By ERIN MAYES
More than 200 lots in Jamestown are a step closer to being rezoned.
It's not a big deal for most residents and business owners, but some lot owners worried about how the changes might affect them attended last night's Jamestown Planning Commission meeting.
The Tuolumne County Community Development Department was recommending zone changes on 226 parcels amounting to more than 328 acres of land. The changes are being recommended so the parcels match land use designations in the county 1996 General Plan revision.
Several property owners asked that their property's zoning go unchanged, and commissioners willingly did so. The panel voted to recommend to the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors that those properties stay as-is or that General Plan amendments be adopted to change the land use designations for those properties.
Richard Allen had been particularly concerned about zoning on his Willow Street property, which is home to the Palm Hotel. The business has been there since the early 1900s, when it was called the "Hoyt Hotel."
Commissioners were being asked to consider zoning his property as "mixed use" allowing for commercial and residential use. That would have allowed him to operate his hotel on a "legal nonconforming" basis, but he wouldn't be allowed to expand his business because the Palm Hotel already has more rooms than are allowed under a mixed-use designation.
Allen also wouldn't have been allowed to leave the property vacant for 18 months or longer without forfeiting his right to operate the hotel as it is.
Commissioners agreed with Allen that the zone change made no sense for his property and voted to recommend a General Plan amendment.
Donald Karraker, who owns D&E Parts and Repair on Highway 108, said he was also pleased with last night's results. His property is zoned for commercial use, but the General Plan calls for high-density residential zoning.
"R-3 doesn't do me any good at all," Karraker told commissioners of zoning that would allow 15 houses per acre.