URGENT: Take Action to Shape Our Mammoth Lakes Future!

October 16, 2023

Mammoth Lakes Community

URGENT: Take Action to Shape Our Mammoth Lakes Future!
As someone who cares deeply about our community, I wanted to bring an important issue to your attention that could have a significant impact on our local housing market. NOTE: this email is lengthy but important.
**The Issue:** Short-Term Rentals (STRs) and Workforce Housing
The Town Council is currently considering a proposal to impose a temporary moratorium on new Short-Term Rental registration certificates. While this decision aims to address concerns about the impact of STRs on our community, there is a crucial point that needs to be emphasized - pausing or decreasing the number of STRs will not increase workforce housing or decrease pricing to the level needed to become affordable to locals.
The Town Council Meeting to discuss this proposal is October 18th, 2023. Please visit Moratorium on Short Term Rentals in Mammoth Lakes for details on the proposal. This will take you to the actual proposed Interim Urgency Ordinance for consideration.
View the meeting agenda (STR is #10 on the agenda) and find the Zoom link.
**The Reality** Housing Inventory Matters
The fundamental law of supply and demand applies to real estate. To address housing affordability and availability, the key solution is to increase housing inventory. A temporary moratorium on STRs, although well-intentioned, will not magically create more affordable homes or lower real estate prices. Nor will reducing the number of STRs in the long run. I started as a 2nd homeowner, and I would not have offered my property for workforce housing for the simple fact that I bought the property to use it. This is true for most of my clients. Most invest in Mammoth to create memories for their children and family. As far as lowering prices, fewer STRs will not magically increase inventory. An increase in inventory is the only way for prices to decrease. Low inventory is a nationwide phenomenon caused by increasing interest rates and the “golden handcuffs” of many homeowners. Most will not sell their property with sub 4% mortgages (unless they must) since a new purchase would mean an interest rate of 7% or greater. Further, based on data provided in the Town fo Mammoth staff report, it appears pricing would have to decrease over 40% to actually become affordable for locals.
**The Importance of Your Input**
As either a current or future Mammoth Lakes community member (or someone who just cares about our community), your input can make a difference. It's vital that we voice our opinions and work together to address the critical issue of workforce housing.
If you have concerns about the potential impact of the proposed moratorium on STRs or other ideas for addressing housing challenges, I encourage you to get involved in the public discourse. You can participate in town meetings, share your thoughts with the Town Council, and engage with local stakeholders. Your insights can help shape policies that better align with the needs of our community.
**Remember** Our local real estate market is driven by various factors, and addressing housing affordability and availability requires a comprehensive strategy that goes beyond STRs.
Let's work together to ensure our community thrives by addressing housing challenges in a way that truly benefits us all. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or need guidance on how to get involved.
Thank you for your commitment to our community. Your input matters, and I'm confident that together we can help shape a brighter future for Mammoth Lakes.
NOTE: To find out if your property is impacted, click on this link to take you the Town of Mammoth Lakes zoning map. Properties in the orange zone would be impacted. Also, even though your property may not immediately be impacted it does not mean it could not be in the future.
Email the following with your input. If you only send one email, send to [email protected] and ask that the letter be included in the public comments then the clerk distributes to the council
Town Council Members
John Wentworth
Bill Sauser
Sarah Rea
Chris Bubser
Amanda Rice
Town Manager
Dan Holler
Town Attorney
Andrew Morris
Director of Finance
Rob Patterson
Town Clerk
Jamie Gray

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