Should the Town of Mammoth Lakes spend up to $50,000 on a study about tourist rentals of single family homes? The Council voted unanimously to put off the issue until budget talks.
Before that vote, a number of people offered their views. John Morris, head of the Mammoth Lakes Lodging Association, said he thinks factual evidence from a study would be a benefit and that any study should be done by “an impartial third party with no stake in the community.” Morris named some of the concerns in this emotionally-charged issue – possible price wars between homeowners and lodging, a drop in revenue, impacts on employees, numbers of homeowners that want to rent, impacts in other resort towns.
Said Morris, “We need to change emotion to factual data. Is it a net positive or not?” Morris said it’s time to come together on this and put the issue to bed. He said, “There’s too much neighbor against neighbor.”
Cheryl Witherill, manager of the 1849 Condos said the biggest unknowns are inventory and occupancy of legal homes rented. She was in favor of getting some questions answered within current efforts. John Vereuck opposed paying for a study.
Lizzy Lippman said she and her husband live next to Lodestar. She described “dude weekends with all night parties.” She said, “It takes a big toll on people who live in the area.” Tom Grant said he could not envision having tourists next door with “noise, trash and no accountability.” Steve Lavender said, “What do you want to accomplish? Infringing on my peace and quiet?” Teri Stehlik pointed to the guest experience and the need for work force housing.
While some councilmembers want the issue resolved, others pointed to the money the Town doesn’t have to spend. They deferred the issue to fiscal year 2013-2014 budget talks.