larger trees located on site
should be avoided to the extent feasible. If determined to be necessary, tree removals should be conducted only
between mid-September and mid-February, outside of the typical breeding season. If tree removals are
determined to be necessary during the typical breeding season, a qualified biologist should conduct a raptor nest
survey no more than 30 days prior to initiation of proposed development activities. Survey results should then be
submitted to the State of California Department of Fish and Game. If the biologist determines that a tree slated
for removal is being used for nesting at that time, disturbance should be avoided until after the young have
fledged from the nest and achieved independence. If no nesting is found to occur, necessary tree removal may
then proceed.


8.      MINERAL RESOURCES

Environmental Setting: Significant areas of Nevada County contain mineral deposits and between the 1850’s
and the early 1900’s, the County’s economy was mine based. The project site is located within a Community
Region developed with high-density residential and commercial uses. It is not mapped with an MRZ (important
mineralized area) zone nor is it adjacent to any known previous mining activity.

Will the proposal result in:                         Potentially      Less Than       Less Than       No       Reference
                                                     Significant   Significant with   Significant   Impact      Source
                                                       Impact         Mitigation        Impact               (Appendix A)
                                                                    Incorporation
a. Result in the loss of availability of a known
   mineral resource that would be of value to
   the region and the residents of the state?                                                                  1,18

b. Result in the loss of availability of a locally
   important mineral resource recovery site
   delineated on a local general plan, specific
   plan or other land use plan?                                                                                1,18

Impact discussion: No impacts to existing mining activity nor potential future mining activity will occur as a
result of this project.

Mitigation & Residual Impact: No mitigation is required.


9.      HAZARDS / HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

Environmental Setting: The property is not within or adjacent to any abandoned solid waste disposal sites that
are known to the County nor is the project is not within 2 miles of an airport.




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a.     In the known history of this property, have there been any past uses, storage, or discharge of hazardous
       materials? (Examples include, but are not limited to, fuel or oil stored in underground tanks, pesticides,
       solvents, or other chemicals.)                               Yes          Maybe       No 

b.     Will the proposed project involve the use, production or disposal of materials, which pose a hazard to
       people or animal, or plant populations in the area effected? Yes      Maybe         No 

Will the proposal result in:                          Potentially      Less Than       Less Than       No       Reference
                                                      Significant   Significant with   Significant   Impact      Source
                                                        Impact         Mitigation        Impact               (Appendix A)
                                                                     Incorporation
a.   Create a significant hazard to the public or
     the environment through the routine
     transport, use, or disposal of hazardous
     materials?                                                                                                  C

b. Create a significant hazard to the public or
   the environment through reasonably
   foreseeable upset and accident conditions
   involving the release of hazardous materials
   into the environment?                                                                                         P

c. Emit hazardous emissions or handle
   hazardous or acutely hazardous materials,
   substances, or waste within one-quarter mile
   of an existing or proposed school?                                                                             P

d. Located on a site that is included on a list of
   hazardous materials sites compiled pursuant
   to Government Code Section 65962.5 and,
   as a result, would it create a significant
   hazard to the public or the environment?                                                                     C,P

e. For a project located within an airport land
   use plan or, where such a plan has not been
   adopted, within two miles of a public airport
   or public use airport, would the project
   result in a safety hazard for people residing
   or working in the project area?                                                                               20

f.   For a project within the vicinity of a private
     airstrip, would the project result in a safety
     hazard for people residing or working in the
     project area?                                                                                               20

g. Impair implementation of or physically
   interfere with an adopted emergency
   response plan or emergency evacuation
   plan?                                                                                                         B,K


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h. Expose people or structures to a significant
   risk of loss, injury or death involving
   wildland fires, including where wildlands
   are adjacent to urbanized areas or where
   residences are intermixed with wildlands?                                                                   K

Impact Discussion: No potentially hazardous past uses have been identified in the project area and no such uses
will occur as a result of this project. The project proposes to develop neighborhood commercial complex for
general lease and/or sale to small specialty retail and general office businesses, with a 28-unit single ownership
residential component. The Nevada County Environmental Health Department advises that this site has no known
history of hazardous use nor are any such uses proposed. The Department of Environmental Health has provided
conditions of permit approval to ensure that adequate provisions for water and solid waste disposal are provided
for. These conditions are shown below.

State and County Codes require that development comply with minimum fire safety requirements, including the
establishment of fire flow, improved access for fire equipment, and clearance of native brush around structures.
The entire site with the exception of the 1.5-acre open space parcel will be landscaped. Additionally, Fire District
conditions require adequate fire flow and hydrant. The applicant has also prepared a Fire Services Impact Report
for the project. This report identifies potential impacts of the proposed project on fire service in Higgins Fire
Protection District. The developer and the Higgins Fire District have agreed to an additional fire services fee of
$0.23 per square foot for commercial and residential floor area to be paid based on a 5-year term above the adopted
fire services fee for construction in Nevada County. This agreement is between the Higgins Fire District and the
developer and therefore it shall be the responsibility of the Fire District and the applicant to ensure that appropriate
fire service fees are paid prior to building permit issuance. The requirement to pay the additional fee however will
be a condition of permit approval shown below. With the observation of the conditions of permit approval from
the Department of Environmental Health and the Nevada County Fire Prevention Planner the proposed project is
anticipated to have a less than significant impact to hazards and hazardous materials.

