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Sugarloaf purchased

image Nevada City buys property for 450K, group says.

Sugarloaf Mountain, which has summit of 3,045 feet, has been purchased by Nevada City to protect open space.

City closes Sugarloaf deal

Nevada City buys property for 450K, group says

After six years of on-and-off negotiations, Nevada City now owns Sugarloaf Mountain, according to the Friends of Sugarloaf. The deal for the property, which was sold for $450,000, was closed on Feb. 1.

The journey to preserve the open space began in 2004 when the Friends of Sugarloaf was formed with the goal of protecting Sugarloaf Mountain as public open space. The group was formed by Liz Ely, Laurie Oberholtzer, Charles Woods, and Bob Wyckoff.

Their first action was to ask Nevada City to set aside State Proposition 40 recreation bond funds of $379,000 to purchase the 32-acre mountain. Next, they asked the city to request that Nevada County recreation mitigation fees in Nevada City’s impact zone be set aside to add funds to the potential purchase. Then Mayor Conley Weaver and Councilman David McKay spearheaded the efforts to secure the funds. Each and every City Council since has diligently pursued moving forward on the project while protecting the needed funds.

With Laurie Oberholtzer as coordinator and 200 members strong, Friends of Sugarloaf spent the next six years working with the property owners and the city toward a successful sales agreement. With the deadline for expenditure of State Proposition 40 grant funds looming, Nevada City successfully negotiated a $450,000 sales agreement in the spring of 2010.

After a series of bumps, including five sessions in probate court, an escrow finally opened in December 2010 that allowed the state to disburse the funds. A bridge loan of $71,000 was provided by the Nevada County Land Trust to make up the balance and the city will apply to the county for its recreation mitigation fees to repay the loan to the Land Trust.

“Sugarloaf is a powerful and important presence, the backdrop to our beautiful town. Now, it will be protected forever and the magnificent 360 degree view of Nevada City and its surroundings will be available for all to enjoy,” Oberholtzer said.

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