Development's details sought

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By LENORE RUTHERFORD

More questions were raised than answered Wednesday about plans for the 314-acre former West Side Lumber Co. property in Tuolumne.

About 40 people packed the Tuolumne Park and Recreation District's board meeting to question a county planner about the Me-Wuk tribe's plans for the property.

District directors had asked Tuolumne County Planner Sean Conrad to attend their meeting to explain the tribe's proposed changes to a district-owned, 100-foot railroad easement that runs through the property.

But those in the audience were more interested in specifics of plans for the land whether homes will be available only to tribe members; how the tribe will handle garbage; and whether low-income housing will be included.

Conrad refused to speculate on what the Me-Wuk might have in mind, other than to say the tribe has plans for a hotel, a golf course and about 100 homes.

Anna Artzer of Tuolumne went to the meeting because she thought members of the tribe would be there to talk about the project.

"They keep talking about having town meetings," she said. "I wonder when they will have them."

The only Me-Wuk present at the meeting was tribal counsel member Sonny Hendricks, who said he was there only as an observer and declined to answer questions.

For about 45 minutes, the public asked Conrad and TPRD directors about possibilities for the land the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians bought in March 2002 for $1.875 million cash. The tribe bought the land, which borders downtown, in a foreclosure sale.

When the Me-Wuk bought the land, it came with a county-approved tentative subdivision map for up to 160 homes, a hotel, commercial area and 18-hole golf course. Lately, however, the tribe has been talking about building 100 homes on larger lots.

County Public Works Director Peter Rei said the Me-Wuk face a December deadline for submitting a final subdivision map using the existing tentative map.

11703938
The Union Democrat
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