Nevada County Department of Environmental Health Conditions:

Prior to Issuance of a Building Permit for Commercial Buildings

    1. Submit plans to the Environmental Health Department for review and compliance with hazardous materials
       handling laws and food handling laws.

Prior to Issuance of a Building Permit for the Residential Condominium Clubhouse

    2. Submit plans of the public swimming pool and clubhouse for review and approval.

Prior to Approval of Occupancy

    3. Apply for and receive an annual permit to operate a public swimming pool.

    4. Provide approved solid waste storage containers.

Nevada County Fire Prevention Planner Conditions:



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      1. In accordance with section 903.2 of the California Fire Code, an approved water supply system shall be
         provided for the fire protection. Prior to grading permit issuance, a water system site plan shall be
         approved by the Nevada County Fire Planner and Higgins Fire District. The water system site plan shall
         included, but not limited to the following:

           a. Fire Department connection (FDC).

           b. Post Indicated Value (PIV).

           c. Hydrant location.

           d. All fire lane marking.

           e. Note on water system site plan stating, all residential and commercial will install an NFPA alarm
              system and sprinkler system.

      2. Automatic sprinkler system and Alarm system, (NFPA) with emergency power back up, installed
         throughout the project and additional booster pump to pressure the system to meet pressure per the
         California Fire Code. Fire sprinkler and alarm plans shall be submitted to the Building Department prior to
         building permit issuance.

      3. The Higgins Fire District and Fire Service Impact Report of the Bear River Plaza project fair share cost.
         As stated in the Mixed-Use Master plan August 2007, an additional fee shall be charged to the project once
         it is approved. The additional fee is $0.23 per square foot for commercial and residential floor area to be
         paid in advance based on a 5-year term. This fee is in addition to the existing $0.44 per square foot fee.
         These Fire District fee are to be paid prior to building permit issuance of each phase.

      4. Any changes in the project are subject for review and conditions.

      5. All structures are subject to the Building Code and Fire Code at the time of application for the building
         permit.

Mitigation & Residual Impact: With the implementation of the conditions shown above, no mitigation is
required.


10.       NOISE

Environmental Setting: The General Plan establishes maximum allowable noise levels for land use projects and
encourages future sensitive land uses to be located in areas where noise generation is limited. As discussed in the
project setting, the project site is within a Community Region and is surrounding by several varied land uses
including commercial and residential uses and the Forest Lake Christian School. Ambient noise levels in the
project vicinity are primarily a result of roadway traffic on Combie Road.

Will the proposal result in:                         Potentially      Less Than       Less Than       No       Reference
                                                     Significant   Significant with   Significant   Impact      Source
                                                       Impact         Mitigation        Impact               (Appendix A)
                                                                    Incorporation




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a. Exposure of persons to, or the generation of,
   noise levels in excess of the County’s
   adopted standards established in the General
   Plan and Zoning Ordinance?                                                                               23

b. Exposure of persons to or generation of
   excessive ground borne vibration or ground
   borne noise levels (e.g., blasting)?                                                                      P

c. A substantial permanent increase in ambient
   noise levels in the project vicinity above
   levels existing without the project?                                                                     A,P

d. A substantial temporary or periodic increase
   in ambient noise levels in the project
   vicinity above levels existing without the
   project?                                                                                                  A,P

e. For a project located within an airport land
   use plan or, where such a plan has not been
   adopted, within two miles of a public airport
   or public use airport, would the project
   expose people residing or working in the
   project area to excessive noise levels?                                                                   20

f.   For a project within the vicinity of a private
     airstrip, would the project expose people
     residing or working in the project area to
     excessive noise levels?                                                                                 20

Impact Discussion: During construction the noise levels created by the proposed project may be above the
standards of the County General Plan Noise Element; however the excessive noise will be temporary and once the
site is developed the noise created will be less than any local or regional noise standards. The County General
Plan Noise Element establishes a threshold for noise annoyance for commercial zoned properties at 75 decibels or
dBA between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m and at 65 dBA from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. However, where two different
zoning districts abut, the standard applicable to the lower, or more restrictive, district plus 5 dBA shall apply.
Since the project will be adjacent to both residential and open space zoned parcels the noise level threshold for
those zoning districts plus 5 dBA will apply. Therefore, the noise levels measured at the exterior property lines
shall not exceed 60 dBA between the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., 55 dBA between the hours of 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.
and 45 dBA between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. The residential and open space zoning districts essential
have the same threshold noise limits, except between the hours of 10 p.m and 7 a.m. where the stricter of the two
standards shall apply. This standard is called out in Mitigation Measure 10.C below. The County’s Zoning Code
exempts construction activities from the County Noise Standards as temporary noise and once the project is
constructed the noise impacts are expected to be within the General Plan/Zoning Ordinance noise policy limits.
Overall, the proposed project is not anticipated to significantly increase ambient noise levels in the project area or
expose sensitive receptors to noise levels beyond those allowed by the County General Plan Noise Element with
the incorporation of the mitigation measures shown below. Therefore, the impact of the proposed project to
applicable noise standards is less than significant.


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Mitigation & Residual Impact: To offset the potentially adverse impacts associated with grading, road
construction, vegetation clearance, and building construction on surrounding residential uses, the following
mitigation measure shall be required and a Note showing Mitigation Measure 10.A-10.C shall be included on the
Supplemental Map and incorporated into all grading or improvement plans.

