Parcel Update: Town Council Approves 2021 Parcel Master Plan and Phase 1 Design Review
On Wednesday, February 3, 2021, the Town of Mammoth Lakes reached a significant milestone in its efforts to deliver affordable housing to the community. The Town Council approved the Phase 1 Design Review Application that will allow the first 81 units of affordable housing to be built on the 25-acre "Parcel" site located south of Main Street and west of Laurel Mountain Rd. “The Parcel” has long been slated for housing the working residents of Mammoth Lakes but private ownership of the land and the immense cost of delivering workforce housing has prevented development. “Until now!” Town Manager Dan Holler stated with excitement. “We are thrilled to start working toward meeting the critical housing shortages that have long been identified and hope to have apartments ready for occupancy in early 2023.”
The February 3rd Town Council action is the culmination of almost five years of work to bring more affordable housing to Mammoth Lakes. The Town of Mammoth Lakes began real estate negotiations with the private landowner in 2017 which led to the Town’s purchase of the land in 2018. The community embraced the Town’s bold step and organized a Housing Summit in November of 2018 which brought housing experts from all over the country to Mammoth Lakes to discuss issues and solutions. Town Council funded the “Plan the Parcel” effort which included dozens of community meetings and a weeklong charrette and resulted in a January 2021 Town Council approval of the 2021 Parcel Master Plan for the property that allows for the development of up to 580 permanently affordable housing units for residents of Mammoth Lakes in the coming years.
The Pacific Companies (TPC) based in Eagle, ID was selected as the Town’s development partner in 2019 after a significant outreach effort and due diligence. As one of America’s most prolific developers of workforce housing, The Pacific Companies (www.tpchousing.com) is committed to addressing this need by partnering with local governments, social service providers, and corporate equity investors -- together creating sustainable community assets. TPC developed its first apartment project in Mammoth Lakes in 2004 and has worked throughout the Sierra Nevada since that time. “Partnering with the Town of Mammoth Lakes on this significant project is an honor and privilege” adds Caleb Roope, CEO and President of The Pacific Companies. “The community has worked very hard, spent significant public funds, and staff dedication to reach this place where we can submit to the State for financing.”
While 2020 brought challenges on a global level, it did not slow down the Town’s affordable housing goals. The Town and The Pacific Companies were awarded a $20 million Infill Infrastructure Grant to support critical infrastructure development and the Town expects site work to begin summer 2021 and occupancy of the units to occur in 2023.
Construction of 80 units at or below 120% AMI as part of Phase 1 of the project will be a significant step towards accommodating the “fair share” of the regional housing need in Mammoth Lakes as identified in the updated Housing Element’s Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA). Mammoth Lakes’ RHNA for 2019-2027 is 155 units including 90 units at moderate income and below (up to 120% AMI). Once completed, the project will address a substantial portion of the workforce housing need identified in the 2017 Community Housing Action Plan housing needs assessment which determined that 595 units are needed to address current housing shortages and keep up with future demand. This includes approximately 121 ownership units and 230 rental units for moderate income households and below (351 total units at ≤ 120% AMI). While the majority of units to be developed on the Parcel site are intended to be rental units at or below 120% AMI, the Master Plan allows for up to 15% of units (up to 87 units total) to be homeownership units.