By ERIN MAYES
Construction crews on the 14000 block of Tuolumne Road are moving tons of dirt and building a large rock retaining wall to make way for a light-industrial and residential development.
Property owner John Costanzo has tentative plans for four industrial buildings to be leased out, 13 more industrial parcels to be sold and 11 houses each on 3-acre parcels, said Costanzo's marketing sales agent, Daisy Voigt. The site near Tuolumne and Wards Ferry Road is 71.5 acres.
Costanzo still needs a building permit before any construction can begin, said Tuolumne County Planner Sean Conrad.
Costanzo has a site development permit, however, which allows all the site work involving a range of heavy equipment now under way.
In October 2001, Costanzo said he envisioned four light-industrial buildings, ranging from 18,000 to 25,000 square feet in size, but Voigt said she's not sure whether the land being cleared could accommodate buildings that size. Costanzo could not be reached for comment.
When Costanzo first talked of developing the property, nearby residents had expressed concern that big-box retail stores might be built there. But "these buildings aren't going to accommodate Costco or Home Depot," Conrad said.
Of the 15 parcels, 14 are zoned for industrial use and the last 36.4-acre parcel also the largest is zoned for residential use. Costanzo has plans to build 11 large homes, each on 3 acres, on this parcel, Voigt said.
"He's got a couple of maps on what could be a subdivision. It'll be like Lambert Lakes. That's what we're hoping," said Voigt of a nearby subdivision off Tuolumne Road with many high-end homes.
Conrad said the residential project is still in the early planning process and must go before the Tuolumne County Planning Commission for approval.
Meanwhile, Costanzo's crews are busy preparing for a paved street and parking lot for the industrial area, and sewer, water and electrical work remains to be done.