FEE FEAR ZONE
Look out taxpayers!
Because Mammoth Lakes Town Council (specifically Sauser, Wentworth and Stapp) couldn’t make a politically difficult decision last week (allocating some marketing dollars towards housing), they may have latched onto a new plan.
Rather than choose either/or, let’s choose both by hiking development fees!
Mammoth’s Council will entertain a fee hike discussion at its meeting this coming Wednesday, August 4, to be held via Zoom.
Former Mayor and local real estate broker Matthew Lehman commented, “It seems absurd to me that the Town would consider increasing housing fees and at the same time deny legally permissible funding from Measure A to housing (of any kind).”
Council last increased building fees in 2019. Those increases were generally 10% across the board, except for single-family homes and multi-family units, where fees were increased from $5,700 to $6,000/unit, or approximately 5%.
The town’s fees are currently below the maximum allowable.
The fee for a lodging room is $4,000 (max is $9,300)
The maximum fee for a single-family home is $15,000-$22,000 depending upon home value.
In 2015, a consultant (AECOM of Sacramento) conducted a housing nexus study and made fee recommendations for different product types to the town.
In its report at the time, AECOM recommended slashing the sky-high fees that were then in place.
The Town’s current housing impact fee for residential projects of nine or fewer units is $23,222. The recommended residential fee is $7,300 per unit, which is approximately 69% lower than the current fee. However, single family homes of less than 2,500 square feet are currently exempt from housing mitigation, and single family homes greater than 2,500 square feet pay $2.68 per square foot for the area above 2,500 square feet. Under the current fees, a single family home of 5,224 square feet would pay $7,300 in housing fees. The Town’s current housing mitigation fee for hotels of 19 or fewer rooms is $11,611. The recommended lodging fee is $3,700 per room, which is approximately 68% below the current fee. The Town’s current housing mitigation fee for commercial developments is $14.99 per square foot; retail and restaurant usesare exempt. The recommended fee is $2 per square foot, approximately 87% lower than the current fee. The Town’s current housing mitigation fee for industrial developments is $3.93 per square foot. The recommended fee is $1 per square foot, approximately 75% lower than the current fee.
Wednesday’s item is for discussion only. Council would have to schedule a future public hearing to consider enaction of any fee increase.