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Plumas Lake residents hungry for new businesses
What would you like to see built in Plumas Lake? We received 140 votes in our online poll:
• Grocery store: 59%
• Something else: 15%
• Restaurant: 11%
• More houses: 8%
• Coffee shop: 6%
• Pizza parlor: 2%
Join in the Plumas Lake discussions by going to plumaslakelife.com.
If you ask any Plumas Lake resident what's missing in the south Yuba County community, expect a long answer.
"Starbucks!" exclaims one woman. Others list a grocery store, a pizza place, a sandwich shop, a pedicure salon and a frozen yogurt shop.
"There are 20,000 threads on Facebook about this," said Susan Butler, who recalls not even seeing model homes when she and her husband first thought about buying in Plumas Lake nearly a decade ago. "It's great to see how much it's grown since."
Except, many residents might say, in businesses and services. Save the Walgreens where Butler was buying bread Monday, and a few mobile vendors selling coffee and Mexican food, she and others have to head to Marysville, Yuba City or further for any commerce.
As the new year begins, though, the situation is changing.
By mid-year, a gas station and minimart will open next to Walgreens, and county officials said they're seeing more interest in undeveloped lots within Plumas Lake, which saw little new construction after the housing downturn nearly six years ago.
Kevin Mallen, director of the county's Development & Services Agency, said in recent weeks there has been a surge of purchases in Plumas Lake of finished lots, where streets, sidewalks and utilities are ready, but the houses haven't been built.
In addition, his department's front counter is getting visits from builders looking to improve on those same lots, of which there are about 700 in Plumas Lake.
"We haven't seen new faces in quite some time," he said.
Such trends suggest the area could see more economic development in 2013, said John Fleming, the county's economic development coordinator.
But while a grocery store would top most people's wish lists, it's less clear if that is next. The county has approved plans for shopping centers in Plumas Lake with a grocery as the anchor, but Fleming said few chains are in expansion mode.
"Once you have that anchor, you get other stores moving in around it," he said, adding more stores in Plumas Lake would reduce the amount of sales taxes the county loses to other places.
As well, business expansion in the south county won't just rely on Plumas Lake. With the possibility of new homes in Wheatland and elsewhere and the Enterprise Rancheria casino now closer to reality, he said, the whole area could see a surge in interest in upcoming years.
CONTACT Ben van der Meer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4786. Find him on Facebook at /ADbvandermeer or on Twitter at @ADbvandermeer.