Potential Bishop housing facing opposition

By Deb Murphy

Lack of housing in Bishop was cited as a challenge in the City’s Economic Development Plan, but 15 houses on the 2.75 acre parcel of what has been the Bishop Nursery may not be what potential neighbors think is a solution.


The Bishop City Council held its first Public Hearing on a Negative Declaration (no negative environmental impact) for the Kingston Subdivision tentative tract map and heard eight residents of Rome Drive and Home Street outline a list of negative impacts. Both City Planning Director Gary Schley and Chief Administrative Officer Jim Tatum told the speakers the public comment would be extended 30 days, to Aug. 15 and that Monday night’s hearing was just the beginning of the process. “This is not an attempt to circumvent public input,” Tatum said.

The City conducted the Initial Study and Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration.

Terry Tye, a Rome Drive resident, went through a long list of objections starting with poor notification and inadequate information on the planned development. “If this plan called for 10 houses, there probably wouldn’t be much opposition,” he said. Tye wondered how the Negative Declaration was arrived at considering the habitat currently provided by the nursery operation and riparian habitat along South Fork Bishop Creek, which the declaration indicated was “far enough away” from the development.

Other objections to the Negative Declaration included traffic issues on Home Street, noise, variances on road requirements, identification of 15 houses on 2.75 acres as “medium density” and loss of quality of life for existing neighbors.

The City will hold a second Public Hearing at its Aug. 10 meeting. The Planning Commission will consider a conditional use permit to set aside roadway design requirements at its Aug. 25. Residents were encouraged to submit their comments, in writing, to the City. The City Council will make the final determination, according to Schley. The Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration is available on the City Planning Department’s webpage (http://www.cityofbishop.com/departments/planning/environmental-documents/)


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32 Responses to Potential Bishop housing facing opposition

  1. enoughalready July 15, 2015 at 7:21 pm #

    Classic “Not In My Back Yard”.
    Sorry Terry – you forgot to lock the gate behind you and turn the sign, now more people want to move into your slice of Paradise.

    • Philip Anaya July 20, 2015 at 6:03 am #

      The curse of up zoning, increasing density of human populations needs a pushback. Not only do folks need a place to live , they also need to have a quality lifestyle long after a developer has taken a profit. The adjacent property owners also have the need and the certainty of a quality lifestyle. Who else should oppose a non conforming project than an adjacent property owner. NIMBY actually has a hypocritical quality, that being someone willing to be an advocate or a developer for projects like these but then at the same time would be active in opposition to similar changes in their neighborhood.
      The highest density in Bishop R1 is R1 5,000. This project does not meet that standard . I have not researched the average size of the lots on Rome street but this new proposed development should conform with the character and the lot size of the existing neighborhood. New homes should be the result of “best planning practices” and should improve the quality of life and the neighborhood
      Weighing in and offering this opinion as I am not a resident of Bishop comes from a viewpoint that neighbors have a right to offer their preferences regarding new development without the accusations of being greedy and unfair that comes with the NIMBY label . Mr.Tye seems to be OK with 10 new homes . That doesn’t sound like someone who is expressing “not in my backyard.”

      • Eastern sierra local July 20, 2015 at 12:27 pm #

        The highest density housing in Bishop is R-2000, NOT R-5000; and an R-2000 zone IS permitted within an R-1 zone of which, all the adjacent neighborhoods to this development are zoned R-1. City of Bishop Municipal code 17.28.010. Therefore this project is conforming current City Planning guidelines which are the “best planning practices” for the City in 2015. New homes should conform to the zoning requirements of the neighborhood- this project will.

        • Philip Anaya July 23, 2015 at 6:38 am #

          In rechecking out the environmental documents and the planning ordinance for the City of Bishop, I have made the error of taking square footage information from the wrong plot map.
          The project is currently zoned R1, Single Family Residence. ( R 2000 is a multiple family designation and the existing zoning would have to be changed to permit that density and uses) A conforming maximum density in R1 is indeed R1 5000 and this project conforms to that standard . The lot sizes vary from 5104 sq ft to 8,232 sq ft for an average size of 6,179.80 sq ft . The total of the combined lot sizes is 92,697 sq ft with 27,093 sq ft being dedicated to the road way and I assume sidewalks equaling 119,970 sq ft or 2.75 acres. It is offensive to the dialog to have given inaccurate information and the conclusion that this project would be non conforming to the current zoning and I apologize for the error.
          That being said the rest of my prior statement is accurate and I would hope that this project would reflect and conform with adjacent neighbors . Some developers that I have encountered over the years, have reached out in the initial stages of a project’s development to adjacent property owners with the ideas for a project and worked out with the neighbor”s input the plan in a cooperative nature, That’s a bit risky but in the end folks feel respected, included and invested in the changes in their neighborhood and this process mostly yields a better project , a better neighborhood and friendly new neighbors in the long run. Again I am sorry for the inaccurate characterization of a “non conforming project”

  2. Ken Warner July 15, 2015 at 10:00 pm #

    Bishop could look at the results of “Work Force Housing” in Mammoth. The results are not very appealing. Mostly occupied by people who didn’t live in Mammoth before or lived in other low rent units that have become more dilapidated because rents have been depressed or stagnated.

