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Heated Debate In Tuolumne County

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Sonora, CA — The discussion on Tuolumne County’s long term growth got a little heated at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting. The Board reviewed the “Tuolumne Tomorrow,” report which is the regional blueprint project for growth in the area. That blue print calls for utilizing existing community infrastructures and services by building more homes closer to them.

Supervisor Evan Royce doesn’t like the plan. He argues “I think this is an expensive, outside vision that does not reflect the values of Tuolumne County residents. The quality of life in Tuolumne County is not comprised of compact new urban development with passenger rail systems, with urban development boundaries and clustered development. He adds “It’s disturbing to me that this plan sets out to provide a quality of life for all with the real intent to regulate and control rights.”

Board Chair Dick Pland took issue with that statement saying “As far as being imposed from the top down or from Sacramento or some other place, let me assure you, after five years of committee meetings there wasn’t one person at those committee meetings that wasn’t a resident of Tuolumne County.” Pland adds “So I don’t know where some of this is coming from, let’s set it straight. In fact, this was built by the citizens of Tuolumne County. The public hearings were held in Tuolumne County and to say that all of a sudden this is something that’s being imposed on Tuolumne County, I think is incorrect.”

The Board voted 3 to 2 in favor of accepting the Tuolumne Tomorrow: Tuolumne County Regional Blueprint Report and adopting the resolution establishing the Distinctive Communities as the Preferred Growth Scenario for the county. Supervisors Liz Bass, John Gray and Dick Pland voted in favor of the plan while Evan Royce and Randy Hanvelt voted against it.