Sonora, CA — Zoning changes proposed for a lodging project proceed without being challenged.
The Rush Creek Lodge project will be situated on Highway 120 near Hardin Flat Road. Developers say due to the Rim Fire they are requesting some changes to the zoning in order to avoid the burned area and still accommodate the design.
Tuolumne County Community Resources Agency Director Bev Shane says, “They are proposing to do some revegetation due to the damage created by the Rim Fire which burned around the perimeter of the project site.” Their new plans modify the open space boundaries. Shane says, “They will be planting some vegetation and they are going to irrigate the entire site with a grey water system.”
Rush Creek Lodge completed the CEQA process, and was approved by the county, back in 2004. The project took several years to go through the county review process. At today’s supervisor meeting no one spoke in opposition, and the Board of Supervisors passed the zone changes unanimously.
The first phase of the project calls for 116 rooms, with plans to eventually expand to 143. It will also include a two-story lodge building and hillside villas.
The developers are First Light Hospitality, LLC. The company also operates the Evergreen Lodge. In April Tuolumne county was approved for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) by the state, in the amount of $3 million. The they will loan the money to the developers over 20 years, with 3 percent interest. Interest from CDBG money funds many local charities. The total cost of the Rush Creek Lodge project is estimated to be $28 million.