    Work Force Housing mostly just supplys good paying jobs for the people who run the development effort. They do depress rents for other rental units. Maybe that’s good — maybe not.

    Bishop could also look at the crime profiles for the various projects. I don’t have those figures. I just know I don’t like being around those areas.

    • Mark July 16, 2015 at 12:20 pm #

      low income housing ALWAYS brings the area they are in down.

      and lots of problems come with them.

      Is there really a work force shortage?

    • What? July 24, 2015 at 8:59 am #

      This isn’t a proposal for low-income, affordable or work force housing. It’s just new housing. Let’s not confuse the issue.

      • High Water July 24, 2015 at 7:35 pm #

        Your right Mr. what!!! I forgot about the new factory in town that hired 600 people and they need housing for there families. All those poor hard working folks who can actually afford to by a home. I have been poor, and I knew if I didnt want to live in a apartment all my life, I needed a job to make more money. Just like the rest of us.

        Its affordable housing what. Sorry to tell ya that. It is what it is

        • Low-Inyo July 25, 2015 at 2:56 pm #

          High Water….In your recent posts,I see you complaining about the taxes to support the EMS….here,the new housing planned in Bishop….the illegal immigration issue..griping with your racist views..and I’m sure if I archive older posts,plenty more complaining about whatever….have you ever thought about moving to a place or area that you might like and maybe be able to enjoy your life a little bit more without all the whining ?

        • What? July 27, 2015 at 8:12 am #

          High Water – can you cite any evidence whatsoever that this is planned to be affordable housing? Its single family homes, 1,800 sf, that will be sold at market prices. What the h*!! are you even talking about, Dude?

          Do you have anything constructive to contribute to this conversation, or are you just going to propagate unfounded conspiracy theories?

          • Low-Inyo July 27, 2015 at 11:46 am #

            What ?…..I’m thinking he probably thinks it’s part of that “Jade Helm 15” conspiracy that the right-wing is so weary of coming soon….maybe those moving into this housing project will be Government-funded,and those moving in will be the ones marching through our little towns,knocking on doors,and taking everyone’s guns and property away !!!!

          • What? July 28, 2015 at 7:32 am #

            @Low-Inyo, maybe as part of the Jade Helm invasion, they’ll do us all a favor and occupy the vacant K-Mart. 🙂

  3. Trouble July 16, 2015 at 3:36 am #

    Anyone know what the zoning laws were for this property?

    • Eastern Sierra Local July 23, 2015 at 7:15 am #

      Did you read my comment that I posted earlier?
      The zoning is R-1.

  4. Anna m. July 16, 2015 at 6:13 am #

    Hope they are a smaller affordable house, and not built lot line to lot line. No doubt Bishop needs houses for the regular folks… for people who would rather own the rent. 15 does seem a bit crowded though.

  5. Eastern Sierra Local July 16, 2015 at 8:23 am #

    I was at the meeting on Monday and it reeked of NIMBY-ism from the residents of Rome drive.
    One resident who lived the adjacent neighborhood to the proposed subdivision has only lived there 3 years!
    They brought up issues that weren’t all that relevant like “habitat” and Creek impacts etc.
    As a Biologist, none of those issues are there; the current nursery is a commercial/retail operation; there is no “prime” habitat available. It’s all smoke.
    It’s funny how most of the residences on Rome Drive have illegal encroachments onto the nursery’s property and DWP property (Bishop Creek); some residents have even expanded their fence line across the Creek and planted gardens on the Nursery’s side.
    This is total NIMBY-ism and unfortunately for them the subdivision will get approved- whether it gets built is another thing.

    • Sorry, but... July 16, 2015 at 5:56 pm #

      I hate to bring this up to such an educated person as yourself, however… You may want to go catch an extra class so you can understand a plot map. It’s OK though, I realize they don’t come up much in the field of biology. The property line is actually a number of feet North of the creek for the houses at the West end of Rome Drive. The primary difference in this situation is rather than following the creek as a property line like in many cases the lots were drawn as acutal rectangles when originally subdivided.

      As for the opposition to the project I completely agree it is a case of NIMBYism. Sure the design is a little unconventional but the lots are far from being too small. If you look at the size of the rest of the residential lots inside the city limits they’re about average.

      • Eastern sierra local July 17, 2015 at 9:13 am #

        Actually you’re incorrect I checked with DWP and the city of Bishop and DWP has a 10 foot easement on both the north and south side of the Bishop Creek from the ordinary high water mark. DWP even told me that they were aware of the illegal encroachments on the creek but are unwilling to do anything about it because of its political nature

        • sugar magnolia July 23, 2015 at 9:41 am #

          How do easements owned by LADWP and the City relate to land ownership? If they only have easements, then someone else owns the land and these wouldn’t be encroachments.

      • LOCAL July 17, 2015 at 2:56 pm #

        *Plat map.

  6. Kmac July 16, 2015 at 9:44 am #

    Bishop needs new housing but this development is too densely housed for the neighborhood. What happened to cul-de-sac design, a hammerhead? So daily delivery trucks like UPS and Fedex as well as trash trucks have to drive to the end of the hammerhead, make a turn then back up and turn again to exit. Seems like a bad design and an accident waiting to happen.