Mitigation Measure 10.A: Hours of operation for construction activities shall be limited to the hours of 7:00 a.m.
to 7:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday. Grading and improvement plans shall reflect these limited hours of operation and
shall be reviewed by the Planning Department prior to permit issuance.

Mitigation Measure 10.B: Fixed construction equipment, including compressors and generators, shall be located
as far as feasibly possible from residential properties (proposed on the southern side of the building). All noise-
generating tools shall be shrouded or shielded, and all intake and exhaust ports on power construction equipment
shall be muffled or shielded.

Mitigation Measure 10.C: Noise levels generated by this use shall not exceed the standards established by the
General Plan, for commercial zoning districts adjacent to residential and open space zoning districts. In the event
that noise complaints are received, the property owner shall obtain an acoustical analysis evaluating noise levels
generated by the business(es). If noise levels exceed the 60 Leq or 80 Lmax (between 7.a.m. and 7 p.m.), 55 Leg
and 70 Lmax (between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.) and 50 Leq and 60 Lmax (between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.) standards, as
established by Section L-II 4.1.7.D.4 of the Land Use and Development Code, the acoustical analysis shall provide
methods to attenuate excessive noise levels, including but not limited to measures that restrict operations or that
require noise barriers along the southern and eastern property lines of the site, compatible with approved building
colors and materials.


11.       PUBLIC SERVICES:

Environmental Setting: The following public services are provided to this site:

Fire: The Higgins Fire District in coordination with CalFire provides fire protection services to this area. The
CalFire Severity Hazard Maps identify the area of proposed development as an area of high fire hazard.
Police: Law enforcement services to the project site are provided by the Nevada County Sheriff Department.
Public Water: Public water is available to this site.
Public Sewer: The Wastewater Division of the Nevada County Department of Public Works, operates and
maintains a sewage collection system and treatment facility for the Lake of the pines area, Zone 2 of Nevada
County Sanitation District #1.
Public Schools: The Pleasant Ridge Elementary School and the Nevada Union School District serve this site.

Will the proposal result in:                       Potentially      Less Than       Less Than       No       Reference
                                                   Significant   Significant with   Significant   Impact      Source
                                                     Impact         Mitigation        Impact               (Appendix A)
                                                                  Incorporation
a. Substantial adverse physical impacts
   associated with the provision of new or
   physically altered governmental facilities,
   need for new or physically altered
   governmental facilities, the construction of
   which could cause significant environmental
   impacts, in order to maintain acceptable


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    service ratios, response times or other
    performance objectives for any of the public
    services:

    1)   Fire protection?                                                                                 K,L
    2)   Police protection?                                                                                A
    3)   Schools?                                                                                          A
    4)   Parks?                                                                                            A
    5)   Other public facilities?                                                                          A

Impact Discussion: The project will result in 28 new single ownership units in 4 two-story multi-family style
buildings, a clubhouse and pool and approximately 40,000 square feet of specialty retail and office use in 4
commercial buildings. As required by State and local law, appropriate mitigation fees for public services will be
required as conditions of approval for the project. State and County Codes require that development comply with
minimum fire safety, including clearance of native brush from around structures and providing for adequate fire
flow in the project area.

The applicant is proposing to utilize the public wastewater collection and treatment system that is exists in the
Lake of the Pines area. According to comments from the Nevada County Sanitation District #1, the project
property already has 16 Equivalent Dwelling Units (EDUs) of sewer capacity tin the Sanitation Districts Lake of
the Pines Zone 2, that can be utilized upon annexation into the Lake of the Pines Zone 2 service area and the
construction of needed onsite and offsite improvements. The upgrade/expansion of the Lake of the Pines sewer
treatment facility is planned to be completed in February 2008 and will add 500 Equivalent Dwelling Units (EDUs)
of sewer capacity. Annexation through LAFCo into Nevada County Sanitation District No. 1, Lake of the Pines,
Zone 2, is required for the proposed project to utilize its sewer capacity. The project presently has 16 EDUs of
sewer capacity allocated. It will need another 12 EDUs of sewer capacity to accommodate the 28 units of single-
family housing. The applicant will need to determine how many additional EDUs of sewer capacity will be needed
to serve the approximately 40,000 square feet of office/retail use. The design value per EDU in Lake of the Pines,
Zone 2, is 203 gallons per day (gpd) for Average Dry Weather Flow (ADWF). The additional EDUs will need to
be acquired. This acquisition of unallocated sewer capacity (EDUs) will be from Lake of the Pines, Zone 2, at
$14,700 per EDU. Additionally, design and construction of needed onsite and offsite sewer laterals and mains to
connect to the existing Lake of the Pines sewage collection system in addition to the annexation into Sanitation
District Lake of the Pines, Zone 2, is required. The project’s master plan also identifies that additional EDUs may
be needed to serve the project, depending on final uses. These additional EDUs may also be acquired as
previously described. Sanitation District #1 has provided a list of conditions of permit approval that will ensure
that the site has adequate wastewater disposal. These conditions are shown below with the mitigation measures
requiring that the EDUs be obtained as needed prior to the recordation of each individual phase of the project.

