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More housing proposed for Lake Tulloch area

Calaveras Enterprise

By John Hall
Friday, January 27, 2006 10:59 AM CST



A project that would create, if later approved by the Calaveras County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors, another subdivision in Copperopolis’ Lake Tulloch area is making its public debut.

Preliminary work on the proposal includes a public scoping meeting to help identify the project’s potential environmental impacts. That meeting is set for 6 p.m. Feb. 8 at Black Creek Hall, on Black Creek Drive, in Copperopolis. Amy Augustine, of Augustine Planning Associates Inc., of Sonora, is coordinating the environmental impact process for the Calaveras County Planning Department.

As currently proposed, developer Lemke Construction intends to divide approximately 59 acres, on the lake side of O’Byrnes Ferry Road between Sanguinetti Road and Connor Estates Drive, into 259 lots. Designated Sanguinetti Estates, the project proposes 253 residential lots, a 1.5-acre common area with a clubhouse, swimming pool and children’s play area, a 2.1-acre fenced storage area for about 50 boats, Class-A motor homes, trailers and other recreational vehicles, and two open-space areas. Entrance to the gated community would be off Sanguinetti Road.

In the yet-to-be-finalized Copperopolis Community Plan, the area in which Sanguinetti Estates would be located is designated “master planned community.”

“That is kind of a catch-all designation and means developers in that area will have to provide an environmental impact analysis prior to approval of any plan in that area. It could have mixed uses, single-family, multi-family, commercial - a number of different zonings and densities,” said Russ Thomas, current chair of the Copperopolis Community Plan Advisory Committee and candidate for District 5 Supervisor.

The proposal for Sanguinetti Estates includes an amendment to the Calaveras County General Plan to change the property’s current designation from residential center to community center.


It also includes zoning amendments that would change the existing general agriculture zoning to single-family residential, existing parcel size, planned development for the 253 residential lots, and to recreation, existing parcel size, planned development for the remaining six parcels.

Although the proposed project is within the density allowed in the draft community plan, it presents other concerns, Thomas said.

“There also are certain esthetic conditions we hoped would be adhered to,” Thomas said. “The thing I’m struggling with is there are 1,000 linear feet fronting on O’Byrnes Ferry Road, and the exposure of each lot on that exposure is 36 feet. With five-foot setbacks, the maximum building width is 26 feet.”

The narrow lots and accompanying structures, adjacent to one of the area’s primary traffic routes, could negatively affect views from the road.



“I don’t see how that could comply with the objectives of the plan,” Thomas said.

“This new development would create 259 lots near Tulloch Reservoir at a time when Calaveras County has literally thousands of existing vacant lots and thousands of other lots that are already approved and not even built yet,” John Buckley, executive director of Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center, said.

“In terms of meeting state-projected housing needs, there is absolutely no need for even one new lot in the Copperopolis basin at this time, when so many thousands of already-created lots are vacant, and another 3,475 housing units will become available from just the Oak Canyon Ranch project alone, not even counting other already approved developments.”

O’Byrnes Ferry Road, and its bridge over the reservoir, is already inadequate to handle the amount of traffic existing and approved development in the area will generate, Buckley said.

“This project would add more than 1,500 additional vehicle trips each day to a road system that is already dangerous,” he said.

Comment cards will be available at the scoping meeting, or comments may be sent to: Amy Augustine AICP, Augustine Planning Associates Inc., P.O. Box 3117, Sonora CA 9570. Comments may also be sent by fax to 532-2652 or by e-mail to
landplan@mlode.com. All comments must include full names and mailing addresses, and should reference “Project 2005-66 Sanguinetti.” All comments will become part of the official administrative record and may be made available to the public. Comments must be received by Feb. 28.

The project file - including application, maps, and conceptual designs and elevations - may be viewed at the Calaveras County Planning Department, at the Government Center in San Andreas, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, except holidays. Copies of the project documentation can be purchased at the cost of copying at the Planning Department.

Contact John Hall at

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