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Old 11-10-2009, 03:03 PM
 
32 posts, read 147,129 times
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We are considering a move up into the foothills from Sacramento. We have two small children, starting school soon. We are more liberal-moderate/progressive minded people but we value being around people from all walks of life.

Where would you choose to live: Auburn, Grass Valley area, or Placerville and why?

Things that are important to us:

1. the schools (especially any public/charters that have Waldorf methods or a heavy emphasis on the arts)

2. feels safe (at least safer than city living)

3. a sense of community

4. ability to meet people and make friends (I understand this depends on our personalities...but I am wondering in general)

Disclaimers:
I am not scared of the snow. I understand that the air quality isn't perfect. Jobs are not an issue for us. Small towns are obviously going to have "hicks" and "rednecks" (no offense to anyone) but I want to make sure that there is some community of like-minded people to myself...a little more worldly, open-minded, progressive (this sounds a little snooty). Hopefully you get the picture.
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:21 PM
 
32 posts, read 147,129 times
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I should also mention that a thriving downtown and lots of mom and pop shops/independent vendors would be a big plus as well.

And a natural foods store.
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Old 11-12-2009, 02:09 AM
 
2,253 posts, read 6,353,861 times
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Wink Just maybe

I haven't spent much time in that area lately, so consider this as much a guess as anything else. Or a hunch.

You might consider Nevada City. It is, or was, a smaller place, with seemingly a fairly nice location and pleasant look, at least at a glance. It is also close to the many more services and options of Grass Valley. Perhaps you would just prefer to be there, although it and the entire region have surely grown of late.

Of the two, I would probably prefer Placerville over Auburn, if for no other reason than US 50 seems less intrusive than I-80. You really are going to have to look, as even if all these communities are in the Sierra foothills, even a short distance can make something of a difference. Just as an aside, if for no more than comparison, you might also visit Sutter Creek.

One advantage of Nevada City is that it enjoys relatively easy access to the Yuba river via CA 49. It was, and surely still is, one of the favorite local swimming spots. Most people tend to congregate near the highway bridge, but the more adventurous will find a short hike rewarding them with more solitude and salubrious environment. The clear mountain water has a green aura in flowing through and around the wild bed of granite boulders. On a warm summer's day it is heaven itself.
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Old 11-12-2009, 12:45 PM
 
32 posts, read 147,129 times
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What is the commute like between GV/NC to Auburn...if say we were to live in the GV/NC area and work in Auburn?
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:58 PM
 
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Never heard of any of those places.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:53 PM
 
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Grass Valley is a pain. Nothing is close to anything else, and the schools (at least the public schools and the catholic schools) are nothing to write home about. It's super super pretty, but it's too spread out for my tastes and I understand the housing crunch has hit the area pretty hard.

Nevada City is something to consider. Far enough out of town that it doesn't feel like "the city" has the conveniences you'd expect from a town. I can't speak for the schools though.
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Old 07-07-2010, 04:24 PM
 
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Placervillle doesn't seem "open minded" to me at all. It's very white, has known skin head presence, a small historic downtown which is nice but it's like middle America - The whole area is very conservative and is more republican than other California towns. We are thinking of moving up there in about 5-10 years and thought we'd love Placerville. It's cute but too small, 99% of the properties are on septic systems, propane and well water, not too convenient. Internet service is spotty at best in anything out of the main part of town. The town is super steep on both sides & has super narrow streets. We like Auburn better. Historic small town feel but a little bigger and better, more level terrain and the people weren't as "hick" like. The historic downtown is quaint and it's a short drive to bigger box stores if necessary. Plus it's the endurance capital of the world - lots of bike races and triathlons are held there, very outdoorsy people.
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Old 07-07-2010, 06:08 PM
 
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Liberals live in Grass Valley and Nevada City. The other regions you mentioned are more conservative.
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:53 AM
 
577 posts, read 1,644,864 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliforniaMary10 View Post
Placervillle doesn't seem "open minded" to me at all. It's very white, has known skin head presence, a small historic downtown which is nice but it's like middle America - The whole area is very conservative and is more republican than other California towns. We are thinking of moving up there in about 5-10 years and thought we'd love Placerville. It's cute but too small, 99% of the properties are on septic systems, propane and well water, not too convenient. Internet service is spotty at best in anything out of the main part of town. The town is super steep on both sides & has super narrow streets. We like Auburn better. Historic small town feel but a little bigger and better, more level terrain and the people weren't as "hick" like. The historic downtown is quaint and it's a short drive to bigger box stores if necessary. Plus it's the endurance capital of the world - lots of bike races and triathlons are held there, very outdoorsy people.
I agree, I've lived in Auburn for 10 years, my brother lived in Placerville. Still a small town feel in Auburn, downtown has lots of shops, businesses and activities but you dont have to go far to be rural or get to box stores if you want them. Also internet and services are leaps and bounds above Placerville, my brother still doesnt have any high speed options. Lots of activities in Auburn area and many outlying towns that give you more options too. Also the commute down 50 seems so congested. The only time I run into traffic going down 80 is a small area going into Roseville but there are ways around it. 50 is a nightmare through Folsom and on through to Sac... if you have to commute from Sac.. definitely try both out @ commute time as I think it will factor heavily.
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:48 PM
 
Location: Shingle Springs, CA
532 posts, read 1,351,226 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliforniaMary10 View Post
Placervillle doesn't seem "open minded" to me at all. It's very white, has known skin head presence, a small historic downtown which is nice but it's like middle America - The whole area is very conservative and is more republican than other California towns. We are thinking of moving up there in about 5-10 years and thought we'd love Placerville. It's cute but too small, 99% of the properties are on septic systems, propane and well water, not too convenient. Internet service is spotty at best in anything out of the main part of town. The town is super steep on both sides & has super narrow streets. We like Auburn better. Historic small town feel but a little bigger and better, more level terrain and the people weren't as "hick" like. The historic downtown is quaint and it's a short drive to bigger box stores if necessary. Plus it's the endurance capital of the world - lots of bike races and triathlons are held there, very outdoorsy people.
El Dorado County, like Placer County, is very conservative and Republican in its politics. That said, however, liberals are able to be happy and thrive here . I know someone with a child in Cedar Springs Waldorf School (between Placerville/El Dorado/Shingle Springs) that is VERY happy with it. There is also a public Montessori Charter in Shingle Springs offered through the Buckeye School District; it is a lottery to get in there, however. You will find like-minded folks through the Waldorf school, certain community groups, and at Noah's Natural Foods (hopefully soon to be a co-op!!!). I have lots of liberal friends here.

Internet service is better along the highway 50 corridor, for sure, and in the larger communities. The "steep" factor is only in the historic part of downtown Placerville...but Placerville proper extends out from that. No big deal. I personally prefer Placerville over Auburn...to each her own, we love rafting, hiking, biking, skiing, boating up here...so I'd call us outdoorsy, too. . No issues with getting propane...we fill our tank less than 2x a year, it's no big deal. We are in Shingle Springs, on sewer and city water. Depends on where you are.
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