MAMMOTH LAKES HOUSING, INC.
Board of Directors Meeting
Monday, November 2, 2015
Mammoth Lakes Housing Conference Room
587 Old Mammoth Rd.
I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call
Members: Bill Taylor, Kirk Stapp, Larry Johnston, Colin Fernie, and Lindsay Barksdale
Public: Ruth Traxler, Town of Mammoth Lakes Planning Department; Jiselle Kenny; Dan Holler, Town Manager (arrived at 6:50 PM)
III. Public Comments
There were no comments from the public.
IV. Approval of Minutes from the October 5, 2015 regular BOD Meeting
Bill Taylor moved to adopt the minutes as amended. Colin Fernie seconded the motion. Lindsay Barksdale abstained. The motion passed 4-0.
V. Board Member Reports
Larry Johnston reported that Mono County is moving forward with hiring a new County Administrative Officer.
Kirk Stapp noted that he has heard that many local businesses around town are struggling to find employees such as kitchen staff, housekeepers, and laundry workers. He mentioned that after 4 years of drought many people have left town.
VI. MLH Monthly Status Report
Jennifer Halferty announced that MLH’s Strategic Planning Session will be held on Thursday, 11/12 at the Best Western Conference room from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM.
Jennifer Halferty gave a recap of the Affordable Housing & Sustainable Communities Program within the Cap & Trade funding mechanism through the State of CA. She noted that the 10% set-aside for rural communities would be part of the program in the next round, which will be good for the Town of Mammoth. She expects the NOFA will be out in January through which rural communities can compete for $40 million to promote transit connectivity that will reduce vehicle miles traveled and thereby greenhouse gas emissions.
Jennifer Halferty noted that MLH has been very active in real estate over the past month, preserving and reselling deed restricted units to local families. She mentioned that currently all of the funds from the Town’s Revolving Loan Fund are tied up in deed restricted units and that the Town has a responsibility to preserve these assets that were created through the inclusionary policy.
Larry Johnston pointed out that 5 local families moved into low-income apartments in the past month and noted that this is really important and why we do this work.
Jennifer Halferty also mentioned that MLH will attend the biannual Hispanic Town Hall meeting this Friday at 5:30 PM in the Emerald Room at the Village Lodge to provide information on tenant’s rights in Spanish.
VII. Discussion and appointment of a new MLH Board of Director member
Larry Johnston made a motion to appoint Jiselle Kenny to the Board of Directors. Kirk Stapp seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0. Welcome, Jiselle and thank you.
VIII. Review and discuss the Town of Mammoth Lakes Town Council NGO Strategic Alignment Refinement Exercise
Jennifer Halferty introduced the assignment as an effort to confirm the information provided and develop methods to accomplish the goals outlined in the document.
Colin Fernie explained that the intent of the process was to check-in with the 18-month priorities outlined by Town Council and adopted on October 15, 2014 and to move forward strategically in the next 12 months. He stated that part of the process was to make sure that NGO partners are lining up with and are on the same page as the Town Council.
A. Vision Elements:
Bill Taylor started by commenting on the 2025 Vision Elements. While he noted that a greater emphasis on workforce housing was present in the vision, which the Board directed at the October meeting, the term “regional” seemed counter intuitive. He mentioned that the term “regional” was not in harmony with the Town’s General Plan and as restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions become stricter, the Town will not be competitive for grant funding to put workforce housing outside of the Town.
Colin Fernie stated that as the Town looks toward build-out and matures, we will need to begin looking regionally for workforce housing, just as in other resort communities. Patricia Robertson asked if this was the best model for workforce housing, or the most creative, and something we want to strive towards.
Larry Johnston commented that while it may look like there is a lot of available land in the County, most of the lots are zoned residential single-family and lack any infrastructure. These sites may require on-site septic tanks and wells, depending on their location. Ultimately, the number of achievable units within the County is not substantial. Additionally, Mono County has its own workforce requirements as outlined in their Housing Element through the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) by the State.
Bill Taylor said that even if all of the suitable, appropriately zoned vacant land from here to Big Pine was developed as workforce housing, it would not be enough to meet the demand.
Kirk Stapp noted that Mammoth Lakes Housing has been working regionally with tools such as down payment assistance. MLH currently manages programs within Mono County and the City of Bishop.
Lindsay Barksdale suggested that shipping community members regionally did not align with 2 of the 5 Core Community Values: “Safe, Vibrant, Inclusive Community” or “You Can Live Here.” She noted that to have these core values and then to strive to have members of the workforce live outside of the community did not seem in alignment.
There was consensus to delete the word “regional” from the 2025 Vision Elements and the entire packet for the following practical reasons:
a) Lack of infrastructure regionally
b) Currently, the largest source of grant funding requires a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
c) The limited ability to use local resources outside of the town boundaries
d) Mono County and other communities have their own housing requirements as outlined in the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) by the State
e) Down valley solutions are rare
f) The use of the word “regional” is counter to the Town’s Core Community Values of “Safe, Vibrant, Inclusive Community” and “You Can Live Here.”
2. “Responsive Town Government”
Kirk Stapp reiterated that because this is the Town’s Vision the 2025 Vision Elements needs to include “a responsive Town Government.” This includes public safety, snow removal, planning department services, etc. When it comes down to funding and prioritization, government service levels need to be part of the discussion.
There was consensus that the third 2025 Vision Element should read as: “The Town has a reputation for leadership, getting things done and is a responsive government.”
3. “A great P20 system of education”
There was general confusion about this Vision Element. This item is never mentioned again throughout the document. Additionally, the Board wondered why the Vision Elements should include entities that the Town has no control over. If it includes one entity then why doesn’t it include them all, for example: “A great court system”?
B. TOML NGO Partners 2015-2016 Integrated Priorities:
The Board went through all of the items in the Integrated Priorities list and confirmed, deleted, or changed items related to MLH.
1. Safe, Vibrant, Inclusive Community
a) Enables Economic Diversity by providing homes for local workers – Board confirmed
b) Homes for workforce – deleted
c) Helps facilitate a viable economy – Board requests to change to à Provides the foundation for a viable economy
2. A Natural, Active Place
a) No comments
3. You Can Live Here
a) Helps facilitate a viable economy – changed to à Provides the foundation for a viable economy
4. A Memorable Experience
a) There was a question about whether the last bullet point was related to transit or workforce housing, or both? Needs to be made clearer.
5. We Are All In It Together
a) There were questions and concerns surrounding this item and why MLT was the only NGO mentioned alongside the Town.
b) The Board suggested adding TOML/MLH – Partnership on grant funding
C. 2025 Major Goals – TOML & NGO Partners:
The Board reviewed the final column of the handout by subheading.
1. Recreation, Arts, Culture & Community – Programming
a. There was a suggestion to add the “inclusive playground” that has been discussed within the community to list of amenities
2. Recreation, Arts, Culture & Community – Infrastructure
a. Item I4 “New Town Space” is an obscure title that would be easier to understand if it said something such as, “New Town Office”
3. Air Service
a. No comments
4. Stable Growing Economy by 2025
a. No comments
5. Workforce Housing
a. Delete “regionally” from first bullet for reasons cited above under 2025 Vision Elements
b. There was lengthy discussion regarding what the term “mixed-use” meant. Does it mean retail, hotels, etc.? Colin Fernie suggested that it meant parks and/or recreational amenities. Dan Holler suggested that it meant revising the boundaries of the Shady Rest site to enhance the commercial uses on Center Street and Laurel Mountain Road.
Bill Taylor noted that the Town Council has a role in creating workforce housing, not just MLH. They do this by supplying land through zoning. The Town is an important player that creates and preserves workforce housing. He also noted that on a previous peer resort tour, it was found that most other resorts had a severe housing problem often times much worse than the Town of Mammoth Lakes.’ As a government, it was discovered that it’s not about how many resources you have but what you decide to do with them.
There was consensus to change the bullet to say “A residential workforce neighborhood at Shady Rest of at least 172 homes to support economic development as part of a mixed-use district.”
Kirk Stapp reminded the Board that there are millions of dollars in funding available for infrastructure at that site which could include a park, a daycare facility, transit, etc.
c. There was consensus to delete or move the bullet point “New 4-5 Star Hotel” from the heading “Workforce Housing”
d. Add the bullet point: “Continue to pursue financing for workforce housing”
e. There was discussion regarding the final bullet point which states “convert 100 existing units to workforce housing.” The Board did not think this was a reasonable number considering the financial analysis presented by staff at the August 3, 2015 Board meeting. There was consensus to change the number to reflect a reasonable goal to strive towards of 50 units.
i. There was discussion about where the responsibility for the 50 units lies. Kirk Stapp noted that private organizations often provide their own workforce housing because of the general lack of affordable units. Colin Fernie noted that these goals can be achieved in any number of ways and that perhaps the title of the column should be changed from “TOML & NGO Partners” to something that more accurately reflects the intention.
6. Hard Assets
a. No comments
7. Vibrant Economy
a. Lindsay Barksdale asked a question regarding the phrase “year round economy” and why the document stated “10 months.” Colin Fernie answered that no resort community maintains a full 12 month economy. According to him, the Town of Mammoth Lakes’ economy is operating at around 6-7 months.
IX. Review of the 1st quarter financial statements
Jennifer Halferty reviewed the 1st quarter financial statements. Dan Holler asked why the Town Contract Services line item did not fully reflect the entire amount allocated to MLH. Jennifer Halferty explained that the Town has an obligation to fund a Local Housing Trust Fund and this item is reflected under the “Grant Administration” line item.
X. Discussion and staff direction on the Shady Rest Tract
Jennifer Halferty explained that since the last Board meeting she has done extensive outreach and research regarding an appraiser for the Shady Rest site which has an Affordable Housing Overlay Zone. She recommended hiring Novogradac & Company LLP, which has experience throughout the Nation, to do a desktop appraisal of the site. Bill Taylor made a motion to hire Novogradac to do the appraisal. Larry Johnston seconded the motion. The motion passed 6-0.