Mammoth residents to get a vote in VHR issue


By Sierra Wave Media

Measure Z yes votes far outnumbered no votes during the special ballot election Tuesday in Mammoth Lakes.

The yes vote on Measure Z means that if the Mammoth Lakes Town Council wishes to expand nightly rentals into residential zones, the people will have the right to vote on it first.

The semi-official results from the Mono County Elections Department showed 858 “Yes” votes for a 69.87 percent total and 370 “No” votes, equaling 30.13 percent.

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Comments (39)
  1. Steven says - Posted: October 10, 2015

    When are the voters in So. Lake Tahoe and the County going to get a vote ?
    Get the tourists out of our neighborhoods !

  2. Parker says - Posted: October 10, 2015

    Yes Steve,

    Plain & simple, let’s vote on the issue! If Mammoth can vote on it, so can, and should, South Lake Tahoe!

    We’re in a democracy, right? And a vote resolved the paid parking fiasco. So let the people speak about VHR’s!

  3. Steve says - Posted: October 10, 2015

    Similar mountain tourist town, similar demographics, similar tourism based economy. What could be fairer than letting local citizens decide whether their residential neighborhoods are suitable for short term lodging and all its issues. The politicians and bureaucrats in South Lake Tahoe should take immediate notice. Mammoth has beat them to the punch.

  4. city citizen says - Posted: October 10, 2015

    Mammoth has never allowed their residential neighborhoods to be used for nightly rentals. Like Tahoe, they have plenty of tourist accommodation options to serve their visitors. The 70% YES vote on Measure Z that took place last Tuesday means that in the future any plan (by town council or any other group) to allow nightly rentals in residential areas must be voter approved. The people of Mammoth did not trust their council members to decide the future of their neighborhoods so they hired an attorney, collected the required signatures and forced an election. Some of the council members along with real estate interests put up a well-funded opposition campaign to measure Z , but the people voted overwhelmingly to keep the power to rezone their neighborhoods in the hands of the voters. This is what needs to happen in South Lake Tahoe. Let’s get these motels out of our neighborhoods.

  5. Rooster says - Posted: October 10, 2015

    Well put city citizen.
    As I’ve said many times before VHR’s are a neighborhood disaster / destroyer if you are unlucky enough live anywhere near one.

  6. Steven says - Posted: October 11, 2015

    I have a $100 towards hiring that lawyer ! Who else is willing to spend $100 to take back our neighborhoods ?

  7. Dogula says - Posted: October 11, 2015

    Unintended consequences might be that property prices will stagnate in town while they continue to rise in the county. If you do it in SLT.

  8. city citizen says - Posted: October 11, 2015

    Hey Stephen or anyone else out there that is interested in organizing a citizens movement to address VHRS in our neighborhoods, send an email to
    Our elected council needs to be made aware of the growing discontent over VHR businesses in areas zoned for residents.

  9. reloman says - Posted: October 11, 2015

    Another unintended consequence would be the layoff od 20 city employees, thats about 10% of the city work force.

  10. Rooster says - Posted: October 11, 2015

    All you folks that say removing VHR’s would be ” the end of the world” still think the world is flat.

  11. Isee says - Posted: October 11, 2015

    City Citizen, “zoned for residents”, could and should include activities and businesses other than VHR’s. Our neighborhoods are being used for things that they aren’t zoned for, including music events, giant parties and weddings- complete with P/A systems blasting all day and buses bringing people onto streets with no shoulders or sidewalks. And how about the contractors that build cabinets until 9:00PM.
    We need to hold our elected officials feet to the fire and insist that zoning laws are adhered to.

  12. Dogula says - Posted: October 11, 2015

    So much for private property rights, Comrades.

  13. Parker says - Posted: October 11, 2015

    city citizen,

    You are mistaken! Mammoth must have VHR’s in their neighborhoods!

    As some point out on these blogs, there’s no way you can have a successful tourism industry in a Sierra mountain town unless you have VHR’s in residential neighborhoods! (And of course that would be especially true of our Lake Tahoe which also has that beautiful Lake to offer visitors.)

    And of course city citizen, because Mammoth doesn’t allow VHR’s in neighborhoods, that means there’s no real estate business and everyone there is upside down on their mortgages? I mean we’ve got to believe the scare tactics some in our town are throwing out there. Right?

