SPI seeks OK for 298-home project

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By ERIN MAYES

A third proposal for the development of more than 600 acres of land off Standard Road is now before Tuolumne County planners.

The proposed Peaceful Oak Estates is a scaled-back version of what in 1990 was envisioned as "New Standard." The latest proposal, by Sierra Pacific Industries, calls for 298 homes as opposed to the 1,000-plus homes and golf course that the previous land owner, Fibreboard, came up with13 years ago.

The newest application is undergoing a 30-day review with the county Community Development Department. In addition to 298 home sites, plans include a 10.5-acre neighborhood commercial center, trails and paved roads on the land between Highway 108 and Tuolumne Road, along the east side of Standard Road.

In 1989, Fibreboard which owned the Standard sawmill and nearby property before selling to SPI applied to develop 800 acres with up to 1,115 homes, 78 acres of commercial and industrial space, a 320-acre golf course with open space, school and park expansions and a town center. That application was withdrawn the next year.

SPI submitted development plans in 1999, according to the project application. A revision of the first proposal, the second set of plans called for 729 houses, a town center, a 180-acre golf course with a club house, a fire station, a 3-acre park and 42 acres of open space. But a draft environmental impact report was never submitted for that project.

In the latest application, SPI proposes both low- and high-density housing on the property. There would be an area of high-density housing called "old town" homes about eight homes per acre totaling 28 houses. The plans call for 263 "typical" homes on 1.58-acre lots, with one home per acre. "Buffer" homes would consist of seven residences on lots ranging from 3 to 5.49 acres.

SPI has hired Mike Albrecht and Stacey Martin, owners of Sierra Resource Management, a Sonora-based logging company, to represent the project locally.

Albrecht said the original project Fibreboard proposed, with 1,000-plus homes and a full golf course, simply didn't fit the area.

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The Union Democrat
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