The Parcel FAQ

Please note that this page is constantly being updated as we receive and respond to new questions from the community. Please check back frequently for new and updated information. Last Updated: 10/16/20

The Parcel FAQs:

  • What is The Parcel and where is it located?  

The Parcel (formerly the Shady Rest Tract) consists of two vacant parcels totaling 24.7 acres located adjacent to the Town’s Downtown zoning district and several residential zoning districts. It is currently zoned for Affordable Housing. The property is heavily forested and slopes generally to the northwest with about thirty feet of elevation change from the west boundary to near Tavern Road. There is a drainage course in the northwest area of the site that will require investigation to determine wetland areas and delineate if wetlands are found. Vehicular access is available from the 33 Center Street lot of The Parcel, Tavern Road, and Chaparral Road. There is a designated pedestrian access easement providing connectivity to Manzanita Road. (To be absolutely clear, the former Shady Rest Tract is separate and distinct from Shady Rest Park which is a USFS area at the north end of Sawmill Cutoff Road under Special Use Permit to the Town for recreational uses.)

  • Why did the Town purchase The Parcel and when did they close escrow?

The purchase of The (Shady Rest) Parcel was determined to be a near-term action strategy of the 2017 Mammoth Lakes Community Housing Action Plan (CHAP).

The purchase of The Parcel will allow the Town to control the site and ensure that the site will be developed to provide opportunities for community or Affordable Housing.

Escrow closed in March 2018. 

  • What is “Affordable Housing and "AMI"?

The Zoning Code defines an “Affordable Housing Unit” as a housing unit that is available at an affordable rent or affordable ownership cost. (These definitions are broad in nature and do not apply only to The Parcel.)

According to the 2017 Mammoth Lakes Community Housing Action Plan (CHAP), housing costs are affordable if the monthly rent or mortgage payment is equal to or less than 30% of gross household income (before taxes). The CHAP identified a specific need for rentals for households earning less than 80% Area Median Income (AMI) and ownership housing for households earning up to 200% AMI

The 2019 Area Median Income (AMI) for Mono County (which is determined by the California Department of Housing and Community Development) is approximately $81,200 for a 4-person household, and $64,950 for a 2-person household

  • Very Low Income
  • 80% AMI Low Income - up to $51,000 for a 2-person household, $64,000 for a 4-person household
  • 100% AMI - Moderate Income - up to $78,000 for a 2-person household, $97,000 for a 4-person household
  • 120% AMI - Middle Income - up to $129,000 for a 2-person household, $160,000 for a 4-person household

See also this Glossary of Housing Terms which was prepared for the Mammoth Lakes Community Housing Summit.

  • What are the current governing documents for The Parcel?

The General Plan, Municipal Code (Title 17, Zoning Code), and the Shady Rest Master Plan govern development of and activity on the Shady Rest Tract. In the General Plan, The Parcel is designated High-Density Residential 1 (HDR-1) and is addressed in the Neighborhood and District Character, Land Use, and Housing Elements. In the Zoning Code, the property is within the Residential Multi-Family 1 (RMF-1) zoning district with an Affordable Housing (AH) Overlay Zone. Specific requirements for development of affordable housing on The Parcel is provided for in the AH Overlay Zone. Additionally, the Shady Rest Master Plan includes further requirements for development of the property.

  • What are the restrictions in the Affordable Housing Overlay Zone in the Zoning Code

The Affordable Housing Overlay Zone applies only to The Parcel and is intended to promote the development and provision of affordable housing within the community and thereby implement the policies of the Housing Element of the General Plan. The standards of development and performance were written to ensure good design and compatibility with adjacent land uses. 

  • How will adoption of the new Master Plan affect the existing 1991 Shady Rest Master Plan and the Affordable Housing overlay zone that applies to the Parcel site? 

