Nevada County Association of Realtors Questionnaire for Candidates

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Q&A opportunity for candidates running for Supervisor in Nevada County – in District 1 and District 2

My answers can be seen below.

Do you support a lower building standard (ie: sanitation , infrastructure, taxes, support services, fire standards, temporary occupancy permits)  to provide additional housing?

As Supervisor of District 1, I would not support a lower building standard to accommodate substandard housing. The rules (building codes and ordinances) have to be the same for all of us. That said, I do support looking into modifying building codes and ordinances to address the housing crisis our county is currently experiencing.

For example, if a property owner can have an RV occupied for a short time why can’t the ordinance be modified to one year temporary occupancy? If we can modify this ordinance to include language that allows for the ordinance to be reverted back when the county meets its Housing Element Plan goals. I’m an advocate for personal and property rights, and neighbors do not have to live next door to substandard living situations.

As Supervisor, I will also work to streamline building department processes, put a stop to increases in permitting and inspection fees, and, in the meantime, am already working with County Staff to create clear systems that will enable homeowners to easily certify existing permitted septic systems to allow for the addition of a bedroom through a garage conversion, ADU, or livable RV on their properties.

Would you be willing to enact a policy where the mitigation fees are rolled into the end of the build process to incentivize builders to produce housing in Nevada County?

Yes, if paid at time of final. I also support bringing back Title 25 to streamline permitting for as-builts and affordable housing and am currently working on creating a program to waive or postpone Community Development Agency fees associated with building a new 1200 sq ft or less home to increase the construction of entry level housing and workforce housing, which will provide housing in the short term and create sustainable revenue for the County in the long term through property taxes.

Families are the economic stimulus for community sustainability. There is insufficient housing for up and coming families in Nevada County. How would you stimulate housing for this “missing middle”?

We need to look at rezoning, not to meet the minimum States requirements for the Housing Element Plan, but to go beyond these minimum requirements. In the short term, I believe ADUs can be used to meet some of Nevada County’s housing needs and through the combination of strategically using R2 and R3 Zoning to accommodate multiple housing units and through the implementation of a more user-friendly building department experience, I believe we can instill long term solutions. We should also look at multi use zoning and bringing back Title-25. 

Lot line adjustments are currently taking 6 to 9 months due to onerous requirements and red tape in the planning department, what would you do to correct this?

I have first hand knowledge of this, and I have several ideas. First, we have to hold staff accountable. I believe there is a certain amount of laziness and a lack of leadership that isn’t allowing our County to identify ways we can meet better timelines for completing a lot line adjustment or small subdivision. Secondly, I think in general the Board of Supervisors need to remind CDA what the acronym stands for… Community Development Agency, not Community Anti-Development Agency. Changing this mentality will be a priority for me when elected. 

As a licensed general building contractor with 40 years experience in most facets of construction, I fully understand this question and am ready to take steps to implement solutions once elected. 

Would you be a proponent of creating a “flow chart” model for building, development, and planning departments and projects so that citizens have a clear understanding of the process and expectations for their proposed project in advance of beginning and or applying?

Yes! Seeing this question here brings up a new question: “Why isn’t this already in place?” Incorporating this seems like common sense, and is one of the main topics I’m campaigning on: Common Sense Leadership.  

Having no ties to the political interests of the County, or the Democratic or Republican Party, will allow me to make decisions based on common sense governance, which I believe will benefit Nevada County as a whole – regardless of the district I’m elected to represent directly.