Project's effects revisited

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By SCOTT PESZNECKER

A proposed, large-scale housing project in Copperopolis will have an impact on traffic in that area, but it will be slightly less disruptive than first thought.

That's according to the revised draft environmental impact report for Oak Canyon Ranch, a 2,675-home, 3,251-acre development proposed south of Highway 4 around Little John Road.

The revised EIR was completed late last week. It takes another look at the project's impact on area traffic.

Oak Canyon Ranch co-developer Maury Froman said Friday that he had not read the document yet.

Froman was concerned about the traffic studies in the previous EIR, he said, because the data for those studies were inadequate. He said the new EIR is supposed to use more realistic criteria.

Both the revised and previous draft EIRs state that traffic on some Copperopolis roads could increase significantly in the next 20 years.

The EIR grades various sections of Copperopolis roads on a scale of "A" to "F," with "A" being the best mark. The more congested a road is, the worse its letter grade.

An "A" or "B" signifies free-flowing traffic and a "C" the minimum standard allowed by the Calaveras County Public Works Department for new construction stands for free-flowing traffic at slower speeds.

Below that, a "D" means some stop-and-go traffic, and "E" and "F" roads are consistently stop-and-go.

The previous EIR examined 15 road sections in Copperopolis. It concluded that the buildout of Oak Canyon Ranch could drop five of them by two letter grades.

The revised EIR didn't consider one of the five roads the Oak Canyon Ranch southern access because it hasn't been built yet. Both EIRs agree, though, that the road would be a 'D' when and if built.

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The Union Democrat
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