By ERIN MAYES
David and Lolly Rodgers have the go-ahead to build 24 new one-bedroom apartments in Mono Village, but it might be a while before they break ground.
The Tuolumne County Planning Commission approved the Rodgers' application to expand their existing Lolly Lane complex last night. But a zone change still must be approved by the Board of Supervisors. The couple will also need to get building and grading permits.
The Rodgerses are used to waiting. David Rodgers told the commission last night he thought he would have had the new apartments built a year ago.
Commissioners said the apartments are a good idea because of the county's housing shortage.
Commissioner Chuck Corrales called the apartments a "shot in the arm" for the county and wanted to know if any of the units would be deemed "affordable." David Rodgers said the units are "not low-income."
Rogers said monthly rent for the existing 78 units at Mono Village Apartments, all two-bedrooms, runs from $675 to $725. He was unsure how much the new, smaller units would go for.
The current units are 1,080 square feet and the new units would be 755 square feet.
"I think you've got a great development here," Chairman Jerry Morrow told Rodgers. "It's so desperately needed. We really need to congratulate you."
The lone dissenter, apartment-complex neighbor Ed Spiess, said he wants a fence between his property and the apartments to prevent loitering teenagers near his house. He had other concerns that were resolved at the meeting. No fences are required, Community Development Director Bev Shane said.
John Buckley of the Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center said commissioners should have reserved their favorable comments on the project made before the public hearing was closed until after opponents had their chance to speak.
"Whether or not rentals are needed, you still need to look at the individual merits of this project," Buckley said.