Home Depot weighs options for building site



Home Depot is mulling its options for a Sonora-area outlet:

? Go ahead with current plans to build a store on Mono Way and risk rejection;

? Revise plans so they meet county requirements;

? Or find another place to build.

Tuolumne County's Public Works and Community Development departments and the fire marshal met with representatives from the huge home-improvement store chain on Thursday afternoon to discuss these options. But no decisions were made, said Mary de Beauvieres senior planner with the Community Development Department.

The revised application for a site development permit, received by the department in mid-February, calls for a 95,860-square-foot warehouse store, a 24,000-square-foot garden center and a 600,000-gallon-water tank.

Home Depot wants to build on an 11.4-acre site at 13358 Mono Way, between Hammond Ford and The Peppery Gar and Brill.

The store has plans to clear 460,000 cubic yards of dirt, brush and trees from the area, leaving only bare earth behind. De Beauvieres said that is a violation of both the East Sonora Community Plan and Tuolumne County General Plan because it destroys the "rural character" of the site.

Earlier plans estimated removal of 350,000 cubic yards of material.

De Beauvieres said Home Depot has no deadline for a decision. If store officials choose to stick with the plans, she said, "We would be recommending denial to the planning commission."

Meanwhile, Tuolumne County residents have received thousands of fliers asking them to support the project. Home Depot spokeswoman Kathryn Gallagher said those in surrounding counties were most likely sent fliers, too. She said she couldn't comment on Home Depot's upcoming decision.

Contact Erin Mayes at emayes@uniondemocrat.com .

The Union Democrat
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