Residents split on Tulloch proposal
December 30, 2005 - Sonora Union
By CHRIS NICHOLS
One year after they
were submitted, plans to build 20 new townhomes on Tulloch Reservoir are on hold
— and some area residents are split on whether those plans should be shelved
Holman, of Oakdale, submitted drawings for the Marina Villa Townhomes in
January, requesting approval for the plans from the Calaveras County Planning
however, has asked Holman to resubmit a traffic study and consider making a
zoning change before the project moves forward. Before the homes can be built,
plans must be approved by the department and eventually the county's Board of
building the townhomes on pylons over the reservoir, on a 10-acre lot of
shoreline and water off O'Byrnes
Ferry Road, just north of the Tuolumne County line. Sixty boat slips are included
in the plans.
owners near the reservoir say they welcome the project. But others say they're
vehemently opposed, citing already crowded conditions on the reservoir and area
"The lake is already
overcrowded and now you're trying to reduce the surface area and it's a formula
for disaster," said Jim Hackbarth, co-chairman of the Lake Tulloch Alliance, a
group of area property owners concerned about high-density growth on the
Hackbarth and Connie
Williams, also an LTA co-chair, say county officials should not allow homes to
be built out over the reservoir's water, as such projects shrink an already
small body of water.
"This is not smart
planning," Williams said.
But the fact that
the townhomes are planned on pylons over the water isn't holding the project up,
said county planners. Property owners on the reservoir's shore are allowed to
build homes on pylons over the water because they own the land underneath the
water, said John Anderson, a senior planner for the county.
"It's really a
complicated lake because of that," Anderson said. "There are only three or four
others in the state like that."
Anderson added that the
Board of Supervisors has
not asked planners to restrict such projects, a request Hackbarth and Williams
say is necessary to control growth on the reservoir.
Don Ratzlaff, the
county planner assigned to Marina Villa, said the Planning Department will
recommend the project be approved as long as Holman submits a revised traffic
study and answers a few more questions.
Holman noted that he
plans to turn over a new traffic study and meet the other requirements early
"We have it," he
said this morning. "We're just about prepared to submit that."
Michael Gamerl and
James Lunsford, two area property owners, submitted letters to the county
supporting the plans.
Lunsford said in his
letter he and his wife, Sharon, "are very supportive of the project being
approved as planned. We believe it to be an excellent use of the site and will
be esthetically pleasing."