Fire: The applicant proposes to construct and install a hydrant system to serve the project, which water will be
provided by NID. Prior to recordation of individual phases of the proposed project the County Fire Marshall and
the Higgins Fire District will need to approve the final hydrant layout and sprinkler system required for the
structures on the project site. The applicant has provided a Fire Services Impact Report, which identifies an
additional mitigation fee above the standard fire mitigation fee for this type of project that has been agreed upon
by both the developer and the fire district. Fire service is discussed in greater detail and conditions of permit
approval from the Higgins Fire District and CalFire are provided in Section 9: Hazards and Hazardous Materials
above, which will ensure that adequate fire service is provided for.




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Schools: The payment of school mitigation fees, adopted pursuance to Government Code Section 53080, will
mitigate any impacts to school services. Since, those fees are established by State Code and District policy, no
mitigation measure is necessary.

No significant impacts to public services have been identified with this project that are not effective mitigated to
levels of less than significance by the conditions of permit approval and mitigation measures shown below.

Nevada County Sanitation District No. 1 Conditions:

    1. Project applicant may need to pay development mitigation for wastewater that could include five months of
       administration, operation and maintenance expenses for cash flow and "buy-in" value of District shared
       vehicles, equipment, building, and property based on a ratio of new sewer capacity (EDUs) for the
       proposed project compared to the existing total number of District EDUs.

    2. Applicant may need to have a financial plan prepared that identifies estimated administration, operation,
       and maintenance costs for the new on site and off site sewage collection system. This plan would also need
       to identify an amortization of the capital improvements over a relatively short period such as ten years.
       The intent of this is to avoid a future situation like Cascade Shores where you have a significant repair,
       replacement, or upgrade needed and inadequate funds available to accomplish the project. This plan would
       also need to identify projected annual sewer charge/EDU based on projected build-out of the project,
       estimated administration, operation, and maintenance costs, and amortization of the capital improvements
       of the sewage collection system.

    3. The applicant would need to have improvement plans and specifications for the onsite and offsite sewage
       collection system improvements in accordance with District Standards and Ordinances for review and
       approval prior to construction. The onsite system would be a private sewer system maintained by the
       property owners. The offsite system (in the Combie ROW/PUE) will be maintained by the District. There
       will need to be a manhole set at or near the property boundary to define the separation between the private
       and District system. The system will need to be designed to accommodate increasing peak flows as the
       system ages from infiltration and inflow from the gravity laterals and leaky faucets/toilets, etc. Said
       facilities may also need to be approved by Nevada County Environmental Health and RWQCB.

    4. The sewage collection system improvements would need to be constructed by the applicant and would
       require inspection by the District prior to final approval and acceptance. “As built” improvement plans
       would need to be provided.

    5. Copies of the sewage collection system operation and maintenance manual shall be provided. A Sanitary
       Sewer Overflow Prevention and Response Plan would need to be prepared, approved by District and
       RWQCB, and copies provided.

    6. Completed offsite sewage collection system would be offered for dedication to the District, along with
       appropriate easements and/or properties to allow for proper operation and maintenance of the wastewater
       system. A copy of a maintenance agreement between the property owners for the private system will need
       to be provided to the District.

    7. Upon acceptance of the facilities by the District, the undeveloped lots may be subject to a standby EDU
       charge and the developed lots upon issuance of a “Final Inspection” from the Nevada County Building
       Department and would then be subject to a connected sewer service charge. Said charges are collected
       annually by the District and would be added to the property tax bill for each parcel.

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      8. All of the costs associated with the above project including planning, environmental, design, plan review,
         annexation, mitigation payments, construction, and construction inspection would be the applicant’s
         responsibility.

Mitigation and Residual Impact: To offset potential impacts on public services, the following mitigation
measures shall apply:

Mitigation Measure 11.A: The developer shall obtain necessary Equivalent Dwelling Units (EDUs) of sewer
capacity needed for each phase of the proposed project, prior to the recordation of the Tentative Parcel Map. The
actual number of EDUs needed for each phase of the project shall be consistent with County Ordinance, and may
vary depending on engineered flow rates of the project. The Nevada County Department of Public Works,
Wastewater Division shall approve the final number of required EDUs per each phase of the project.

Mitigation Measure 11.B: The applicant shall design and construct onsite and offsite wastewater collection
system in accordance with District standards and ordinance up to convey wastewater to the Lake of the Pines
wastewater treatment facility. The system would need to be sized to accommodate the planned future service area
of the Lake of the Pines Zone 2.


12.       UTILITIES / SERVICE SYSTEMS

Environmental Setting: Pacific Gas and Electric will provide electrical service to the project site. The project
will Solid waste generated by this site can be disposed of at the McCourtney Road Transfer Site, which is
maintained by the County of Nevada, who contracts with a solid waste disposal company to haul materials to a
permitted sanitary landfill. Annexing into the Nevada County Sanitation District No. 1 will provide sewage
disposal for the project site. The Nevada Irrigation District (NID) in accordance with Division 11 of the
California Water Code will supply domestic water to the site.

