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Tioga Inn project heads to Mono County Board of Supervisors for a late-June hearing date

May 26th, 2020 by Bartshé, Eastern Sierra Policy Director

The Mono County Board of Supervisors will consider the Tioga Inn project at the end of June. While the exact date is yet to be confirmed, the two possible dates are June 25–26 or June 29–30. The Board is considering possible two-day hearing dates to better accommodate expected public comment and to fully deliberate the project before making a final decision.

A view of the current Tioga Gas Mart, which is the site of the future proposed Tioga Inn development. Photo by Elin Ljung.

With to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in California and the Expanded Stage 2 phase of Mono County’s reopening plan, the Supervisors are hoping that a hybrid meeting format of a live, in-person meeting combined with a Zoom platform meeting might be possible later in June in order to facilitate thorough public comment and dialog. County staff are researching the logistics, details, and possible venues, and are consulting with local health officials to see if any type of restricted, hybrid, in-person meeting is even possible.

Public comment will, once again, be critical to the Mono County Board of Supervisors’ decision.  Even though the Mono County Planning Commission largely disregarded public comment in mid-April, the overwhelming concern for the project expressed at that meeting, along with the project’s visual and safety impacts, underscored the need for a thorough meeting format. The Supervisors have the final authority to approve or deny the project.

Members of the Lee Vining Community, the interested public, and the Mono Lake Committee believe a better project with fewer significant visual and safety impacts is possible. During the April 16 Mono County Planning Commission meeting 169 comments were voiced in opposition to the current plan and many of them suggested constructive modifications, Sixteen of the comments were neutral, and only three comments were supportive of the project as proposed.

Stay tuned for project updates, and more details on what project changes might be possible to minimize the visual impacts to Mono Lake while also reducing the safety hazards and impacts to the community of Lee Vining.