Last Tuesday, April 26, 2022, the Board of Supervisors heard an appeal to the Tuolumne County Planning Commission’s unanimous approval of the Yonder Yosemite Site Development Plan in March. The Plan, presented to Chamber membership in early February by new member Yonder Hospitality, is to develop the Highway 120 eyesore known as “The Scar.”
Lee Zimmerman, co-owner of long-time chamber members and community supporters Evergreen Lodge and Rush Creek Lodge, appealed to the Board to reduce the number of planned rooms and to make a commitment to funding Hwy 120 corridor Fire and Emergency Services using the recent 2% increase in the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT).
Tim Kihm, project manager, along with members of the project team, addressed issues raised by the appellant and reviewed changes that had been made as a result of local business and community feedback, such as amount and type of staff housing, adding a 10-person van shuttle for guests to visit local businesses and attractions, and offering water and sewer services to the Oak Grove Cemetery.
In response to the March appeal, Yonder Hospitality committed to additional conditions including use of Energy Star-rated appliances in all guest and employee housing, one Electric Vehicle charging station for every 10 proposed parking spaces with 15% of spaces wired for future EV charging, solar power at the lodge to offset at least 70% of electricity demand, and the donation of $120,000 to GCSD for use toward the purchase of a Rapid Response Vehicle. Mr. Kihm answered the question of use of local contractors and services during construction in the affirmative, stating that it is a benefit to Yonder to use local talent, who would not require housing, for example.
Following public comments in favor and against the project, clarifying questions to both the applicant and the appellant, and a wide-ranging discussion, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the Yonder Yosemite project. You can view the entire proceedings of the April 26 Special Meeting at https://tuolumneco.granicus.com/player/clip/626.
Congratulations Yonder Yosemite! We’re looking forward to working together to bring the vision and promise to life for this community.