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Twain Harte Shopping Center Revamp Narrowly Approved

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Twain Harte, CA — With a 3-1 vote, the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors voted to allow the owner of the Twain Harte Shopping Center to overhaul the existing facility and incorporate housing units.

Notably, the owner Howard Schindler is planning to convert 44,000 square feet of vacant space into 37 residential units. The shopping center is located on Tiffeni Drive and is anchored by the Twain Harte Market (which will remain in place). It was noted that the project has been scaled back in recent months and there is no expansion of the currently developed area to accommodate the residential units.

Many in the Twain Harte community have raised concerns about the project at recent public meetings. District Three Supervisor Anaiah Kirk, who represents Twain Harte, was the lone vote in opposition. He stressed that he understands the need for additional housing, but he has concerns about the potential long-term impacts on Twain Harte’s quality of life and has questions about whether Section 8 low-income housing will at some point be incorporated. He indicated he would be more willing to support the project if he could add specific stipulations.

The three supervisors in favor of the project were Kathleen Haff, Jaron Brandon, and Ryan Campbell. Brandon argued that the Twain Harte Shopping Center is a “ghost town” and it would be “silly” not to approve the changes (allowing housing).

Also referencing the current state of the shopping center, Supervisor Campbell went so far as to say, “It has been vacant for a very long time, and I don’t want to sound crass, but it can’t get any worse than it is right now.”

Board Chair Haff added, “Everything that we are to approve has been met (by the applicant/property owner).”

Supervisor David Goldemberg was absent and did not vote.

The supervisors approved a needed General Plan Amendment and Zone Change so that the project can proceed.

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