By MIKE MORRIS
Angels Camp planners say a large housing development proposed for the Copperopolis area could attract more businesses to the city.
Oak Canyon Ranch, a 2,675-home project with two golf courses, a resort area with shops, restaurants and hotel rooms, is proposed south of Highway 4 on both sides of Little John Road, north of Copper Cove Drive.
It's projected that the development could bring more than 7,000 new residents to Calaveras County.
"Our main thought is they may want to shop in Angels," said Amy Augustine, planning consultant to the city.
She said she suspects many Oak Canyon residents will commute to Stockton for their shopping needs, but many people could also drive north on Highway 4 to shop in Angels Camp.
Land near the intersection of highways 4 and 49 is zoned shopping-center-commercial according to the city's drafted general plan.
The developer of Frog Jump Plaza at the intersection of highways 4 and 49 has made a pitch to Wal-Mart officials to build a Super Center store on a vacant 9-acre lot he owns next to the plaza.
Angels Camp City Administrator Tim Shearer said with the addition of Oak Canyon, Angels Camp would become more marketable for new businesses.
"What Oak Canyon will do is increase the market area for stores that would have a regional draw," Shearer said.
But he said Target and Trader Joe's have told him the area is too small for their stores.
"It would definitely increase the base population that any sort of business would consider to locate here," said Kaye Simonson, the city's new planning director, said of Oak Canyon.
Even with the huge new development, the region would not be "on the radar screen" as far as Target or Trader Joe's goes, said Shearer, "But it's a step in that direction."