 The Parcel Master Plan will update and replace the 1991 Shady Rest Master Plan and will provide site specific zoning and detailed regulatory guidance based on the 2019 Preferred Plan’s Guiding Principles and Development Objectives. The Parcel Master Plan will also incorporate important elements of the Affordable Housing Overlay Zone. Because the Parcel Master Plan will create new, comprehensive zoning regulations and development standards, and affordability will be guaranteed in perpetuity through covenants as part of the subdivision and transfer of the land to the developer, the Affordable Housing Overlay Zone will no longer be necessary and may be repealed once the Parcel Master plan is adopted.

  • What is the total number of units being recommended under the Master Plan? 

The Master Plan will allow between 400 and 580 units.  The current draft Master Plan shows 469 units; however, it is recognized that flexibility is required in order to respond to changes in financing availability and other market factors over time. By developing the project in phases, it will be possible to evaluate for each phase whether a higher or lower density than is currently anticipated may be appropriate. 

  • Who will be eligible to live here? Will all of the units be for low-income families only?

A majority of the units in the project will be rental units designed for people earning 120% of the Town’s Area Median Income and below. The proposed Master Plan also contemplates allowing units between 120% and 200% AMI in later phases in order to provide housing for the “missing middle.” Details for phase 1 of the project are listed below:

PHASE I -  Rental Apartments:

    • (1-6 family members)
    • Depends of household size 
    • Up to 80% Area Median Income
    • Income range from $17,000 – $75,000/year 
    • Rent Range - $425 - $1262 / month

  • What is the environmental review (CEQA) process required for the Parcel?

 During the Conceptual Land Use Planning Process we discussed the possibility of completing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Now that the project is more defined, staff has completed an evaluation of the proposed project and the General Plan EIR, and has determined that this project could be processed under CEQA Section 15183.3 which is summarized below:

State CEQA Guidelines, § 15183.3 

  • Allows for streamlining environmental review for qualifying infill projects
  • The Parcel CEQA analysis utilizes the environmental analysis completed for the 2016 General Plan to evaluate potential impacts of development of The Parcel
  • 2016 General Plan EIR will inform The Parcel mitigation measures; and planning and design considerations include the environmental impacts and mitigation measures described in the 2016 EIR


  • The Town may determine that no further CEQA review is required (no new impacts); or 
  • The Town may prepare a negative declaration (less than significant impacts); or 
  • The Town may prepare a mitigated negative declaration (significant mitigable impacts); or 
  • The Town would prepare an infill EIR (potentially significant impacts that are not covered by the 2016 EIR). 

  • What is the plan to address parking? 

 The overall intent of the Master Plan is to provide adequate parking for residents and visitors of the Parcel while also encouraging the use of alternate modes of travel, including transit, walking and bicycling. While the Town understands that parking is an important concern for many Mammoth Lakes residents, the Parcel also presents an incredible opportunity to develop housing in close proximity to jobs, shopping and other services so that the need to use a vehicle is reduced. Safe and well-connected sidewalks and multi-use paths will make walking and biking easy and convenient, and frequent, convenient transit will be critical to the success of this project and the proposed parking rates. Staff is working with ESTA to determine transit routes and frequency with the intent of supporting the residents of The Parcel and their mobility needs.

 The Master Plan relies primarily on “tuck under” parking and podium covered parking for residential units. Additional surface parking is included but shall be screened from the perimeter of the Master Plan area. Additionally, surface lots are located behind buildings to hide the lots from many views while providing separation and safety from pedestrian activity. 

 On-street parking is anticipated to provide guest parking, commercial parking, and to provide overflow parking for residents or events. The Town is still in the process of determining an overall parking management plan for the Parcel, but the intent is for on-street parking in the Parcel to be managed similarly to the on-street parking on Minaret Road in the Village, where parking spaces would be signed and residents would be required to move their cars during storms to allow for plowing. 

The minimum parking required in this Master Plan is the based on the Preferred Plan and is outlined in the chart below. Additional parking may be provided as feasible as the project develops. Additionally, because the Parcel will be developed in separate phases, the Town will have the ability to actively monitor how parking is working for each completed phase and to re-evaluate parking requirements for each subsequent phase.