  7. Tinner July 16, 2015 at 3:27 pm #

    I wish I could buy a house one day, I’d be happy with a shack and a small garage for my toys on a small piece of land for my dogs, just something to call my own.
    I’ve worked as hard as anyone else I know that owns a house, maybe not as smart but just as hard.
    I envy those who inherit stuff, but then again many of those don’t appreciate what they have or what they have been given. There seems to be more than a few of those people in this area, trust fund babies. What is that like, free stuff and money?
    It’s amusing how some people turn into environmentalists as soon as they get their land.
    Oh well, I still got my health and my dog.

  8. Chris Forte July 16, 2015 at 8:46 pm #

    I can’t believe all the bigotry and ignorance I am reading in some of these comments. Not all low-wage workers are scum, thugs and lowlifes. I am characterized as a low-income worker who would have loved to had stayed in my home of Bishop if only there was more job opportunities and more available affordable housing, and you can ask anyone who knows me about my character and morals. I know many low-income people, young and old, in Bishop and elsewhere that are good people. Bad manners and lack of consideration for others are found in all income levels, races, and neighborhoods. By the way, thanks to the dominance of the tourism industry as the only real viable part of Bishop’s economy, after government, the majority of people in Bishop can be characterized as “low-income workers,” so you are basically insulting and alienating a large part of the population. Many Bishop and Inyo County residents can’t afford to buy a home, even renting one in the area is hard thanks to owners demanding over $1,500 to get into a rental that could be as low as $500 a month thanks to outrageous (and illegal) demands for a first and last month’s rent AND a security deposit. For a $500 rental! Before insulting and stereotyping so many fellow residents, how about getting out and getting to know a few? If you don’t like the Server at Denny’s, or that cashier at McDonald’s, please don’t go there.

    • Mark July 17, 2015 at 9:26 am #

      good luck Chris. I don’t see this taking Bishop anywhere but down hill.

      Just build some project housing and get it over with.

    • Roger July 17, 2015 at 10:48 am #

      Chris, I believe the law on rentals is that it is legal to charge– as a security deposit– up to- 2 months rent for an unfurnished unit and – up to-3 months rent for a furnished unit.

      It is the landlords mistake to state that they are collecting the “last months rent”. If you were to stay for a long time and the rent had gone up, you would still have paid the last months rent.

  9. wundrin July 17, 2015 at 9:22 am #

    Has the nursery closed already?

  10. Darlene July 17, 2015 at 10:27 am #

    What is the ball park price for the proposed houses ? Does the city of Bishop subsidize the loans for these homes? Is the city purchasing the property? I look at the vacant lot on 395 that is adjacent to the shopping complex and wonder why the homes could not be built on property that already has infrastructure .

    I understand the frustration faced by those with low paying jobs, but if rentals are too expensive why would a home be affordable with added expense that goes with home ownership.

    I think the city should think this through before starting the project. The city should be looking into bringing small companies into the area first. Just building houses isn’t the answer to the problem.

    • Eastern Sierra Local July 23, 2015 at 7:20 am #

      The homes on Barlow and 395 weren’t built because the developer didn’t ascertain water rights; the developer was hoping to tap into the wells of Meadow Creek 1 and 2 and the HOA refused to allow that. Subsequently, they went to court and the Meadow Creek HOA won and the developer left town leaving a lot un-build-able and without water. The current home there was the model home and did have water- the current residents are renting the place.

    • sugar magnolia July 23, 2015 at 9:35 am #

      it’s basically about landowner’s rights. They own the land, the land has a specific zoning and general plan. If the general plan and zoning allows the uses proposed, the City has no grounds to deny the application. To do so would be considered an illegal ‘taking’ of real property rights.

      This article is about the env. document required under CEQA. Generally, the env. document identifies impacts to the env. by the project, and if there are some, how they would be mitigated. It’s not about saying a land owner can’t develop their property.

      That’s how things work in america. Good thing too, so NIBMYISM can’t rule our world.

  11. Tourbillon July 17, 2015 at 10:41 am #

    I like the servers at Denny’s and McDonald’s, and go there often. I have never heard any of them overreact to two short comments, grounded in experience however much disagreed with, by whining about “all the the bigotry and ignorance”.

    Calm yourself. Even in the Age of Victimhood and Grievance, one can maintain one’s dignity by resisting the urge to seize offense from trivial statements. Advertising one’s hypersensitivity as a merit badge works well primarily in colleges and D.C. but not among the multitude of us struggling through the same slings and arrows as everyone else.

  12. High Water July 24, 2015 at 6:47 pm #

    ENOUGH!!! Always someone, who has to say everyone is a bigot, or racist ,or don’t like poor people. Yes you, Chris forte. Tired of hearing that. its b.s. and I’m offended by it. People look at things differently. Quit accusing people of that when no one has said anything like it. Playing the race, Low income card . ENOUGH!!!!

    • What? July 27, 2015 at 10:50 am #

      And some people just make things up….


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