Mammoth Town Council: Tourists in the neighborhood?

mltc4-3Should 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.

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Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago

Legally a municipality cannot add new restrictions on the uses of properties that are already owned. You can change zoning to affect new property owners, but existing owners are grandfathered in by law and cities that have tried to enforce new zoning ordnances on existing property owners have been resolutely… Read more »

Bemused
Bemused
9 years ago

D.T.: You’re correct in concept, except you have it backwards as it relates to Mammoth Lakes. SFR rentals are already prohibited here…

EK
EK
9 years ago

I think a bigger issue may be: Does the town and citizens want the rental money that could be gained more than they want the peace and quiet? or If the town thinks they can tax the illegal Single Family rentals for a huge windfall , they need to realize… Read more »

Johnny
Johnny
9 years ago

Seems like the people that would support this concept would be the ones that are trying to turn homes into investments. We’ve seen where that can take us. The problem with a study is that it is going to be tough to quantify the negative impact that this can have… Read more »

Changing Times
Changing Times
9 years ago
Reply to  Johnny

If you haven’t noticed by now, owning homes for investment is a thing of the past.
Only the mega-wealthy can afford the expensive real estate and they live in Beverly Hills.
And to top it off, too many people believe the wealthy should pay no taxes.

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago
Reply to  Changing Times

Eh, I do not agree. Until the last few months real estate was a bargain and you could buy nice three bedroom condos in the Antelope Valley for $75-$85K. An investor with a quarter million in cash could buy up three decent condos and rent these out for $1200 per… Read more »

J. Ritter
J. Ritter
9 years ago

With so many Mammoth residents talking about the quality of life problems associated with legal and illegal nightly home rentals, why in the world the council would want to continue pursuing this matter in the budget talks is beyond me. We have one of the strongest communities of any mountain… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago
Reply to  J. Ritter

I will add that Council woman Jo Bacon said, “If you mix finances with quality of life, quality of life will lose.”
Benett

EK
EK
9 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

I hear ya