“The Parcel Design Workshop” will take place this coming week, August 20-23, in Suite Z in the Minaret Mall. A detailed schedule of events appears on page 19.
The Workshop seeks to answer the following question: “What does the public want to see on the 25-acre parcel, known as Shady Rest.”
Planning efforts thus far have been oriented towards community outreach, with the outreach pointing heavily towards this week’s workshop.
In preparation, the Parcel consulting team has attempted to flesh out concerns using integrated maps on its website where users can place pins that contain comments, both positive and negative.
In addition to the website, they have hosted a public outreach event, a review with town council and multiple spanish outreach programs with hopes that the community becomes a part of this multi-year project.
No concrete details are out (or in for that matter), despite a council meeting where Councilman Stapp told the Parcel team he wants “information regarding zoning issues, if this affects the Mammoth affordable housing waitlist, and the impact on the housing need in Mammoth.”
Simply put: the project isn’t there yet. It appears to be on elephant time in terms of gestation. But that would be optimistic (if you were an elephant)
Details will ideally begin to emerge following the workshop. And if you think that the team of consultants have their minds made up, you would be wrong. In the same Town Public Works director Grady Dutton stated, “People say ‘you already know what you are going to do’ and that is not the case at all.”
As Councilman John Wentworth put it, “This will be a time to find the public’s third rail, the highest level of plans, before the details are out.”
Wentworth said the workshop should illuminate what the community has problems with. Whether that is in regards. to building height or project density or environmental sensitivity to wetlands issues.
Larger community vision and traffic/mobility considerations will also likely be addressed.
The design workshop is a time for the residents of Mammoth Lakes to voice their concerns.
It’s also a time to provide a guiding hand so the large team of consultants don’t get caught up in a crazy game of ideological Twister.
The town shelled out $468,000 in fees to these consultants. A seemingly large number, but consulting fees for projects with this scope can run the bill even higher.
The parcel pamphlet explains “There are many events happening over these four days. Come to one, or all, depending on your schedule. No commitment required.” Dutton iterated “We tell people they can come for as little as 15 minutes, with the hopes they stay for longer”
The workshop consists of opening (Tuesday) and closing (Friday) presentations. Open studios (consultants planning the parcel with community members providing feedback), brown bag lunches (presentations of progress during lunch), and Studio Pin-ups (daily summaries with opportunities to give your input).
During the Council meeting, it was suggested council members attend the Studio Pin-ups, as this was a good way to see the progress of the day, and provide feedback affecting future action. But all events are important to what actually ends up happening to this 25-acre piece of land.
The Parcel was purchased in 2017-18 for $6.5 million in congruence with the ‘2017 community housing action plan created by the Town of Mammoth Lakes.
The Parcel is already zoned for affordable housing, and using current state guidelines, is zoned for up 344 units.
Councilman Stapp said the Parcel could be “four years” away, maybe more depending on feasibility.
Stapp and Wentworth both emphasized a desire to float a request for qualification (RFQ) in order to solicit a developer/partner.
The here and now, however, is about this week, August 20-23.
Wentworth says “the consultants will put on an interesting design workshop and I would strongly encourage the public to attend.”