Will the proposal result in:                         Potentially      Less Than       Less Than       No       Reference
                                                     Significant   Significant with   Significant   Impact      Source
                                                       Impact         Mitigation        Impact               (Appendix A)
                                                                    Incorporation
a. Require a need for the extension of
   electrical power or natural gas?                                                                             P

b. Require or result in the construction of new
   water or wastewater treatment facilities or
   expansion of existing facilities, the
   construction of which could cause
   significant environmental effects?                                                                          C,P

c. Exceed wastewater treatment requirements
   of the applicable Regional Water Quality
   Control Board?                                                                                              C,P

d. Have sufficient water supplies available to
   serve the project from existing entitlements



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     and resources, or are new or expanded
     entitlements needed?                                                                                   C,P

e. Require or result in the construction of new
   storm water drainage facilities or expansion
   of existing facilities, the construction of
   which could cause significant environmental
   effects?                                                                                                  P

f.   Be served by a landfill or transfer station
     with sufficient permitted capacity to
     accommodate the project’s solid waste
     disposal needs?                                                                                         B

g. Comply with federal, state, and local
   statutes and regulations related to solid
   waste?                                                                                                   B,P

h. Require a need for the extension of
   communication systems?                                                                                    n/a

Impact Discussion: The proposed project will utilize the Nevada County Sanitation District #1 Lake of the
Pines Zone 2 for wastewater treatment and NID for domestic water. The project’s anticipated impacts to
wastewater collection and treatment and domestic water supply are discussed in detail in Section 11: Public
Services. The potential impacts to wastewater and domestic water supply are mitigated and/or effectively
reduced below levels of less than significance by the mitigation measures and conditions of permit approval
shown in Section 11: Public Services and therefore will not be discussed further in this section.

Adverse impacts on public utilities and service systems are not anticipated by this project. The project is
adequately conditioned to ensure that potentially significant impacts will not occur as a result of the project. The
Nevada County EH Department has also provided conditions of permit approval, which are anticipated assist in
keeping the impact of the proposed project to utilities/service systems to a level of less than significant. These
conditions are shown below.

Nevada County Department of Environmental Health Conditions:

Prior to Recordation

     1. Submit Proof of Service from the Public Water System supplying water to the area.

     2. A supplemental map to be recorded concurrently with the Parcel Map shall bear the statement that there is
        no guarantee sewage can be disposed of on any lot or parcel on the recorded map.

Mitigation and Residual Impact: No mitigation is required. The aforementioned conditions of permit approval
shall apply.




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13.       AESTHETICS

Environmental Setting: The project site is currently a vacant parcel consisting of mostly annual grasslands and
a few scattered trees near the northwestern portion of the site. The project has frontage on both Combie Road
and West Hacienda Drive and is highly visible from both roadways. General Plan policy calls for promoting and
providing for aesthetic design in new development that reflects existing character of the area. While intense land
uses occur within this Community Region, woodlands, pastureland and creeks are also present. Combie Road is
a designated Scenic Corridor and is a major collector road that connects Lake of the Pines and Dark Horse
subdivisions in addition to several schools, commercial development and residential properties to the east of the
project site. The project is within the Higgins Corner area and is governed by the design guidelines of the
Higgins Area Plan and the Western Nevada County Design Guidelines.

Will the proposal result in:                         Potentially      Less Than       Less Than       No       Reference
                                                     Significant   Significant with   Significant   Impact      Source
                                                       Impact         Mitigation        Impact               (Appendix A)
                                                                    Incorporation
a. Demonstrable, negative, aesthetic effects on
   scenic vistas or views open to the public?                                                                  A,P

b. Substantially damage scenic resources,
   including, but not limited to, trees, rock
   outcroppings, and historic buildings within a
   state scenic highway?                                                                                       A,P

c. Substantially degrade the existing visual
   character or quality of the site and its
   surroundings?                                                                                               A,P

d. Create a new source of substantial light or
   glare, which would adversely affect day or
   nighttime views in the area?                                                                                A,P

e. A visually incompatible structure within a
   designated historic district?                                                                               A,P

Impact Discussion: The project proposes to construct a total of 9 structures on the 7.2-acre project parcel. The
developer will be constructing the commercial/office buildings and multi-family housing in seven phases. The
proposed residential development includes 28-single family units in four two-story multi-family buildings, a
clubhouse and a pool to serve the residential component of the development. The commercial and office buildings
will be a mix of single- and two-story buildings including an outdoor elevator tower between commercial/office
buildings 2 and 3. The project proposes to install an approximately 15,000 gallon above ground propane tank on
the 1.7-acre residential parcel between proposed Building 4 and the commercial/office component of the
development. Although screening and landscaping may hide the tank, a 15,000-gallon tank would be an extremely
large feature on the site and could potentially result the substantial degradation of the visual character and quality
of the site. Therefore, to alleviate this potentially significant aesthetic impact of having such a large above ground
propane tank on the site, mitigation is added below requiring that the tank be designed and installed underground.

The County has adopted an Area Plan for the Higgins Village Area, containing Design Guidelines to retain the
small town character of the Higgins Area while serving the basic needs of the surrounding community. This


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project is subject to Zoning Ordinance requirements for lighting, landscaping, signage, and design review. The
applicant has provided architectural design, floor plans, and colors for each of the structures proposed as a part of
this development. The color rendering of the overall site from Combie Road is contained in Appendix E of this
document (See Appendix E: Color Rendering). All of the design is subject to the Higgins Area Plan and Western
Nevada County Design Guidelines, and conditions of approval will ensure that they are consistent with both of
these documents. The applicant has provided a Mixed-Use Master Plan for the Bear River Plaza project that lays
out how the proposed development is consistent with the Higgins Area Plan and the existing structures in the
Higgins Area. This Master Plan is available for review at the Nevada County Planning Department.

