Jamestown buildings may see wrecking ball

By Chris Caskey, The Union Democrat June 11, 2013 11:30 am

County planning boards this week will consider a proposal in Jamestown to tear down multiple vacant commercial buildings and replace them with a mix of retail and apartment spaces.

Developer IAE Investments LLC is seeking approval to demolish the former automobile service station and restaurant located between the National Hotel and former Jamestown Hotel, according to the Tuolumne County Community Resources Agency.

 Plans submitted to the county call for replacing the structures with two mixed-use buildings on Main Street totalling 7,180 square feet. Five retail spaces would be built on the first floor and five studio apartments on the second.

The buildings are supposed to follow design review guidelines for downtown Jamestown to keep the community’s historic feel.

The developer is seeking a change to the county General Plan and county zoning rules. IAE is also seeking a conditional use permit, allowing for mixed use in the currently commercial-only space.

The county’s Historic Preservation Review and Demolition Review Committee will weigh in this afternoon on the project, and the Jamestown Area Planning Commission will review it Wednesday.

Today’s Historic Preservation Review Commission meeting begins at 4 p.m. on the fourth floor of the administration building, 2 S. Green St., Sonora, while Wednesday’s Jamestown Area Planning Commission meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the Jamestown Community Hall, 18250 Main St.

Mike Laird, deputy director with the CRA, said the county Board of Supervisors will consider approving the project in July.

This will be the last project for the Jamestown Area Planning Commission to consider. The commission will no longer exist after July 1.

The county Board of Supervisors, which is the county’s main legislative body, voted earlier this year to eliminate the area planning commissions in Jamestown, Columbia, Tuolumne and southern Tuolumne County in an attempt to streamline the development process. 

Those commissions are made up of community members from each area, and opponents of that decision said at the time that eliminating those bodies will give smaller communities less of a voice in the development process.

Starting in July, projects like the one in Jamestown will go through the Tuolumne County Planning Commission, the county’s only remaining commission.