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Supervisors Approve Charter School Land Use

Sonora, CA– The Golden Lakes Charter School in La Grange is getting closer to becoming a reality.


The Tuolumne County Supervisors voted Tuesday to approve a planned unit development permit to allow an existing 4,500 square foot metal building to be converted into classrooms, a multi-purpose room and an office, and to allow the placement of six portable classrooms, one portable restroom and accessory improvements for the Golden Lakes Charter School.


The property is located at 5021 La Grange Road, about 500 feet southwest of the intersection of Bonds Flat Road and La Grange Road.


Mari Brabbin, Executive Director of the Golden Lakes Charter School said, “We have 110 families who have enrolled their children at Golden Lakes Charter School and we are continuing to sign up students on a daily basis. Our parents have entrusted their children to us to provide a safe and orderly environment conducive to learning. The hearing today is about land use. All other school issues are under the guidance of the Tuolumne County Office of Education and the Golden Lakes school board. Thank you for your consideration.”


An appeal by La Grange resident Richard Koester to the Southern Tuolumne County Planning Commission’s decision to approve a conditional permit to allow the temporary use of seven commercial coaches for the operation of the Golden Lakes Charter School was also rejected by the Tuolumne County Supervisors. Koester said the project should not be approved without the requirement of an environmental review by the California Quality Act (CEQA).


Mike Laird, Deputy Director of the Tuolumne County Community Development Department said the site has an existing sewage treatment pond which has been evaluated by an environmental health specialist and determined to be of suitable size for the proposed use. He also said the treated waste water pond on site has been approved by the Tuolumne County Fire Department for fire protection, and the school is in the process of obtaining the necessary permit to allow them to use an existing well on the property.


Laird said, “Based on those facts, the environmental coordinator has determined this project would be exempt from environmental review.”


Last November, the Tuolumne County Board of Education approved the creation of a Golden Lakes Charter School in the Don Pedro area. The school will enroll 120 students.


Written by tina.falco@mlode.com