No change yet for zoning code

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By SCOTT PESZNECKER

Calaveras County supervisors have delayed action on a zoning ordinance change that would allow property owners to build no more than two houses on their properties.

With supervisors Merita Callaway and Lucy Thein absent, the three remaining board members said they wanted more public comment on the proposed change.

Under current rules, landowners can build up to parcel density limits set forth by the county general plan.

For example, someone who owns 100 acres zoned "general agriculture" with adequate road access could build 20 houses, because the general plan allows one house per 5 acres on such land.

Under the proposed change, landowners could only build two houses after getting building permits.

The amendment would still allow landowners to build up to their general plan density limits. But they would need additional tract maps, permits and environmental reviews for anything beyond one primary residence and one accessory dwelling.

The change would be a safeguard against uncontrolled growth, county Planner Diana Hurlbert said last week.

Supervisors didn't set a date to vote on the code change. That will depend on when the county-hired consulting firm can meet with community groups, supervisors said.

The consulting firm of Crawford, Multari & Clark was hired midway through 2002 to plan several code changes, including the housing change. The firm's contract requires it to hold meetings with various community groups, but such meetings have not been held.

No dates have been set for any community meetings.

The county has been working out the details of the proposed zoning change for almost two years. Supervisors first directed county planners to start working on it in late January 2002.

Contact Scott Pesznecker at spesznecker@uniondemocrat.com .

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