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Supervisors Vote On Terra Vi Lodge Halted

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Sonora, CA – The hearing on whether to approve the Terra Vi Lodge at Yosemite ended abruptly on Tuesday evening.

After nearly five hours of listening to callers, Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors walked away with no decision on the project that would construct 140 guest rooms, 25 cabins, a market, and a lodge near the intersection of Highway 120 and Sawmill Mountain Road. As earlier reported here, the planning commission approved the plans and it was appealed to the board.

Those in favor of the new lodging praised its economic and tax boost for the area while those opposed voiced concerns of a lack of water, wildfire safety and traffic. However, it was the last caller that put the brakes on the board taking a vote.

That caller was John Buckley, the director of Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center (CSERC), who told the board its Environmental Impact Report or EIR failed to respond to all 25 pages of his group’s specific comments, stating, “The whole response to our comments is missing.”

Buckley criticized the board saying it is “blatantly rushing citizen review in order to allow outgoing board members a chance to approve projects before leaving office.” He then told the board why they could not vote, stating, “To be consistent with CEQA [California Environmental Quality Act] a supplemental EIR or errata [a list of corrected errors] must be produced and made available for public and agency consideration prior to the county taking any action to certify this EIR as complete and adequate.”

No response was given to Buckley’s allegations of rushing the vote, but an immediate recess was called.  After almost an hour, the board chair, District 1 Supervisor Sherri Brennan, announced, “Mr. Buckley’s comment letter was not responded to due to an inadvertent error. Based on this omission the county will continue the hearing…to allow for the preparation and submission of the errata responding to Mr. Buckley’s comments.”

Another special meeting will now be held on Thursday (Dec. 31, New Year’s Eve) at 9 a.m and you can again watch it live on myMotherLode.com.

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