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Where I Stand: The Save Dame Shirley Plaza signs and effort

By Averil Kimble

Member of Friends of Dame Shirley Plaza


There are a lot of new yard signs and banners popping up around Quincy reading “Save Dame Shirley Plaza – Build the Courthouse Somewhere Else.”Are you wondering what this is about?  

First of all, it’s not a political statement.  A group calling themselves “Friends of Dame Shirley Plaza” are attempting to sway the Board of Supervisors to not sell Dame Shirley Plaza (just west of the Courthouse in Quincy) to the State to build a State courthouse and parking lots.  Instead, they want it to remain as a green space where many local events are held, as well as everyday enjoyment by locals and visitors.  According to mandates, the State does not provide for any green space around their facilities.

The State (which uses space for court business and approximately a dozen employees in the current Courthouse, paying Plumas County for use) was planning to build a new courthouse on this site over a decade ago.  The State has been building new courthouses in counties, in order to provide for the safety and accessibility required by the State for court related business.

Plumas County bought the property many years ago to use as a site for administrative offices (but decided to build an annex by FRC).  With California budget problems, building courthouses was put off for many years. During that time, improvements were made to the Plaza, including sod (donated by High Sierra Music Festival), trees, tables/benches, and the Veterans Memorial. Now, the State is ready to build a new facility in Quincy.

It is a lengthy and detailed process.  A local committee “Public Advisory Group” (PAG) was appointed and, following state directives, provided information which identified local properties that might fit state criteria.  With the extensive requirements, only three properties were deemed appropriate:  #1 Dame Shirley Plaza, #2 Feather River Publishing (on Lawrence Street, across from the Post Office), and #3 the Stone House property in East Quincy.   

The process, according to State directives, is to include input from the community.  As there has been no public informational meetings about the process, the “Friends of Dame Shirley Park” are asking that the owners of the Plaza (the County) provide public meetings to gain community input.  There is a rating system for the selection process, that this group is requesting the results, in order to better understand the process.

Over 1,500 signatures have been collected locally, and presented to the Board of Supervisors, stating their objection to turning the Plaza into a State courthouse and large parking area. 

10 thoughts on “Where I Stand: The Save Dame Shirley Plaza signs and effort

  • I haven’t seen the petition, but will sign it to save Dame Shirley Plaza. The other two sites are WAY more appropriate to accommodate not only the building space, but adequate parking without destroying a beautiful park that compliments our gorgeous Courthouse and provides such a beautiful green space in town for all to enjoy. Feather River Publishing site makes the most sense – but the Stone House property is currently “blight” along the main drag. I LOVE that building, but it’s in serious disrepair and been vacant for decades with no plans to restore it that I’m aware of. I’m especially protective of the Veteran’s Memorial at Dame Shirley Park which serves all our Veterans, and provides a place for gatherings to honor our Vets and reflect on their sacrifices for our freedom. I hope the Board sees the obvious and redirects the State to one of the other two sites.

  • Yes, where are these petitions?

    • On Facebook “Save Dame Shirley Plaza” or we ate at the park every Friday 4:30-5:30

  • In most communities it is required to provide “open space or green space” in development or building. The Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission would be derelict in their duties to let this park be destroyed and replaced with a building.

  • The community isn’t losing Dame Shirley, nor are they losing the memorial. The plans I have heard of is to get rid of lower court street and the courthouse lawn will be extended to incorporate the memorial and part of dame Shirley that isn’t used for the new courthouse build. In reality we lose green lawn on the west end of the plaza but gain just as much on the east side that will blend into the exiting courthouse. Greater curb appeal coming into town with a great memorial. Let’s just let all the details come before we jump to a conclusion that we are losing a “whole” park.

  • The overwhelming consensus is the majority of people do not want any form of a courthouse in Dame Shirley Plaza no matter what it would look like. A small vocal minority of business owners downtown are willing to destroy the entryway into Quincy in order to benefit their own interests when a perfectly suitable location that no one objects to that is still located in downtown is available in the Lawrence St location. Those that advocate for the Dame Shirley site are only looking out for their own special interests with no regard for the overwhelming public support against building in DS.

  • HELP!! There’s a damsel in distress. She’s being tied to the tracks..HELP!! A locomotive is coming fast..Our supervisors can “Save the Dame”..But they need a push.

    • You got it, Tom ☮️

  • It would be EXTREMLY helpful if “the powers that be” would put out a map or model of what it is they plan on doing for the court house..so we could see what is proposed. It would answer MANY questions.

  • I’ve heard that the current plan takes several homes through eminent domain???

    Housing was in critical short supply before the Dixie fire. This seems incredibly irresponsible when the feather river publishing sight is still down town.

    More transparency is needed. Rumors are taking control of the narrative.

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