Mammoth’s Town staff is moving forward with the completion of a preliminary design and environmental documentation for a new parking lot on a Town-owned parcel at the southeast corner of Hillside Drive and Canyon Boulevard. The parking lot, which would be built in two phases, could provide much-needed Village parking. Phase 1 would include 32 spaces while Phase 2 would include 40. The cost estimate of each space is $12-$15,000. The parking lot would likely also have a bus stop.
Associate Civil Engineer Haislip Hayes told Town Council at its regular meeting on Wednesday, January 20, that hiring a consultant to design the parking lot would cost about $25,000. Staff is recommending a preliminary budget for the program of $500,000, including $325,000 carried over from last year’s Public Works budget and up to $100,000 in the Capital Fund. The project may also tap into an additional $165,000 placed in general fund reserves.
Hayes said the Village currently has 145 paid parking spaces. There are also about 48 illegal parking spots in and around the Village. “Enforcement is a little loose,” he said.
Town has the potential to develop up to 85 new parking spots, including the Hillside Lot’s 72, plus three parking spots in the Community Center parking lot, and ten 30-minute spots on Canyon Boulevard.
As many in Town know, parking in the Village has been a problem ever since the Village was built. Developer Intrawest agreed to provide parking for residential units, but parking for commercial units fell to the Town. In 2005, the Town pursued the possibility of a $17 million, 300-space parking garage on the lot at Hillside and Canyon Boulevard. A use permit and associated negative declaration were approved at that time—and remain valid—but the Town was never able to secure financing.
Adding new parking to the Village is more important now than ever, as the existing parking area on Minaret Road is slated for development. After that temporary lot is eliminated, Hayes said staff estimated the Village would be deficient 200-250 parking spaces.
Town Council member John Wentworth wondered about the recently cleared Yodler/White Stag lots, and its proposed use for temporary Village parking.
Public Works Director Grady Dutton said that Town Manager Dan Holler had been in conversation with the owner of the lots, but “There hasn’t been a lot of progress on that.”
Council member Jo Bacon voiced her opposition to using $25,000 from the road rehabilitation budget to pay for a consultant to design the Hillside Lot. She noted that the budget has been depleted in recent years, and the Town’s aim has been to build it up again. “What’s changed that this money is ready for this, when we were underfunding [road rehab]?” she wondered.
“Nothing’s changed,” said Grady. “We don’t recommend doing this every year, but this is a need and has been for many years … It’s important to the community as a whole.”
The motion to pursue a preliminary design for the Hillside Lot ultimately passed 5-0. Town staff will come back with a design and a recommendation, including a cost estimate, the first week of April.