A TASTE OF THE OLD WORLD
….with PENN VALLEY CHARM
The land on the north side of Squirrel Creek, most notable for the sewage ponds, may soon become something special. In July 2019 twenty acres, heretofore landlocked, was purchased by Steelheart International Foundation, a non-profit owned by Roger Morgan who resides in Lincoln. Included in the purchase was an easement for a new road coming from Penn Valley Drive to the creek, where a new vehicular and pedestrian bridge will be constructed. This will open up approximately 43 acres for development which could soon serve as a large part of the village core. Says Morgan, “My goal was to do something unique and special. I have a background in foreign trade and had the good fortune to reside and work in Europe for seven years with Caterpillar. My vision for what could be done is to replicate an old World European village, pedestrian oriented with narrow streets, replete with charming cafes and retail shops on the ground floor, with condos and apartments above. We will have greenhouses for hydroponic farming to serve the on-site cafes and local residents with fresh vegetables, farm-to fork in hours. We are planning for a boutique hotel. Vehicular access will be restricted in favor of walking trails, bikes, golf carts and Penn Valley’s favorite mode of transportation, horses. Trails will connect Western Gateway Park through the development to downtown Penn Valley. Should be special for residents and a draw for visitors.”
Penn Valley, California
This conceptual plan was drawn by Bill Kerr, Grass Valley resident, and is a tribute to his extensive background in land planning and architecture. It is still conceptual in nature but provides a base line for discussion and input from Penn Valley residents. The layout takes into account the wetland issues and heritage oaks which will be preserved. At the center of the project are the sewage treatment ponds owned by Creekside Mobile Home Park. The ponds are being decommissioned and reclamation is planned soon. You can see how a new access road, originating between the Post Office and Dollar General Store on Penn Valley Drive going to and over the creek can open up all of the property on the North side. The benefits in terms of job creation and sustainable economic development will be very substantial. We envision about 90 to 120 residential units, and 250,000 sq’. The boutique hotel will have about 50 units. On the western side we envision a saloon and restaurant accessible by horseback. After a pre-ap meeting with the County Planning, everything is achievable subject to creation of a Comprehensive Master Plan which will take an estimated 24 to 36 months. An approved plan will escalate the current value of the land from about $2 million probably $4 million or more.