Supervisors to consider new Copper growth fee

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By SCOTT PESZNECKER

New homes going up in Copperopolis may be tagged with a one-time fee to help pay for road repairs and other growth-related projects.

County Public Works Director Bob Kawasaki on Monday will ask county supervisors to approve the formation of the Reed's Turnpike Benefit Basin. Anyone wanting to build a home within the basin which spans most of Copperopolis would have to pay a fee estimated at about $1,172.

A public hearing on the fee is set for 10:30 a.m. during the supervisors' meeting.

Kawasaki said the fee would generate about $6.7 million over 20 years.

About $879,000 of the basin fees would pay for the new intersection of Highway 4 and Little John Road, which is now under construction.

Future projects to use basin fees include reconstructing Reed's Turnpike from Little John Road to O'Brynes Ferry Road, widening O'Brynes Ferry Road from Copper Cove Drive to the Tuolumne County line, and improving the intersections on O'Brynes Ferry Road with Reed's Turnpike and Copper Cove Drive.

Those projects are at least five years out maybe 10 years or more Kawasaki said.

The proposed benefit basin first came before county supervisors on Aug. 5.

A Los Angeles law firm representing Oak Canyon Ranch a proposed 3,251-acre housing project in Copperopolis said approval of the benefit assessment district "may affect (Oak Canyon's) rights," in a letter to supervisors dated Aug. 5.

Oak Canyon Ranch is planned to be built on both sides of the new Little John Road extension. Developers of the project have given the right-of-way of the road to the county, Kawasaki said, and have asked for a "credit" toward future basin fees in return.

"Nowhere have we had any agreements at this point that any credits would be given," said Kawasaki, adding that a credit could be worked out at a later date.

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The Union Democrat
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