Sonora to vote on carports, kitchens

Christina O'Haver, The Union Democrat

The Sonora City Council will decide Monday whether to adopt two ordinances - one to allow larger carports and one to regulate commercial sales of homemade foods within city limits.

The council unanimously decided to waive the first reading of both ordinances at its March 18 meeting.

Carports within city limits are confined to 264 square feet and can only be constructed after a conditional use permit is obtained from the city.

The amended ordinance allows residents to build carports up to 340 square feet without a conditional use permit, or larger with a permit.

Carports can accommodate wheelchair-accessible vans under the proposed increase, according to meeting documents.

The new ordinance still requires carports to be built within 3 feet of the parcel boundary and meet other requirements established by the city.

The parcel must be one-half acre or smaller, contain a home at least 50 years old and have no garage or other covered parking structures.

Although a conditional use permit will not be required for carports less than 340 square feet, residents are required to obtain a building permit.

Other criteria address the carports' construction materials, appearance, stability, distance from other structures and compliance with residential zoning restrictions.

Cottage food operations

The sale of homemade foods is permitted under the California Homemade Food Act, which became effective Jan. 1.

The proposed ordinance adds the state's definition of "cottage food operations" to the city municipal code and amends the city's definition of "home occupation" to exclude the new operations.

It also establishes city standards for selling food out of private homes. The standards target permits, concentration, traffic, parking and noise within city limits.

The ordinances would go into effect 30 days after adoption.

In other business:

• The council will hold a public hearing for citizens to weigh in on a grant application. If the state approves the application, the city would allocate $2 million in state funding to three projects: new multi-family housing in place of a burned-out apartment complex on Stewart Street, an inventory of the city's historic resources and infrastructure for fire protection in residential areas.

• The council will consider approving Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority's proposed budget for the 2014 fiscal year.

• Sonora Police Chief Mark Stinson will introduce an officer hired under the "Vets to Cops" grant.

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The Union Democrat
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