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Copper land use plan again up for discussion

Copper land use plan again up for discussion

Published: October 7, 2005

The Copperopolis Community Plan is available for public review online at www.co.calaveras.ca.us. Copies of the plan are also available for review at the Calaveras County Library in San Andreas and the Copperopolis Branch Library. Public comments on the plan can be mailed or delivered to the Calaveras County Planning Department, 891 Mountain Ranch Road, San Andreas, CA 95249. They can also be sent via e-mail to coppercp@co.calaveras.ca.us.


Copperopolis residents will have a second chance to discuss a plan likely to shape growth in their community for the next generation or more.

A second town hall meeting on the Copperopolis Community Plan is set for 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night at the town's armory on Main Street.

About three dozen residents, developers and Calaveras County officials met Sept. 16 to discuss the plan, which provides guidelines for where the town should grow and what will be needed to accommodate that growth.

Before the plan is made final, an environmental review must be done. And the county's Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors must approve the review and the community plan.

A map included in the plan suggests land-use designations for large swaths of land north and adjacent to Tulloch Reservoir, an area of about 39 square-miles.

Most of the land near the reservoir is marked for residential use or "master planned" residential and commercial development. Outlying areas are marked for rural residential and light industrial use.

Noting that much of the reservoir's shore is already lined with homes, some residents at the Sept. 16 meeting asked how the plan would limit future growth there.

"I'd like to know that I'm not going to see Tahoe right on Tulloch," said Karen Tafjen, who lives at the Copper Cove subdivision, alongside the reservoir, speaking Sept. 16.

Russ Thomas, chairman of the Copperopolis Community Plan Committee, said the plan limits the maximum development density near the reservoir and in surrounding areas.

Those restrictions would cap Copperopolis' population at 40,000 people, far fewer than the 100,000 county planners estimate could fit in the area under current density allowances, Thomas said.

"We're downsizing significantly," Thomas said, after the meeting Sept. 16. "This is the comfort level we've come up with."

Still, not everyone was satisfied with the plan, which was released earlier in the month.

Lake Tulloch Resort owner Andreas Abramson said designating land near the reservoir — especially a large section along the southwestern shores — for master planned development, like the recently approved Oak Canyon Ranch project — was the wrong approach.

That project would include both homes and commercial construction. He said he does not believe there will be enough customers to support more reservoir-area businesses. That land, he said, should be zoned for 20-acre rural residential homes.

Contact Chris Nichols at cnichols@uniondemocrat.com or 588-4585.

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