The Higgins Area Plan encourages site grading to conserve natural topographic features and appearance by
minimizing the amount of cut and fill by utilizing land form grading to blend graded slopes and benches with the
natural topography. The project proposes extensive grading of the site, in general keeping with the existing
topography. The project however, does include the construction of relatively large (approximately 10-foot tall)
retaining walls to stabilize the existing slope near the rear property lines of the project. The project shall be
conditioned to provide landscaping or architectural features that ensure that the retaining walls do not appear to
be long flat surfaces. This condition is shown below. The mass grading is primarily in order to construct
adequate drainage systems for the project and achieve ADA required grades for the senior housing complex and
to improve Combie Road. The project does propose significant landscaping as part of the project and this
landscaping will be maintained through CC&Rs and letters of surety that the landscaping is property installed and
maintained will be required as conditions of permit approval.

Because the overall site design will be subject to design review, which will occur at a public hearing and will
require consistency with both the Higgins Area Plan and adopted Western Nevada Design Guidelines, and the
project is mitigated to reduce aesthetic impacts, no significant environmental impact related to visual quality is
anticipated.

Nevada County Planning Department Conditions:

    1. If improvement plans show that road improvements will require the use of a retaining wall(s), said wall
       shall incorporate architectural features and landscaping so that it does not appear to be one large
       contiguous flat wall.

    2. Prior to final occupancy on each phase of the development, the applicant shall submit a Final Landscaping
       Plan, prepared by a licensed landscape architect, to the Planning Department for review and approval. The
       intention of the Final Landscaping Plan is to implement the Conceptual Landscaping Plan shown as A12 of
       the submittal packet. The Plan and any/all modifications must be consistent with Section L-II 4.2.7 of the
       LUDC. Further, the final landscaping plan may require additional landscaping for screening between the
       residential and commercial/office uses proposed by the project.

    3. Prior to final occupancy on each phase of the development, the landscape architect/property owner shall
       verify that all plant materials have been established pursuant to the approved plan.

    4. Prior to final occupancy on each phase of the development, the developer shall submit to the County a
       complete maintenance contract or letter of surety providing for proper maintenance of all landscaping and
       irrigation. The property owners shall maintain all plantings and irrigation and in any case where a required
       planting has not survived the property owners shall be responsible for replacement with equal or better
       plant materials.



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      5. All trees and resident species shown for retention shall be incorporated into the grading improvement and
         landscape plans for each phase, including methods to be employed for tree retention and preservation.

Mitigation and Residual Impact: To offset the projects potential to result in significant impacts to aesthetic
resources in the Higgins Area Scenic Corridor, the aforementioned conditions of permit approval and the
following mitigation measure shall apply.

Mitigation Measure 13.A: To lessen the aesthetic impact of the proposed development, the 15,000-gallon
propane tank shown on the Preliminary Utility Plan shall be installed underground. Prior to map recordation,
obtain the necessary permits to install the 15,000-gallon propane tank below grade.


14.       AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES

Environmental Setting: Based on the State Department of Conservation’s Important Farmland Map, the project
site contains no prime agriculture soils. The project site is mapped as Urban-Built Up land.

Will the proposal result in:                        Potentially      Less Than       Less Than       No       Reference
                                                    Significant   Significant with   Significant   Impact      Source
                                                      Impact         Mitigation        Impact               (Appendix A)
                                                                   Incorporation
a. Convert Prime Farmland, Unique Farmland,
   or Farmland of Statewide Importance, as
   shown on the maps prepared pursuant to the
   Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program
   of the California Resources Agency, to non-
   agricultural use?                                                                                          7

b. Conflict with existing zoning for
   agricultural use, or a Williamson Act
   contract?                                                                                                  7,17

c. Involve other changes in the existing
   environment, which due to their location or
   nature, could result in conversion of
   Farmland to non-agricultural use?                                                                          7

Impact Discussion: The project site does not contain any agricultural uses. The proposed development will not
impact any existing or potential agricultural uses. Significant adverse environmental impacts to existing or
potential agriculture operations, or the ability to support future agricultural uses, are not anticipated.

Mitigation and Residual Impact: No mitigation is required.


15.       CULTURAL RESOURCES

Environmental Setting: The varied environmental zones, the geological characteristics and the geographical
position of Nevada County account for an exceedingly rich and exceptionally complex cultural resource base.
There are a relatively large number, and wide array, of recorded prehistoric site types in Western Nevada County.


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A number of State laws regulate the disturbance of archaeological sites and the Nevada County General Plan and
Zoning Regulations establish procedures for identifying potentially sensitive sites. According to a letter from the
projects archeologist (Peak and Associates, Inc), the project site has a moderate potential for the discovery of
cultural resources.

