Draper Mine birthing center talks continue

Chris Caskey, The Union Democrat

PUBLIC MEETING: Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors, 9 a.m. Tuesday, Board of Supervisors Chambers, fourth floor, County Administration Center, 2 S. Green St., Sonora.

The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors will continue the public debate this week over a proposed natural birth center in the Soulsbyville area.

The board Tuesday will consider a plan proposed by nurse and midwife Ellen Jasmer to use her property for multiple birthing suites. Jasmer already conducts a midwife business on the Draper Mine Road property and performs home births.

She is asking county planners to allow her to expand the operation on the property and an adjacent site, which would require turning the home on the site into a birthing center with two suites for expecting mothers. The next step would involve adding a third suite and building a 1,200-square-foot residence for midwives working at the center, according to county planning documents.

Long-term possibilities for the center call for three more suites, a midwife office and a residence for the property owners.

The Tuolumne County Planning Commission granted Jasmer's request in February for a conditional use permit. However, opponents have appealed that decision to the Board of Supervisors, saying the center would bring noise, traffic and other negative effects to the rural neighborhood. The Board of Supervisors can uphold or overturn the commission's decision

The board took up the appeal in March at a public hearing, but the board postponed a decision and continued the public hearing until this month.

For the complete story, see the May 5, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.

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