Jamestown planners mull new houses

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By ERIN MAYES

A section of agricultural preserve near Golf Links Road in Volponi Acres could be home to 11 new houses if landowners' plans are approved.

Tuolumne County planning staff members are presenting a report to the Jamestown Area planning commission at tonight's meeting, recommending approval of the project.

Mary de Beauvieres, senior planner with the county's community development department, said an approximately 5.31-acre square lot would be re-zoned as single-family residential with a mobile-home exclusion. A little more than an acre would be preserved for open space.

Bay Area residents Leroy and Lois Huemoeller and Ronald and Leslie Robinson, with Sonora engineering consultant John Engvall, have been working on a plan for what Engvall called a cul-de-sac on the southeastern corner of the 793-acre preserve since January 2002, de Beauvieres said.

The site of the proposed development is the intersection of Golf Links Road and McKibbin Drive. There are no buildings on the land, which is partially wooded with oak trees, foothill gray pine and chaparral brush.

The 5.31 acres and an adjoining 92.7 acres were at one time under the Williamson Act, but the contract expired in March 2001. Land under the Williamson Act cannot be developed, and in exchange, owners receive lower tax assessments, based on the agricultural value of the land.

The county's 1996 general plan designated the land suitable for low-density housing because it is near paved roads, public water and sewer services.

The current low-density housing designation is called "RE-5," meaning one home per 5 acres.

If the 11-house plan is approved, the new zoning designation would allow for more buildings per acre, with lots ranging in size from 0.3 to 0.8 acres.

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