Mammoth Town Council: Housing with Liveability

Liveability is the new catch phrase in Town jargon and it was used repeatedly during a study session between the Town of Mammoth Lakes Town Council and Mammoth Lakes Housing at the October 15 Council meeting.

Mammoth Lakes Housing is beginning to work on a needs assessment for affordable housing in Mammoth Lakes and would like “liveability” to be the number one priority in future projects. This means considering each project on a case by case basis and determining whether or not the project would be more liveable onsite of a development or offsite.

Mammoth Lakes Housing Board member Kirk Stapp explained to the Council that “liveability needs to be the criteria for the strategic planning Mammoth Lakes Housing is moving forward with.”

The item was brought to Council because putting liveability first means changing the existing housing ordinance that requires every new development to have onsite housing as the top priority.

“We want to be able to look at what people want to live in whether it’s onsite or off site,” said MLH Executive Director Pam Hennarty.

The concept of liveability as an important factor was approved by the Council, but Councilmember Jo Bacon was unwilling to say it was the number one factor that future projects should be based on until the needs assessment has been completed.

The North Old Mammoth Road Neighborhood District Study was discussed for the third Council meeting in a row, and the only progress that seemed to have been made was that the Council was made aware of the fact that since it is a study and not a plan, they are not legally allowed to make it a red line document. The Council’s comments on the study will instead be added as an appendix to the document.

Since Mayor Wendy Sugimura was absent from the meeting due to recently giving birth to her new daughter, Council agreed to hold one more discussion on the study at their November 5 meeting so that Sugimura could weigh in on the study. This means that the public hearing on the Clearwater Specific Plan will be moved back once again, this time to November 19.


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