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Proposed Improvements At Mountain Sage Receive Broad Support

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Groveland, CA – Planning commissioners unanimously voted to move forward plans for a popular Yosemite corridor business to expand its special event capacity.

Tuolumne County Community Development Director Quincy Yaley acknowledged seemingly broad public support for Wednesday’s 6-0 vote by the Tuolumne County Planning Commission in support of a conditional use permit proposal by Regina Hirsch, whose historic 1860s 21-acre Laveroni House property off Highway 120 is home to Mountain Sage Nursery, Gardens, and Café.

“The reasons cited…include the positive impact on the community — that the events create…a sense of community in the community of Groveland, and that it is good for tourism and local business in Groveland,” Yaley recounts.

Although Hirsch had become known for holding popular community events at the venue, her pursuit of a conditional use permit for her project sought approval to host up to 14 outdoor music concerts, weddings or other seasonal events from April through October with amplified music, vendors and food service.

Hirsch also outlined plans to hold a non-certified farmers market on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings between Memorial and Labor Day weekends and operate a co-op farm stand selling locally grown produce and cottage food products.

Proposed construction plans showed plans to amend the existing events stage to a size of 35 feet by 45 feet with an attached overhead weather roof and a terraced area expanded in front of it to support a maximum of 500 people. The application also outlined building an onsite 167-space parking lot for which there were various proposals to create access. Planning staff listed 91 conditions of approval roughly equaling respective impacts.

During the public hearing period on the matter, 34 people spoke in favor of the project and one person, an adjacent property owner, spoke in opposition, citing noise concerns.

Yaley notes, “A theme that was consistent was that the Mountain Sage business connects people, engages the local community, and helps our environment.”