Will the proposal result in:                         Potentially      Less Than       Less Than       No       Reference
                                                     Significant   Significant with   Significant   Impact      Source
                                                       Impact         Mitigation        Impact               (Appendix A)
                                                                    Incorporation
a. Cause a substantial adverse change in the
   significance of a historical resource as
   defined in Section 15064.5 of the CEQA
   Guidelines?                                                                                                 27

b. Cause a substantial adverse change in the
   significance of an archaeological resource
   pursuant to Section 15064.5 of the CEQA
   Guidelines?                                                                                                 27

c. Directly or indirectly destroy a unique
   paleontological resource or site or unique
   geologic feature?                                                                                           27

d. Disturb any human remains, including those
   interred outside of formal cemeteries?                                                                      27

Impact Discussion: A records search was completed by the North Central Information Center (NCIC) located at
California State University in Sacramento on June 15, 2005 (NCIC file # NEV-05-51). The record search found
that several archeological inventories have been performed in the vicinity of the project. Only one small historic
ditch feature was found within these archeological inventories located approximately ½ mile west of the project
site. The project’s archeologist, in concert with the NCIC records search, concluded that the project area is not
sensitive for the discovery of prehistoric resources. The archeologist did state that the project site does have a
moderate potential for the discovery of historic resources, but inferred that no cultural resources were found on
the project site. Due to Nevada County’s rich history, there is the possibility that during construction activity
prehistoric or historic deposits may be uncovered and therefore mitigation is added below in the event that these
resources are discovered.

Mitigation and Residual Impact: To offset the potentially adverse impacts associated with construction activities
and the discovery of cultural or historic resources, the following mitigation measure shall be required:

Mitigation Measure 15.A: The following requirement shall be shown as a Note on the Supplemental Map and
incorporated into improvement plans/grading/construction plans submitted to the Department of Transportation
and Building Permit Department.

          “Contractors and construction personnel involved in any form of ground disturbance (i.e. utility placement
          or maintenance, grading, etc.) shall be advised of the remote possibility of encountering subsurface
          cultural resources. If such resources are encountered or suspected, work shall be halted immediately, and
          the Planning Department and a professional archaeologist shall be consulted who shall assess any
          discoveries and develop appropriate management recommendations for archaeological resource treatment.


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                                           Initial Study - page 43
          If bones are found and appear to be human, California Law requires that the Nevada County Coroner and
          the Native American Heritage Commission be contacted. If Native American resources are involved,
          Native American Organizations and individuals recognized by the County shall be notified and consulted
          about any plans for treatment.”


16.       RECREATION

Environmental Setting: No recreation facilities occur on the project site. This parcel is mapped within the
boundaries of the Bear River Recreation District and is within the boundaries of the Lake of the Pines Community
Region subject to the Higgins Area Plan. The County’s General Plan establishes the level of service for recreation
at 3 acres per every 1,000 persons, countywide.

Will the proposal result in:                        Potentially      Less Than       Less Than       No       Reference
                                                    Significant   Significant with   Significant   Impact      Source
                                                      Impact         Mitigation        Impact               (Appendix A)
                                                                   Incorporation
a. Would the project increase the use of
   existing neighborhood and regional parks or
   other recreational facilities such that
   substantial physical deterioration of the
   facility would occur or be accelerated?                                                                    A,P

b. Does the project include recreational
   facilities or require the construction or
   expansion of recreational facilities that
   might have an adverse physical effect on the
   environment?                                                                                                 P

c. A conflict with established recreation uses
   of the area, including biking, equestrian
   and/or hiking trails?                                                                                      28

Impact Discussion: The project is located within the Lake of the Pines Community Region. The project will
result in 28-residential units, resulting in incremental growth. The creation of these additional residential units
will generate an additional impact on recreational services within the Bear River Recreation Benefit Zone. Those
impacts will be offset by the required payment of Quimby fees prior to recordation of the residential phases of
the map. Impact fees paid may be used to provide for capital improvements to the Bear River Park and
Recreation District and are intended to offset the impact of new housing unit construction within the district.
Impact fees are established by County Ordinance and will be included as conditions approval for the Tentative
Map. Additional impacts upon the recreation facilities within Nevada County are not anticipated.

Mitigation and Residual Impact: No mitigation is required.




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                                          Initial Study - page 44
17.     MANDATORY FINDINGS OF SIGNIFICANT ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECT

                                                   Potentially      Less Than       Less Than       No       Reference
                                                   Significant   Significant with   Significant   Impact      Source
                                                     Impact         Mitigation        Impact               (Appendix A)
                                                                  Incorporation
a. Does the project have the potential to
   degrade the quality of the environment,
   substantially reduce the habitat of a fish or
   wildlife species, cause a fish or wildlife
   population to drop below self sustaining
   levels, threaten to eliminate a plant or
   animal community, reduce the number or
   restrict the range of a rare or endangered
   plant or animal or eliminate important
   examples of major periods of California's
   history or prehistory?                                                                                    2,26,10

b. Does the project have environmental effects,
   which are individually limited but
   cumulatively considerable? (“Cumulatively
   considerable” means that the incremental
   effects of the project are considered when
   viewed in connection with the effects of
   past, current, and probable future projects.)                                                           A,P,16,17

c. Does the project have environmental effects,
   which will cause substantial adverse effects
   on human beings, either directly or
   indirectly?                                                                                                P

d. Alternatives to the Proposed Action: Does
   the project require the discussion and
   evaluation of a range of reasonable
   alternatives, which could feasibly attain the
   basic objectives of the project?                                                                            P

Mitigation & Residual Impact: Mitigation is incorporated above.

RECOMMENDATION OF THE PROJECT PLANNER:
On the basis of this initial evaluation:
        I find that the proposed project COULD NOT have a significant effect on the environment, and a
        NEGATIVE DECLARATION will be prepared.
   I find that although the proposed project could have a significant effect on the environment, there will not
        be a significant effect in this case because revisions in the project have been made by or agreed to by the
        project proponent. A MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATION will be prepared.

