Angels Hacienda on agenda

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By SCOTT PESZNECKER

The fate of a small hotel near Copperopolis is in the hands of Calaveras County supervisors.

On Monday, supervisors will consider approving general plan and zoning code amendments and a modification of county road standards that would allow the eight-room Angels Hacienda to legally operate as a hotel.

Pending decisions on the requested amendments, owner Pam Hatch is operating her business under temporary permission from the planning department.

But without the amendments, Hatch said she can't get the proper permits to operate a hotel or bed-and-breakfast permanently.

Hatch wants her land rezoned from agricultural to recreation, which she says fits with the county General Plan.

"If they'll accept that, we should be able to go forward," Hatch said. "If not, I don't know where we stand."

But Planning Director Kim Hansen said she isn't so sure the zoning change is compatible. She said the general plan calls for the area to be zoned as future family residential.

"They're operating a hotel in an A-1 zone," Hansen said. "That's neither a conditional or permitted use in that zoning district."

The Hacienda, which has a Farmington address but is close to Copperopolis, was built in the 1920s and sits surrounded by grass-covered fields.

Hatch is permitted to use the building as a business retreat for employees or members of an organization, but she never got an occupancy permit to open the retreat, a planning department memo said.

The Hacienda has been operating without the proper permits since it opened in 1999, but Hatch said she has been trying all along to get them.

Her efforts hit a snag late in 2001, when the county told her she couldn't operate the Hacienda as a hotel because Hunt Road which leads to the establishment does not meet county standards.

Hatch said the county told her that she'd have to pay to have several miles of the narrow, bumpy road repaved, painted and widened before she could get her hotel permits.

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The Union Democrat
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