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General Plan Update

Public Notice of Availability of Draft Environmental Impact Report

In accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), a Draft Environmental Impact Report has been prepared for the Tuolumne County General Plan Update.  A Draft Environmental Impact Report is an informational document that describes the environmental setting, the results of the environmental analysis and project alternatives considered.

Notice of Availability of Draft EIR

The proposed project is the comprehensive update of the County’s 1996 General Plan. The General Plan is the County’s constitution for growth and all future development must be consistent with it.  A draft update of the Tuolumne County General Plan has been prepared to guide future growth in the County during the next 25 years. Tuolumne County has prepared an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to address potential adverse effects that may result from adoption of the Tuolumne County General Plan Update. The Draft General Plan includes the following Elements:

• Land Use                               • Circulation
• Housing                                 • Natural Resources
• Noise                                     • Safety
• Public Facilities                      • Recreation
• Cultural Resources                • Economic Development
• Agricultural Resources           • Air Quality
• Community Identity                 • Jamestown Community Plan
• Columbia Community Plan     • East Sonora Community Plan
• Tuolumne Community Plan    • Mountain Springs Community Plan
• Water Resources                    • Healthy Communities

Anyone interested in this matter is invited to comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Report in writing. Any comments received will be responded to in the Final EIR.

The public review period begins on December 7, 2015 and ends on February 5, 2016.

Please submit written comments to Adam Paszkowski, Supervising Senior Planner at the Community Resources Agency by email at or by mail to:

Tuolumne County Community Resources Agency
2 S. Green Street
Sonora, CA 95370

County Staff will also hold two public meetings regarding the Tuolumne County General Plan Update and the Draft Environmental Impact Report as follows:

Thursday, January 21, 2016, 10:00 a.m.     
Groveland Community Hall 
18720 Highway 120, Groveland

Thursday, January 21, 2016, 6:00 p.m.
Board of Supervisors Chambers 
Tuolumne County Administration Center 
2 South Green Street, Sonora
At the meetings, information about the Tuolumne County General Plan Update and the Draft EIR will be presented. In addition, the public is invited to provide oral comments on the Tuolumne County General Plan Update Draft EIR at the meetings.

Below is the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Tuolumne County General Plan Update. The Draft EIR is separated into sections for easier access. Copies of the Draft EIR can also be found at the Community Resources Agency located at 48 Yaney Avenue in Sonora and at the libraries throughout the County.

Tuolumne County General Plan Update Draft EIR:

    Cover Page
    Executive Summary
    Title Page
    Table of Contents
    1.0 Introduction
    2.0 Project Description
    3.0 Environmental Setting
    4.0 Environmental Impact Analysis
    4.1 Aesthetics
    4.2 Agriculture
    4.3 Air Quality
    4.4 Biological Resources
    4.5 Cultural Resources
    4.6 Geology
    4.7 Global Climate Change
    4.8 Hazards
    4.9 Hydrology and Water Quality
    4.10 Land Use and Planning
    4.11 Noise
    4.12 Population and Housing
    4.13 Public Services
    4.14 Recreation
    4.15 Transportation and Circulation
    4.16 Utilities
    4.17 Less than Significant
    5.0 Other CEQA Sections
    6.0 Alternatives
    7.0 References and Preparers
    Appendix A: Notice of Preparation (NOP): NOP Comments
    Appendix B: Biological Resources: Wildlife Habitat Descriptions Species Tables
    Appendix C: Traffic Study

Notice of Preparation of an Environmental Impact Report

Notice has been given that the County of Tuolumne will be the Lead Agency and will prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the General Plan Update as identified below. Comments on the Notice of Preparation ended on September 11, 2015.

Notice of Preparation

General Plan Update

Since 1937, the State of California has mandated that local jurisdictions "make big plans" to guide growth and physical development within their respective boundaries through the adoption of General Plans. Government Code Section 65300 et seq. requires each local jurisdiction to adopt a General Plan that is comprehensive, internally consistent and long term. Although the General Plan is required by State law to address specific issues, the local jurisdiction has the authority to organize the plan in any way that suits its needs. The General Plan should be clearly written, available to all those concerned with the community's development and easy to administer. The planning horizon for a General Plan is typically 20 years.

The current General Plan was completed in 1996, and addresses the County’s growth until the year 2020. At the time of the General Plan adoption in 1996, the State Department of Finance projected Tuolumne County’s population to grow to 97,100 by the year 2020. The 1996 General Plan was based upon the assumption that Tuolumne County would reach that projected population with the caveat that it did not promote the growth of the County’s population to that level.

On June 5, 2012, the Board of Supervisors executed an Agreement for Professional Services with Rincon Consultants, Inc. to conduct a General Plan and Regional Transportation Plan Evaluation and Analysis and a Health in All Policies Review.  The purpose of this analysis was to identify areas where the General Plan and Regional Transportation Plan could be modified to implement strategies for healthy communities and the preferred growth scenario (Distinctive Communities) identified by the Blueprint Plan and selected by the Board of Supervisors on August 21, 2012. 

On September 17, 2013, the Board of Supervisors accepted the final report prepared by Rincon and directed staff to prepare an update of the Tuolumne County General Plan to implement the preferred growth scenario and to incorporate sustainable community and healthy community principles. The Board directed that all of the mandatory and existing optional elements would be reviewed and updated where appropriate as part of this process. The Board also directed that a Water Element and a Healthy Communities Element be added to the General Plan.  This project is being undertaken in conjunction with the update of the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP).  The Board of Supervisors Planning Committee (BOSPC) has been designated by the Board of Supervisors to serve as the steering committee for the General Plan Update project.

As part of the General Plan Update, the land use diagrams are also proposed to be updated. The land use diagrams functions as a guide to planners, the general public, and decision makers as to the ultimate pattern of development for the County at build-out and essentially establishes what land uses can be conducted in which locations. To view the proposed changes to the land use diagrams throughout the County please click here.

On August 5, 2014 the Board of Supervisors executed an Agreement for Preparation of Environmental Impact Reports with Rincon Consultants, Inc. for the General Plan and Regional Transportation Plan.

For more information on the Regional Transportation Plan, please visit the Tuolumne County Transportation Council website here:

In February 2015, County Staff held two public workshops (scoping meetings), one in Sonora with the Board of Supervisors and another in Groveland. At the workshops, the various elements of the General Plan were presented and the Board had an opportunity to discuss the various elements and provide direction to staff for any additional amendments. In addition, the public was invited to provide initial comments on the General Plan update. At these meetings the Tuolumne County Transportation Council also addressed the proposed update to the Regional Transportation Plan.

To view the PowerPoint that was presented at the Board of Supervisors and Groveland workshops please click here: GPU Presentation February 2015.

For more information please contact Adam Paszkowski, Supervising Senior Planner at (209) 533-5633 or via e-mail at .

Below are the proposed Draft Updates to the General Plan that are evaluated in the Draft Environmental Impact Report which is expected to be released in December 2015.

General Plan Update Drafts: 

 Notification Letters Sent to Property Owners regarding Proposed General Plan Changes: