Board of Directors Meeting

Monday, November 7, 2016

Regular meeting at 6:00 p.m.




I.    Call to Order 6:04 p.m.

II.    Roll Call

Members present: Lindsay Barksdale, Larry Johnston, Jiselle Kenny, Kirk Stapp, Bill Taylor and John Wentworth

Staff Present:  Jennifer Halferty, Anita Hatter (for Patricia Robertson)

 Public:  Ruth Traxler, Rob Patterson, Town of Mammoth Lakes; Tom Hodges, MMSA

       III.    Public Comments


      IV.    Approval of Minutes from the October 3, 2016 regular BOD Meeting

Corrections suggested by Wentworth:  correct “getter” to “better”, last paragraph on p. 1; change “Downtown group” to “Downtown Working Group”, change “discussion” to “discussing”, and delete the last sentence of the second paragraph on p. 2.  Moved by Larry Johnston, seconded by Lindsay Barksdale, and unanimously carried to approve the minutes of October 3, 2016, as amended.

       V.    Board Member reports

Jiselle Kenny reported a “seeks rental” advertisement that offered $250/month to “couch-surf.”  She noted that the property owner she had approached about providing transitional housing for a client had told her that she could make more money renting the unit to visitors on a very short term basis.

Larry Johnston reported on an upcoming meeting of the GBUAPCD Board on Thursday, 11/10 at 10 a.m., noting that subjects of discussion would be tree kill, fire and smoke impacts.

Lindsay Barksdale noted that she had an acquaintance that was looking to purchase a unit to rent out on a long-term basis.

Kirk Stapp reported that a disclaimer he had included in a letter to the editor, stating that he was writing as an individual and not representing the Board, had been left out by the editor of The Sheet.  He offered to share a document regarding the rights and protections of property owners with respect to eminent domain proceedings he had located online while researching the subject.

      VI.    MLH monthly status report

Jennifer Halferty reported that a number of HOME first-time homebuyers loans were in process, including one in Crowley, one in June Lake, and two in Mammoth Lakes.  She noted that there were many requests for information on rental housing.  She noted that she had met with members of  Strategic Growth Council, which oversees the AHSC Program funded by Cap and Trade proceeds, and she provided a draft schedule for Round 3 Funding.  There was discussion among members of the Board and staff regarding when the Board would be able to discuss the opportunities for development of housing at Shady Rest which could be enabled by Cap and Trade proceeds funding.

     VII.    Review of the MLH and SHA First Quarter Financial Statements

The Executive Director briefly outlined the information in the reports, noting that there were no major problems.  She noted that the Nordica unit currently held by the Sierra Housing Advocates LLC would likely go up for sale in the next week or so, once renovations are completed.  Speaking from the floor, Ruth Traxler asked questions about the Town’s commitment of $100K of the MLH contract fee to the Housing Trust Fund.

   VIII.    Review and approve the Fiscal Year 2015-16 Audit

The Executive Director reported that she had retained a new firm to conduct the fiscal year audit for 2015-2016, including a single audit for the STAR Apartments required by the use of Federal funds.  There was discussion of the firm and its experience with other local entities.  There was discussion of partnership housing possibilities in Inyo and Mono County involving HCD and IMACA.  Moved by Bill Taylor, seconded by Jiselle Kenny, and unanimously carried to approve the “Combined Financial Statements with Auditor’s Report for the year ended June 30, 2016.”

      IX.    Shipping Containers as temporary/transitional homeless housing (information only) & Tiny Homes

There was discussion of examples of use of repurposed shipping containers and “tiny homes/trailers” for housing, and the challenges of meeting local building codes and affordability goals with this approach.  The potential for purchasing FEMA Trailers, and the difficulties of enforcing “no-camping” areas on the Inyo National Forest during a time of housing shortage were also discussed.

       X.    Recap and discussion of the October 19, 2016 joint MLH – Town Council meeting

There was discussion of the joint workshop, including disappointment on the part of the Board members that the Shady Rest plan for affordable housing developed by MLH staff and consultants, which seems to be economically feasible with the use of Cap and Trade funds, was superceded by a presentation by Mark Carney, who represented the position of the current investors in the Shady Rest Parcel that Affordable/Workforce Housing might not be the best use of the property.  Members noted that the Councilmembers had all expressed the view that housing was a significant issue.  There was discussion regarding when the Board and Council might meet again to discuss the issue.

      XI.    Presentation of Town Council Goals for Town to Achieve in Discussions with Shady Rest Property Owners

There was discussion of two drafts of a document entitled “Goals for Town to Achieve in Discussions with Shady Rest Property Owners” and one draft titled “Summary of Goals for Town Discussions with Shady Rest Property Owners.”  There was discussion regarding the desire to use condemnation as a “last resort”; the relative benefits of a “high level” versus a more detailed document; the legal force of District Plans, which were not vetted through CEQA and are advisory in nature; the need to focus on filling the documented need for lower-income housing; the benefit of considering the Shady Rest parcel in the context of the entire community and its lack of other land to accommodate affordable housing; the desire to enter into substantive discussions with the property owners and work together based on the best information available, to develop a variety of solutions.  John Wentworth said that he was working on an agenda bill to bring to Council at its next regular meeting, asking them to affirm support for the affordable housing overlay and zoning for the Shady Rest parcel.  There was discussion regarding whether this question was timely or whether additional information should be presented to the Council by the Board prior to asking it.  If changes to zoning are desired by the owners, the owners should apply for that change.

Tom Hodges, MMSA, said he thought appropriately-sized market rate units could be developed on the site that would be affordable ($400K) to many in the community.  He commented that the Town and MLH did not currently have funding to develop the site.  He expressed concern that the property owners had invested $10M in the property, and said he thought allowing some market rate housing to be built would allow for some return to them.  There was no action.

     XII.    Information on Town of Mammoth Lakes’ Public Downtown Visioning/Planning Process to create a Framework for a Revitalized Downtown Mammoth Lakes

John Wentworth encouraged the other board members to participate in the downtown visioning process, and to visit the website for an example of the sort of work the contractor chosen to conduct the process does.  He reported that the consultant’s job is to conduct an inventory of all of the community’s plans and identify where the gaps are and how to approach implementation of the plans the community determines that it values most.  He noted that the process allows for a good deal of on-line participation.  There was discussion regarding Enhanced Infrastructure Finance Districts and their feasibility locally, and the need for the County and Town to work together.  There was no action.

   XIII.    Protocols for Board Engagement with Public Outreach

There was discussion about how opinions of individuals on the Board, that do not reflect a consensus of Board opinion, can be taken for the view of the Board rather than that of the individual.  John Wentworth suggested that letters to the editor should be circulated to members of the Board prior to being submitted to the papers.  There was discussion of the role of Boardmembers as advocates for housing.  After further discussion, there was consensus to request that letters to the editor written by individuals should state that they do not reflect the opinions of the Board.

  XIV.    Council Member recap for the Town Council meeting

The letter to the editor bringing up eminent domain and referendum was not written by the Board and does not represent the Board’s views.

There is a good possibility that a Cap and Trade funding process will go forward in the coming fiscal year.

Annual combined audit completed with no findings.

Board reviewed some innovative concepts for use of shipping containers/tiny homes for affordable housing.

Board would like affirmation from the Town Council that there is support for the current zoning and affordable housing overlay on the Shady Rest Parcel. 

XV.    Adjourn

The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.