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The Tri-Valley area of Mono County—Hammil, Chafant and Benton—was once the fastest growing part of the county, and developer Bob Stark hopes it is again soon.
He got some help for his vision Tuesday after the Mono County Board of supervisors agreed to make it easier to continue his White Mountain Estates project north of Bishop on S.R 6.
Stark’s 87-unit project was going full-speed prior to 2008, poised to fill a deep need for workforce housing in the county, which at the time was experiencing a real estate price boom.
He intended the development to provide manufactured homes at a reasonable cost, most likely to young families working in Bishop or Mammoth Lakes.
But the recession hit Mono County in 2009, real estate prices plummeted, work dried up, and the project ground to a halt.
This week, Stark asked for and received relief from the county supervisors on a few requirements the county had put on his plan in 2007, when the project was initially approved.
Fees for recreation facilities, a requirement to build “affordable housing” within the project, and a speed bump on the road approaching the subdivision were all waived.
Stark said he will begin advertising the project soon, probably in magazines for seniors, since he now believes his market will be Southern California retirees with a taste for open space and views.
It will take between six and eight years to build the project, once the real estate market comes back, he said.