Mountain Springs at 880 houses

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By ERIN MAYES

Seven years after proposing a 2,076-home development off Lime Kiln Road, Mountain Springs developers are now suggesting 880 houses.

Curious area residents visited yesterday's open house at Mountain Springs to check out the new plans and fill out questionnaires with their opinions on the revised project. About 100 people turned out to view information on poster boards and talk with project officials, said Mountain Springs spokesman Ron Kopf.

The open house will continue today from noon to 6:30 p.m.

New plans include a proposal to make 10 percent of the houses affordable to moderate-income buyers. Affordable housing has been a major issue among project critics. Some still say 10 percent is not enough.

Paula Authier is pushing for 20 percent affordable housing and would like to see homes priced for buyers at even lower income levels. Authier is an active member of Voter's Choice, the group that formed in opposition to the project.

"From what I saw, I don't see that the employees of that resort will be able to live in that community," she said.

Homes in the development would likely cost from $175,000 to $600,000 and higher. Kopf said it's difficult to balance the demand for more homes affordable to lower income buyers and the demand for low-density homes homes with land around them.

Kopf further said the revised Mountain Springs plans meet the request of Voter's Choice members, who last year asked him in writing to have at least 10 percent of homes in the plans be "affordable."

Not all of the houses will be for sale, Kopf said some will be rentals and those that can be purchased at moderate prices include multi-family homes and duplexes. A handout available at the open house said developers would like to give purchasing priority to existing Tuolumne County residents and public service employees such as police officers and nurses.

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