Nevada County is an area of extraordinary scenic quality. The beauty of the natural landscape and the built environment combine to define the unique aesthetic quality of the County. Careful attention to attractive and citizen-friendly design is in the economic interests of any community. good design can raise property values, attract new businesses, increase employment and stimulate tourism. Good design can also reduce conflicts between varying land uses, allowed for mixed-use development that can create a vibrant and diverse community. As a result of the County's desire to retain its sense of uniqueness, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors has adopted design guidelines for both Western (PDF) and Eastern (PDF) Nevada County.
The Guidelines do not dictate mandatory design elements, but rather, they are intended as a guide to assist property owners and project designers in understanding the County's goals for attaining high quality development that is sensitive to the County's character. The Western (PDF) and Eastern (PDF) Nevada County Design Guidelines are applicable to all Development Permits and Use Permits for all public, commercial, industrial, and multi-family projects in the unincorporated area of Nevada County. Projects within either the City of Grass Valley or the City of Nevada City's sphere of influences will be referred for review of consistency with that city's Design Guidelines.