  • Residential Unit Requirements
    1. Studios:            0.5 spaces
    2. 1-Bedrooms:   1 space
    3. 2-3 Bedrooms: 1.5 spaces
    4. 4+ Bedrooms: 2 spaces 
    5. Guest parking:  Provided on-street

  • How many trees will be preserved? 

We are working diligently to preserve as many trees as possible, in particular older, larger trees (known as “heritage” trees), as well as trees identified as being unique or providing important habitat. There are eight “heritage” trees on The Parcel site. We have designed the project to retain these heritage trees and will retain other healthy non-heritage trees to the greatest extent possible. While the project will require significant grading, we understand the importance of building a “village in the trees” and will design this project to comply with that intent.


  • What can the $20m awarded to the Town through the Infill Infrastructure Grant program be used for?

 The Town of Mammoth Lakes, along with their selected development partner, Pacific West Communities, Inc. of Eagle, Idaho, have been awarded a grant from the California Department of Housing and Community Development for design and construction of infrastructure for The Parcel in the amount of $20,601,216.

 Eligible costs include the construction, rehabilitation, demolition, relocation, preservation, and acquisition of infrastructure. The awarded funds may be spread over multiple projects. Community & Economic Development staff has coordinated with the Parcel consultant team and the selected developer, Pacific West Communities, Inc., to determine a final project list comprised of the following infrastructure improvement projects. These projects have been identified as priority infrastructure needs based on a variety of criteria including readiness, other sources of funding, and nexus to housing production: 

  •  Utilities, including water, sewer, electric and telephone/broadband cable 
  • Drainage improvements, including bioswales and the Mill Ditch drainage channel 
  • Streets and sidewalks 
  • Transit stops 
  • Multi-use paths/ bicycle facilities 
  • Structured parking 
  • Public open space 

 The Town has received notice that we have received the grant and are awaiting a final grant agreement for execution. Town Council has taken action and authorized the Town Manager to execute upon receipt. The funds are dispersed through a reimbursement process.


  • Will there be a public process to review the design of buildings for each phase – especially those adjacent to current neighborhoods / homes?

 Yes. The design of Phase 1 will be reviewed by PEDC and Town Council during the Master Plan approval process in December 2020/January 2021, with opportunities to comment at public hearings. Each future phase will also be required to go through the Design Review process, which includes review by Town staff and a final decision by the PEDC at a public hearing.

  • What is included in the County’s proposed “supportive housing” plan being discussed to be part of the Parcel project? 

Mono County Behavioral Health Department (MCBH) has approached the Town requesting that 10-12 units of supportive housing[1] be included in Phase 1 of The Parcel project. MCBH is working with the Project Developer to determine the feasibility of incorporating the units into Phase 1 of The Parcel.

[1] California Health and Safety Code Section 50675.14 includes the following definitions:

“Supportive housing” means housing with no limit on length of stay, that is occupied by the target population, and that is linked to onsite or offsite services that assist the supportive housing resident in retaining the housing, improving their health status, and maximizing their ability to live and, when possible, work in the community.

“Target population” means persons, including persons with disabilities, and families who are “homeless,” as that term is defined by Section 11302 of Title 42 of the United States Code, or who are “homeless youth,” as that term is defined by paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 12957 of the Government Code.


  • Will nightly rental activity be allowed?

No, nightly rental will not be allowed on The Parcel and covenants will be in place that prohibit nightly rental for the life of the Project.


  • Will the Master Plan include public facilities like childcare, community center, parks?

Yes, the Project will include space for a daycare facility and community center, as well as parks. One of the uses depicted in phase one is space for a day care facility. Daycare was discussed during the Plan the Parcel effort. It has been identified as a critical need of the community. Staff is meeting Mono County Office of Education and other partners to discuss the requirements for day care facilities and to determine if there is an entity that could operate a day care facility if the Town provided the space


  • What is the history of The Parcel?

For a complete history of The Parcel (formerly the Shady Rest Tract), please review the October 19, 2016 Town Council Staff Report (starting on PDF Page 24). 

Links to Maps, Reports, Useful Documents