GOAL 21. Maintain and enhance the scenic, recreational, and environmental integrity of the Mammoth vicinity.
Maintain and enhance scenic resources in the Mammoth vicinity.
Policy 21.A.1. Future development activity in the Mammoth vicinity shall avoid potential significant visual impacts or mitigate impacts to a level of non-significance, unless a statement of overriding considerations is made through the EIR process.
Action 21.A.1.a. Future development projects with the potential to have a substantial, demonstrable negative aesthetic effect shall provide a visual impact analysis prior to project approval. Examples of a substantial, demonstrable negative aesthetic effect include:
- Reflective materials;
- Excessive height and/or bulk;
- Standardized designs for specific commercial activities that are not in harmony with the community atmosphere; and
- Architectural designs and features that are incongruous to the community or area and/or that significantly detract from the natural attractiveness of the community or its surroundings.
The analysis shall:
- be funded by the applicant;
- be prepared by a qualified person under the direction of Mono County;
- assess the visual environment in the general project vicinity;
- provide visual renderings and/or mock-ups, or comparable descriptions of the impacts of the proposed development upon views and scenic qualities within the project site and on surrounding areas; and
- recommend project alternatives or measures to avoid or mitigate visual impacts.
Mitigation measures shall be included in the project plans and specifications and shall be made a condition of approval for the project.
Policy 21.A.2. Future development shall be sited and designed in a manner that preserves the scenic vistas presently viewed from US 395.
Action 21.A.2.a. Comply with Scenic Combining designations along US 395 in order to minimize the impacts of development in the US 395 viewshed.
Action 21.A.2.b. Continue to enforce the designation of “Open Space” for LADWP lands in order to protect the scenic resources on those lands.
Action 21.A.2.c. Continue to enforce the visual resource policies in the Mammoth Yosemite Airport Land Use Plan.
Action 21.A.2.d. Require any expansion of existing visually offensive land uses within the US 395 viewshed to be adequately landscaped or otherwise screened.
Policy 21.A.3. Restore visually degraded areas when possible.
Action 21.A.3.a. Work with agencies and organizations owning or managing existing uses in the US 395 viewshed to mitigate the adverse visual impacts of those uses; e.g., by painting, landscaping, or otherwise screening the use.
Action 21.A.3.b. Investigate the potential of relocating existing visually incompatible uses in the US 395 viewshed.
Action 21.A.3.c. In conformance to the Mammoth Yosemite Airport Land Use Plan, promote reclamation of existing quarry sites, including surface restoration and revegetation, following exhaustion of the mineral resource.
Policy 21.A.4. Coordinate scenic resource policies in the Mammoth vicinity with USFS and BLM visual policies and objectives.
Action 21.A.4.a. Work with the USFS and BLM on development projects on their lands to ensure that potential adverse visual impacts are fully mitigated.
Provide for the land use needs of both the incorporated and unincorporated areas.
Policy 21.B.1. Contain growth in and adjacent to existing developed areas.
Action 21.B.1.a. Prohibit subdivisions into five lots or more in the unincorporated area of the Mammoth vicinity, except in areas designated for specific plans; minor parcel maps of four lots or fewer may be considered if consistent with Mammoth vicinity policies.
Action 21.B.1.b. Support exchange of federal lands into the private sector for community expansion only if it can be demonstrated that there is a need for such expansion, that the community infrastructure can support the expansion, and that potential significant environmental effects can be avoided or mitigated.
Action 21.B.1.c. Work with the Town of Mammoth Lakes to address regional housing needs.
Policy 21.B.2. Provide for industrial land use needs.
Action 21.B.2.a. Amend the Yosemite Lakes Airport Land Use Plan to allow only resource extraction uses at the existing quarry on private land within the planning area and recommend the same policy for other existing quarries in the planning area.
Action 21.B.2.b. Work with the Town of Mammoth Lakes to identify and designate an appropriate site for land-intensive industrial uses within the Town's sphere of influence boundary.
Policy 21.B.3. Future development projects shall avoid potential significant environmental impacts or mitigate impacts to a level of non-significance, unless a statement of overriding concerns is made through the EIR process.
Action 21.B.3.a. Future development projects with the potential to have significant environmental impacts shall assess the impact(s) and recommend project alternatives and/or mitigation measures prior to project approval, in the manner required by General Plan policies.
Policy 21.B.4. Provide additional regional recreational facilities.
Action 21.B.4.a. Continue expanding the existing recreational facilities at Whitmore as warranted and feasible.
Action 21.B.4.b. Develop additional interpretive sites in the area, such as the proposed geothermal interpretive center, as funding becomes available.
Policy 21.B.5. Encourage the continued use of Hot Creek and the Upper Owens River for fishing purposes.
Action 21.B.5.a. Development plans for these areas shall preserve the integrity of the fishery. Implement the policies in this Element that pertain to the Upper Owens River.
Action 21.B.5.b. Development within the Hot Creek Buffer Zone shall require a finding that all identified environmental impacts of the project are reduced to less-than-significant levels by the permit conditions.
Preserve and enhance natural resources in the Mammoth vicinity.
Policy 21.C.1. Maintain or enhance the integrity of key wildlife habitat in the area. Examples of key habitat include, but are not limited to: key winter ranges, holding areas, migration routes, and fawning areas for mule deer; leks, and winter and summer range for sage grouse; and waterfowl habitat at Crowley Lake, Laurel Pond, and along the Owens River.
Action 21.C.1.a. Implement policies in the Conservation/Open Space Element.
Policy 21.C.2. Maintain or enhance the integrity of fisheries in the planning area.
Action 21.C.2.a. Support the trout enhancement by the CDFW for the Mammoth area.
Action 21.C.2.b. Manage riparian areas to maintain high-quality habitat for fish, especially in threatened and endangered species waters, wild trout waters, and the meadow reaches of streams.
Policy 21.C.3. Preserve, maintain and enhance surface and groundwater resources in the planning area.
Action 21.C.3.a. Require projects that could adversely impact water resources, including down-gradient water resources, to avoid or mitigate effects to a point where clearly no significant effects would occur.
Action 21.C.3.b. Work with the appropriate agencies to develop and implement a comprehensive management plan for Crowley Lake and the downstream areas of the aqueduct system. The management plan should ensure that the aqueduct system is managed in a manner that protects the ecological values of the Long Valley and the downstream areas of the aqueduct system.
Action 21.C.3.c. Develop a Special Area Management Plan  in cooperation with the US Army Corps of Engineers for wetlands in Long Valley.
Policy 21.C.4. Regulate geothermal and mining and reclamation activities in the Mammoth vicinity in a manner that retains the scenic, recreational, and environmental integrity of the Mammoth vicinity.
Action 21.C.4.a. All geothermal, mining and reclamation activities shall comply with the policies of the county Conservation/Open Space Element and the county Reclamation Ordinance.
Action 21.C.4.b. Geothermal and mineral extraction activities shall be allowed only in areas designated Resource Extraction; exploratory activities shall be allowed only in areas designated Resource Management, Open Space, or Agriculture.
Policy 21.C.5. Plan for the timely closure of Benton Crossing landfill and the mitigation of wildlife impacts during operation and after closure.
Action 21.C.5.a. Work with the appropriate agencies to develop and implement a raven mitigation plan for the landfill to protect sage-grouse populations.