Give and Take With “Incentive Zoning”

In preparation for an Incentive Zoning/Community Benefits Open House to be held on Saturday, March 21, the Mammoth Lakes Town Council as well as the Planning, Mobility, and Tourism & Recreation commissions got together for a strategic planning session.

Again the group reviewed ideas for leading Mammoth into the future, both in the long term and in the short term. The idea behind incentive zoning and community benefits is that the Town gives a developer something (incentive), in Mammoths case extra density, in order to get something back for the community as a benefit. What the Town and the community of Mammoth have to decide at this point is what they want and where.

Right now we are working on high level concepts, explained Mayor Wendy Sugimura. Policies will come later, and we can all beat each other over the head for what we want then.

The purpose of defining what they want will help the Town get out of the cyclical situation they are always in: giving developers many hoops to jump through and then changing the hoops when the developer is nearing the end because the Town changes its mind on what it wants. By creating policy, developers will know exactly what they are getting into and what is expected of them when they walk through the Community Development Departments door.

Playing off of the Destination Resort Community and Economic Development Strategy that was developed by the Destination Resort Steering Committee and reviewed when the three commissions got together last week, the group agreed to present the strategies and tools from this document at the community open house.

The Open House on March 21 will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Minaret Village Mall. Those who cannot attend on the 21st will have the opportunity to do the sticky-dot survey being administered on the 21st on their own from March 23-25. The sticky-dot survey will be an opportunity for public to take a map of the town and put dots where they think incentives should be given and benefits should be placed.

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