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TCBC Supports Stone Mill Center

Tuolumne County Business Council supports the site design approval and development of the Stone Mill Center on Parrots Ferry Road. This neighborhood commercial center, located on 2.1 acres, will offer valuable services to Sonora and Columbia area residents by including much-needed prompt care emergency services and the addition of other medical and retail uses.

Stone Mill Center is well planned on land that has had the proper Commercial Zoning for over 30 years. The layout and design of the neighborhood center complements the historic character of Sonora and Columbia, while incorporating many architectural elements that are in compliance with the Columbia Community Plan and Columbia Design Guidelines.

The placement of the three small commercial buildings screen sufficient parking from Parrots Ferry Road and over a quarter of the site has been set aside for landscaping and open space. The small amount of traffic generated by tourist and local residents that utilize the services of this neighborhood center have been considered with the overall design capacity of Parrots Ferry Road and will not be a problem.

When a well planned neighborhood commercial center, offering valuable services and needed economic development is up for a final County approval, on land that has long been designated and zoned for that infill use, why do we have a no growth group and some individuals appealing the unanimous Planning Commission approval? The fact of the matter is that some people just do not want any responsible growth or economic development anywhere in select areas of our County at anytime. Do not be fooled by the standard “not in my backyard” objections that have no basis. All the stated appeal points have been carefully reviewed by the County and deemed to be non issues or have been adequately mitigated through proper planning. The intent of these objections and false accusations are to try and stop needed economic development with a misguided strategy to delay and increase project costs.

The outspoken individuals who oppose the Stone Mill neighborhood commercial center and many of the other needed projects in our area do not seem to care that our County continues to lose population, is growing older, has significant declining student enrollment or that the Columbia area has an unemployment rate that is twice the County and State average. Our young educated work force is moving away because of the lack of job opportunities and economic development.

Please stand with the Tuolumne County Business Council and support the development of the Stone Mill Center, which will contribute to the economic vitality of Sonora and Columbia and the quality of life we all strive for in Tuolumne County.