The Sonora Planning Commission on Monday approved revised designs for a KFC restaurant in the Timberhills Shopping Center on Mono Way.

Community Development Director Rachelle Kellogg said the commission voted 5-0 at a public meeting to issue permits for the project, almost one year to the day since asking the developer to make the proposed building look more like the others in the shopping center.

No one spoke in favor or against the project other than the applicant, Clifton Sorrell, of VMI Architecture.

Harman Management Corporation, based in Los Altos, wants to level the building that formerly housed Denny’s and construct a KFC in its place. The company also plans to move the KFC franchise it owns in The Junction shopping center in East Sonora to the new location.

Kellogg said the company indicated they hope to get started by the end of 2019.

Part of the reason for the move is that the company leases the land in The Junction and prefers to own. It purchased the land at the Timberhills Shopping Center for $850,000.

The commission also voted 5-0 to approve a tentative parcel map that will allow contractor Ron Palhegyi to construct two more single-family homes on a piece of land off South Washington Street where he’s already building two others.

Palhegyi agreed to move a boulder in the city right-of-way that will allow vehicles exiting the property to make a left turn onto South Washington Street.

They will be among the few new homes built in the city since the 2008 housing market crash.

The city has averaged just under three housing starts each year since the crash, following a peak in home construction during the 1970s when the average was in excess of 700 annually.

Contact Alex MacLean at or (209) 588-4530.