College never ends … or, at least, college housing
Mammoth’s Town Council voted 3-1, Wednesday, with Mayor Pro Tem Cleland Hoff voting no, to approve a General Plan amendment that would allow employees of institutions like Mammoth Hospital to reside in the South Gateway Student Apartments at Cerro Coso Community College.
The amendment modifies an Institutional Public land use designation affecting a 57-acre parcel of land owned jointly by the Mammoth Lakes Foundation (MLF) and Kern Community College District. It also affects the Trails End Park and the site of the current Community Center.
Approximately 15 Trails residents attended Wednesday’s Council meeting on September 20 to voice their opposition to the change.
A letter written by Trails resident Michael Bowes to his neighbors adjacent to the MLF parcel (Bowes is a 12-year resident of the Trails) was titled “Workforce Affordable Housing next to the Trails” and claimed that “the Mammoth Lakes General Plan proposed change is to allow affordable housing to be built on the south side of Meridian Boulevard on the Mammoth Lakes Foundation and as well as possibly on the Trails End Parcel.”
The language in the General Plan, adopted in 2007, read that “Residential uses are not permitted, with the exception of employee and student housing that is accessory for the college.” The amended language, approved by Council on Wednesday, read that the exception to residential use would be for “employee housing that supports and is ancillary to the allowed institutional uses…” as well as student housing.
The MLF submitted its application for the amendment on May 25. The Town’s analysis, prepared by Associate Planner Ruth Traxler, states that “The purpose of the amendments is to allow for a wider range of housing uses to support the allowed institutional uses (e.g. schools, college, hospital, government agencies, etc.) and to allow for the proposed Mammoth Arts and Cultural Center and Wounded Warrior Center projects to be located on properties owned by the [MLF] on College Parkway.”