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Posted on: September 13, 2020

TOWN COUNCIL ADOPTS URGENCY ORDINANCE TO ENFORCE MONO COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER ORDERS

On September 2, 2020, the Mammoth Lakes Town Council adopted an Urgency Ordinance amending the Town of Mammoth Lakes Municipal Code regarding penalties and issuance of citations in order to protect the public peace, health, and safety of Mammoth Lakes residents and visitors in light of the emergency declared by the State and Town regarding the COVID- 19 pandemic. 

“This action makes it easier for the Town to enforce orders of the County Health Officer and creates flexibility for the Town, allowing minor violations to be handled with fines instead of criminal charges,” stated Dan Holler, Town Manager. “In addition, a violation of a Health Officer order is now a violation of the Town’s Municipal Code as well because the County Health Officer also serves as the Town’s Health Officer and has the authority to issue orders to protect public health.”

Health Officer Order violations that may be punishable by fine include: not wearing face coverings in high-risk situations, not adhering to the hotel and short-term rental lodging restrictions, conducting gatherings of persons from different household units, and not using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or complying with state guidance for restaurants in Mammoth Lakes. Additional Mono County Health Officer Orders that can now be enforced by Town staff can be viewed online

Town staff will have the ability to enforce both violations by individuals and business operational violations. 

Enforcement of violations will be addressed on a case by case basis, with more serious violations likely to result in citations, but generally the following process would be followed:

  1. Provide assistance and education;
  2. Give a warning;
  3. Issue misdemeanor citation or administrative citations.

Town staff can issue civil or criminal citations for violations of Health Officer Orders, with fines of up to $100 for a first violation, up to $200 for a second violation, and up to $500 for further violations within a year. 

State law still allows violations of Health Officer Orders to be prosecuted as misdemeanors with jail time or up to $1,000 fines, but the Town intends to reserve this approach for only the most serious cases.

Residents and visitors are requested to utilize the following contact details to report various COVID-19 related violations in the Town of Mammoth Lakes:

  • Short-term Rental Hotline: (760) 965-3670 (voicemail only) or tot@townofmammothlakes.ca.gov 
  • Town of Mammoth Lakes Code Enforcement Hotline: (760) 965-3671 (voicemail only) or codecompliance@townofmammothlakes.ca.gov 

View the Urgency Ordinance by clicking on the link below. 

For additional information about the COVID-19 pandemic in Mono County and the Town of Mammoth Lakes, please visit covid19.ca.gov or MonoHealth.com/Coronavirus. 

We encourage everyone to #StaySafeToStayOpen!

Town of Mammoth Lakes Urgency Ordinance
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