The County of Mono has a shortage of housing that is affordable to many citizens who work and reside in Mono County. The cost of housing has risen sharply over the past several years due to the cost of housing in the county's resort communities, the increase in second-home residences throughout the county, the scarce and limited amount of private land within the county available for residential development, and the overall increase in the cost of housing throughout the State of California. Wages for workers residing in Mono County have not kept pave with the increase in housing costs. As a result, employees in the lower, moderate, and even upper-moderate income ranges cannot afford to reside in proximity to work centers, have been forced to move greater distances from their places of employment, or have moved from the area entirely. This has decreased the pool of workers necessary to meet the needs of businesses and communities within Mono County. It has also increased communting time to places of employment and contributes to substandard living conditions for workers and their families that earn low and moderate income levels.
Requiring developers of land to mitigate the impact of development projects on the availability of workforce and affordable housing, either directly or through the payment of fees, dedication of land, or similar means, is reasonable and necessary to offset the impact of the development which has resulted in a decrease of land available for workforce housing, and for persons with low and moderate levels of income, a demonstrative increase in price of housing, and an increase in the need for workers within th county. Despite the availability of state and county incentives, there has been little or no market development of residential housing affordable to households earning very low, low, moderate, and even upper-moderate income levels and no other reasonable means to meet this need for workforce and affordable housing are available.
A requirement that new development mitigate these impacts by the development of affordable housing units, the payment of fees, or similar means is reasonable and necessary to improve the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of Mono County. Recognizing that different regions within the county experience separate and distinct needs for affordable housing, different mitigation requirements will apply to most appropriately address the needs of different communities. These mitigation conditions will not result in a negative impact on the overall development of housing or impose a barrier that will prevent persons with lower and moderate levels of income from purchasing housing.