    And Dogula, I agree with you on many things. I believe in smaller govt. But govt. does have a purpose, such as establishing the rule of law. Either we have zoning laws, or not?!

  14. Kenny (Tahoe Skibum) Curtzwiler says - Posted: October 11, 2015

    Dog, what about the private property rights of the non vhr places. We just did a lot clearing for a new McMansion so I benefit directly from them. It is located on a cul-de-sac where there are currently several more. There is a local who lives in the middle and they get 30-50 vehicles in an area that can only hold about 7. Our roads are not designed for that volume of traffic hence potholes. We got along just fine before hotels in our neighborhoods and we will get along just fine without them.

  15. Steven says - Posted: October 11, 2015

    Kenny, correct, we will get along fine without the VHR’s. And all the contractors, realtors, property managers, council members, that came here to make money off the VHR’s can go elsewhere.

  16. Cranky Gerald says - Posted: October 11, 2015

    Dog, you have such a broad view of private property rights, you should not whine if somebody wanted to raise pigs on the lot adjacent to yours.

    If you want to build a project,(especially commercial projects) it is usually a requirement that you have a plan to demonstrate that your project has (for one instance among several) PARKING sufficient for your planned use. I don’t think the City even thinks about this.
    They should, and there are ways to force them into the practice. Usually takes a lawsuit.
    However, they find it all too easy to officially waive many planning issues to make building easier and clearly cater to anyone with projects destined to provide revenue for the City. I think this thought also applies to El Dorado County.

    Our local govts has obviously tossed the conventional use of zoning ordinances in the ash can.

    I predict that the final shoe to drop is when residential home insurance companies figure out that the use of adjacent homes for commercial purposes constitutes an increased risk and up will go insurance rates for adjacent non-VHR homes.

    Dogs projection of the change in property values came from a really dark place. That we let the real estate industry run the local government is a shame. These people are self serving to a fault, and have no thoughts about anything except jacking up their commissions.

  17. Dogula says - Posted: October 11, 2015

    Crank, you aren’t the first to suggest the pig farm. I still say private owners will be far better stewards than any “public” ownership is. And No, the real estate “industry” doesn’t get to set the rules either. Individual owners do.
    Think outside your tiny boxes, people.

  18. Rob5 says - Posted: October 11, 2015

    Dog–Individual owners have no control over their neighbors or neighborhood. The guy who owns the lot next to me can do whatever he wants in your world.

    Government exists, in part, so that we can collectively control our neighborhoods. The discussion should not be over whether it is appropriate to have zoning, but rather what zoning is necessary.

    The argument over whether zoning can be done is long over.

  19. billy the mountain says - Posted: October 11, 2015

    “Think outside your tiny boxes, people.”

    And how old is your tiny little earth?
    Exactly. You don’t have the prerequisite intellect to be condescending on the topic of thinking outside of the box.

  20. Dogula says - Posted: October 11, 2015

    Heavens, Billy, your obsession with how old people think the earth is, is practically a sickness. Let it go. Breathe.

  21. reloman says - Posted: October 11, 2015

    Cranky do you know what it takes to get rate changes thru the DOI. It is very costly to do and it is doubtful that they would do that for such a small area and only a couple thousand VRs. No the insurance companies would never pay for a study needed to prove that there was a higher risk that the non VR property will have higher claims. That is a total reach.

  22. rock4tahoe says - Posted: October 11, 2015

    Dog. It’s a fair question. Aren’t you a proud “Young Earther” or something?

  23. reloman says - Posted: October 11, 2015

    actually rock it wasnt a fair question as it did not apply to this discussion. Now if Billy had asked if she lived in SLT that would have been a fair question, and more to the point.

  24. billy the mountain says - Posted: October 12, 2015

    When criticizing people for thinking inside a small box you open yourself up to having your own worldview questioned.
    Have you established yourself as a person who continuously demonstrates an understanding of complicated topics? Yes? Well then no need to worry. Do numbers larger than 10,000 present a problem? Ignorance is a choice, take some responsibility.

  25. by gosh says - Posted: October 12, 2015

    I’ll bet dollars to donuts that VHR’s are illegal by state laws governing zoning changes and variance hearings.

