As planning rules in Mammoth change, some developers get caught in the middle. At the most recent Planning Commission meeting the commissioners put the stops to a condo project on Lupin Street because it was too dense.
The developer, John Harriman, stood before the Planning commission, not for the first time, asking for approval on the project. Commissioners grilled Harriman on parking issues, revised roofs to hide the vent pipes, and the size of some stone wrapped pillars.
The Commissioners had other questions about the paint color, stone vs. fake stone, and landscaping, but the core of this issue was the number of units on the property.
Taking advantage of a hotel condo zoning ordinance that allows units under 850 square feet to be counted as half units, the developer proposed a project of two three-bedroom units and eight one-bedroom half units on a half acre piece of land.
Many have pointed out that people can live in a half unit, but reality says there is no such thing as a half of a car and so parking gets worse.
While town government has started to steer away from the density that the half units allow, when the developer submitted his application to the town the half units were legal.
With a project that was within the rules at the time he submitted his application now running into resistance, the developer asked for clear guidance to get the project through. Harriman was amenable to changing the colors or the stone work. He said that he had put in more parking than required and exceeded the required amount of snow storage, but he was not amenable to changing the density.
Leigh Gaasch who lives in the neighborhood, said that people are already living on top of one another in that area and that the project should be downsized.
Commission Chief Roy Saari said that with everything built to the maximum allowed it was not a good project. Saari told the developer to come back with a better site plan that is less dense and the issue was continued to a date unknown.