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Old 10-16-2009, 11:04 PM
2 posts, read 15,602 times
Reputation: 10


We are a family with two children (ages 2 and 7) and are considering a move to the Grass Valley area. We have been there to visit several times so we are familiar with the area. After reading all the local posts, I have a few concerns and am hoping to get information from people who live in the area and have young children or have raised children there. Employment is not a concern at this time, as we will have secured jobs before we move there. Our main concerns are:
1) The smog/ozone: We are all healthy and don't have any respiratory problems . . . is the smog really noticeable all summer, or is it just intermittent? We have been there several times and did not notice the smog.
2) Activities for kids: The boys are involved in activities such as cub scouts, children’s theater, karate, etc. Are these or other organized youth activities available in the area?
3) We plan on purchasing a house on at least one acre, maybe up to 5 acres of forested land. We were wondering what kind of maintenance is typically involved when living on a large parcel of land.
4) Final question… Do you think Grass Valley is a great place to raise a family?

Any advice or opinions would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-17-2009, 02:37 AM
109 posts, read 319,480 times
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The prevailing winds blow the smog from the Sacramento Valley into the Foothills. As a result the Grass Valley Nevada City area has a problem with ozone. You might not see it, but the local air quality district knows about it and regulates the air in an attempt to mitigate it. For more info see the following.

Nevada County Ozone

As for stuff to do with the kids, that shouldn't be an issue. You should be able to find all of the activities you mentioned plus more in the area.

What you might want to check out is kvmr. Its the local community radio station. If you live out of the reach of there signal, you can listen to them online. There you can here about activities for kids. On kvmr, I have heard them mention classes for people in your situation who are interested in living on a big home in the country but don't know what is involved. They tell you what plants grow in the area, how much water you need from a well and everything else that is needed if you wanted to buy some property and build on it. So I know there are classes in the area available, but I can't find a link to them right now. But once you get up there, someone should be able to direct to them or if you listen to Kvmr, you can probably get a referral.

Welcome to KVMR 89.5 FM Music of the World. Voice of the Community. Nevada City, CA 95959

Grass Valley has a lot of charm, but I am not sure its for everyone. Grass Valley is an old mining town where the mine has been closed. As a result housing was really cheap there. During the 60's, in a back to the earth period a bunch of hippies moved to Grass Valley and Nevada City. Some came up with gainful employment. You can find people who blow glass, make soap, do a lot of arts and crafts stuff, they opened up a bunch of tourist shops and bars. They also started the grass valley group, a company that makes specific effects for television companies and a couple of companies in that area are spun off from the grass valley group. But they also grow a bunch of weed in the back country. If you listen to Kvmr, you will notice a lot of the sponsors are people who are selling stuff to semi-underground marijuana economy. A big reason people move up there was to get off the grid and compost is to cover up the fact they are operating marijuana fields.

In Grass Valley and Nevada City, you have this former hippie subculture living among the Christian home schooler crowd without a lot of middle ground. If you were looking for some hippie town like what you might find in Marin, or Mendocino, you might really like it. But you might also really be bothered by the marijuana growers and as result not feel particularly safe.

Depending on your attitudes you might think grass valley is a wonderful place or a horrible place to raise a family. You have community theater, it has its own natural foods coop, for all of those type of reasons, some people really like the area and think its an ideal place to raise a family.
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Old 10-17-2009, 10:18 PM
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Thank you so much for the great info. on resources for more information on the area .... and also for your objective advice, it's much appreciated! I'll check out kvmr.
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Old 10-21-2009, 10:57 AM
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I'd love to move to Grass Valley..anyone want to buy my house here in hawaii??
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:55 PM
8 posts, read 14,573 times
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Where do you live in Hawaii? If I can sell my home in Vermont (House for Sale: Vermont Country Home For Sale By Owner | Powered by vFlyer) then I can buy your home in HI, and you can move to Grass Valley.


Originally Posted by lindylou821 View Post

I'd love to move to Grass Valley..anyone want to buy my house here in hawaii??
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Old 11-07-2009, 04:29 PM
3 posts, read 12,285 times
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I've got a house in Grass Valley! What do you have in Hawaii? I've been here for 15 years and am neither a hippy pot head or christian homeschooler and I think the the place is perfect. The seasons are beautiful, lots of really sweet friends, geesh...
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:07 AM
Location: Washington DC
145 posts, read 344,141 times
Reputation: 69
Jacy23- hey fellow GV'er!

I recommend Grass Valley! Seriously, ignore the statements that everyone here either do pot or are hardcore Christians. While we aren't the most diverse town ever, we do have a lot of diversity and are quite accepting. Downtown GV is kind of a teeny bit trashy, but Nevada City down the freeway is cute and holds its' own charm. The surrounding scenery (go East and you'll see tall pine trees and endless forests; go west and enjoy the beautiful foothills and farms) seriously can't be beat. I consider GV to be in the perfect location; we're both a foothill and Sierra Nevada town. As for the air--while summer does come with some smog, for the most part, the air is fresh and clean. The more in the country you go, the more you will inhale clean air.

Just my two cents... I'm sure others will share their two cents
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:26 AM
1 posts, read 7,214 times
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We moved here last year and we love it! We have kids and everyone here is family oriented and there are plenty of activities for them to do. We spent our entire summer exploring all the lakes and rivers. Didn't notice any smog this past summer so not sure what that is about. The schools have been great. We moved from the S.F. bay area so it was quite a change but a good one. Yes there is some trashy people but too many good people for it to matter. We are closer to the Lake of the Pines area which has a beautiful lake. The homes need updating but the people there seem to love it. Depending on what type of acreage you buy will determine your maintenance. If you are heavily forested then you'll have to do fire prevention maintenace. If you are lower GV which is more ranches then you'll have more mowing and weed eating. Everyone I've talked to love raising their kids here and so far we are loving it too! Hope this helps.
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Old 01-15-2010, 01:52 PM
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It might be good for families (if the kids can find anything to do as teenagers!) but its definitely not a good destination for single people.
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:19 PM
Location: Sacramento, Placerville
2,442 posts, read 4,872,747 times
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Ozone is worse in Grass Valley than it is in the Sacramento metro area proper. It also lingers at night. It is a result of winds blowing everything into the foothills, reaching a point where it no longer rises (Grass Valley is right at that elevation most of the summer), and that local ozone has the potential to be a bigger problem the higher you go due to the effects of lower air pressure and the efficiency of engines as you increase in elevation. There is enough heat, sunlight and traffic in Grass Valley to add to the problem of the ozone from Sacramento.

Kids should have plenty to do up there. If it isn't availalbe in Grass Valley it is probably available in Auburn. Colfax is small and would require a drive into Grass Valley or Auburn for activities beyond watching birds and insects.

Maintaining property is what you want it to be. You have to keep brush cleared from structures for at least 30 feet, but it may be 100 feet now.
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