  26. Isee says - Posted: October 12, 2015

    Concerning zoning and our neighborhoods. Try opening a natural history hobby shop in your home.
    We’re talking one room and here’s what EDC said.
    – It might cause someone to drive an extra mile….what about parking?…AND it’s not zoned for that!!!….
    It’s absolutely crazy when compared to what’s actually happening right now in the ‘hood.

  27. Moral Hazard says - Posted: October 12, 2015

    Isee, you really wanted to open a commercial / retail establishment in your home and you were surprised when the County said no?

    Dog, this is why zoning laws exist. People really quickly realized that mixed commercial / residential is a recipe for low property values for everyone because people like Isee would open retail in your neighborhood and consume all available parking.

    Anyway, I know this is talking to a wall, but Dog you should have left your first comment alone. Yes prohibiting VHR’s will depress home prices. Neither you nor I can really know how much. I suspect it would be a pretty big deal.

  28. nature bats last says - Posted: October 12, 2015

    Was under the impression wrongula moved to nevada so she could live the good life of less federal (or any form of gubmnt)regulations. How did that work for ya? Maybe you will get it when someone starts up their all night disco tech (sleepless nights, oh the horror)or their (yes, ill say it again)pig farm. Keep an eye on your well water!

  29. Liberule says - Posted: October 12, 2015

    Nature: I bat last. Don’t ever forget that.

  30. nature bats last says - Posted: October 12, 2015

    Drool, I seriously doubt that…..

  31. Liberule says - Posted: October 13, 2015

    We will end up worse than crested butte. They don’t have the illegal Mexican/gang/drug problem we do. This town is on the downhill slide big time. Brought to you by folks like nature boob.

  32. Hmmm... says - Posted: October 13, 2015

    Lib your over-inflated ego coupled with your 7th grade level reasoning abilkiy amounts to ‘a swing and a miss’ 98% of the time. You are a bench-warmer at best.

  33. Bigfishy1 says - Posted: October 13, 2015

    The sky is falling on Tahoe, what a joke. I predict home values will rise with LESS VHR’S.

    Who wants VHRs in their neighborhood besides a bunch of realtors. NO RELOMAN the city will not lose 20 employees or 10% of their workforce (more numbers pulled out of thin air to support a non existent argument) , That’s a lie to scare people into your thinking. As I said before it’s all speculation and I seriously doubt property values will drop if we ban VHRs.

    Why do you continuously continue with your BULL like you’re an economist. You’re a realtor, with no clue what will happen. If people want to stay in this type of setting, they can stay where it’s zoned. Such as the Heavenly village, where all the amenities are on site.

    The Real problem isn’t VHRs, it’s the mini Mansions with multiple entrances being built in residential areas when they are clearly commercial businesses. Sure, single family homes as VHRs are technically the same. The mini mansions will get numerous people that all know each other and decide it’s free reign in Tahoe.

  34. Liberule says - Posted: October 13, 2015

    Hmmmmm: what’s an “abilkiy”? Oh you can’t spell simple words. Get out of my town harlot. Also I don’t play baseball. It’s a really stupid sport. Kinda like… You.

  35. Hmmm... says - Posted: October 13, 2015

    It’s a typo

  36. Hmmm... says - Posted: October 13, 2015

    Lib…Your town???

    There’s that over-inflated ego.

  37. Robin Smith says - Posted: October 23, 2015

    Realtors are like used car salesmen…a bunch of gangsters and thieves…beware.

    One of the “big shots” in South lake Tahoe response to a simple question about these “fractional residences” was…”You snooze you lose.”

    I do not call eating Ramen Noodles so you can pay your bills and feed your children snoozing.

  38. Isee says - Posted: October 23, 2015

    Moral Hazard- Some places have zoning for -less than a $1,000 a year- retail. But is a Natural History hobby shop a commercial venture or is it educational as was the intention? I have PLENTY of parking in my own really long driveway, I understand the concern.
    There’s a big surge in historical/geographic tourism- mostly from Europeans. I think this is a low-impact kind of visitor and we need to encourage it.
    When the snow piles-up (and it’s coming) we will see how the VHR’s are doing with keeping their vehicles in their driveways on site, and not on the streets in the way of snow removal.