_________________________________                        January 28, 2008
Tyler Barrington, Senior Planner                         Date


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                                          Initial Study - page 45
                                              APPENDIX A
                                          REFERENCE SOURCES

A.    Planning Department.
B.    Department of Public Works.
C.    Environmental Health Department.
D.    Building Inspection Department.
E.    California Transportation Commission.
F.    PG & E.
G.    Nevada Irrigation District.
H.    Resource Conservation District.
I.    Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District.
J.    California Department of Transportation.
K.    California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
L.    Nevada County Consolidated Fire District.
M.    Regional Water Quality Control Board (Lahontan/Central Valley Region).
N.    North Central Information Service, Anthropology Department, California State University, Sacramento.
O.    California Department of Fish & Game.
P.    Application Site Plan/Tentative Map.

1.    State Division of Mines and Geology, Mineral Classification Map, 1990.
2.    State Department of Fish and Game, Migratory Deer Ranges, 1988.
3.    State Department of Fish and Game, Natural Diversity Data Base Maps, as updated.
4.    State Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Fire Hazard Severity Zone Maps, 1990.
5.    State Division of Mines and Geology, Geologic Map of the Chico, California Quadrangle, 1992.
6.    State Division of Mines and Geology, Fault Map of California, 1990.
7.    State Dept. of Conservation, Important Farmland Map, as updated.
8.    State Dept. of Forestry & Fire Protection, Nevada County Hardwood Rangelands, 1993.
9.    U.S.G.S, 7.5 Quadrangle Topographic Maps, as updated.
10.   U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Wetlands Inventory, December 1995.
11.   U. S. Soil Conservation Service, Soil Survey of Nevada County, Map 11, 1975.
12.   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Survey of the Tahoe National Forest, 1974.
13.   U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Seismotechtronic Study of the Truckee/Lake Tahoe Area, 1986 (Generalized
      Geology and Major Faults in the Northeastern Sierra Nevada Map).
14.   U.S. Geological Service, Nevada County Landslide Activity Map, 1970, as found in the Draft Nevada County
      General Plan, Master Environmental Inventory, December 1991, Figure 8-3.
15.   Federal Emergency Management Agency, Flood Insurance Rate Map #600-B, Zone C, as updated.
16.   Nevada County General Plan.
17.   Nevada County Zoning Regulations, adopted July 2000, and as amended.
18.   Nevada County General Plan, Master Environmental Inventory, December 1991.
19.   All Final Environmental Impact Reports, certified by the County of Nevada.
20.   Foothill Airport Land Use Commission, Nevada County Air Park Comprehensive Land Use Plan.
21.   State Dept. of Conservation General Locational Guide for Ultramafic Soils/Natural-occurring Asbestos .
22.   Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District, Guidelines for Assessing Air Quality Impacts of Land
      Use Projects, 2000.
23.   County of Nevada, Nevada County General Plan Noise Contour Maps, 1993.
24.   County of Nevada, High Traffic Accident Locations Map, 1991, as found in the Nevada County General
      Plan, Master Environmental Inventory, 1991, Figure 9-4.


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25.   California Native Plant Society (Smith & Berg), Inventory of Rare and Endangered Vascular Plants of
      California, 1994.
26.   North Fork Associates, Biological resource assessment for the +7.2 acre Combie Road Project, Nevada
      County, California, June 13, 2005.
27.   Peak and Assocaites, Inc. Letter for Bear River Plaza. July 5, 2005.
28.   Non-Motorized Transportation Master Plan adopted by Nevada County. August 8, 2000.
29.   Holdrege & Kull, Preliminary geotechnical engineering report for Bear River Plaza APN 21-730-74 Nevada
      County, California. September 12, 2006.
30.   LSC Transportation Consultants, Inc., Bear River Plaza traffic analysis. May 31, 2006.




GP05-003; Z05-002;
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                                       Initial Study - page 47
                                        APPENDIX B




                                       Bear River Plaza
                               General Plan Amendment Exhibit




GP05-003; Z05-002;
PM05-023; U05-012; EIS05-035          January 28, 2008          Bear River Plaza
                                   Initial Study - page 48
GP05-003; Z05-002;
PM05-023; U05-012; EIS05-035      January 28, 2008       Bear River Plaza
                               Initial Study - page 49
                                       APPENDIX C




                                      Bear River Plaza
                               Zoning Map Amendment Exhibit




GP05-003; Z05-002;
PM05-023; U05-012; EIS05-035         January 28, 2008         Bear River Plaza
                                  Initial Study - page 50
GP05-003; Z05-002;
PM05-023; U05-012; EIS05-035      January 28, 2008       Bear River Plaza
                               Initial Study - page 51
                                     APPENDIX D




                                    Bear River Plaza
                               Overall Site Plan Reduction




GP05-003; Z05-002;
PM05-023; U05-012; EIS05-035       January 28, 2008          Bear River Plaza
                                Initial Study - page 52
GP05-003; Z05-002;
PM05-023; U05-012; EIS05-035      January 28, 2008       Bear River Plaza
                               Initial Study - page 53
                                    APPENDIX E




                                   Bear River Plaza
                                   Color Rendering




GP05-003; Z05-002;
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                               Initial Study - page 54
GP05-003; Z05-002;
PM05-023; U05-012; EIS05-035      January 28, 2008       Bear River Plaza
                               Initial Study - page 55

				
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