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Imperial Beach says time's up for Miramar Mobile Home & RV Park

48-hour notices are a sticking point

Miramar contains both mobile homes and RV spots.
Miramar contains both mobile homes and RV spots.

Imperial Beach has fought oil companies, cross border pollution, the San Diego Association of Governments – who's afraid of a mobile home park?

"We've gone out on a limb before," said Councilmember Ed Spriggs last week, as the city discussed what to do about the Miramar Mobile Home & RV Park, where tenants say they face unfair evictions and other problems like, for some, an unusual requirement to move out every six months for at least a few days.

Those other city battles "don't affect real people quite the same way this does," he added.

Miramar park residents packed the chambers, where city manager Andy Hall discussed the latest efforts by staff to reach an agreement with the owners.

"The problem is, we've circulated an agreement to them and we have yet to hear back if this is the direction they want to go."

The city got involved months ago, after hearing complaints from tenants of the Palm Avenue park, but residents say the problems continue.

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"The 48-hour notices, the rent increases, sewer problems," and more, said Connie Villapondo.

Perhaps the worst, and most "unique" issue, as another resident described it, is faced by some of the park's RV tenants. Miramar contains both mobile homes and RV spots, and in order to maintain the park's RV status, some tenants are forced to move out every six months for at least 48 hours.

"I feel like I'm homeless," one woman said.

It's a costly short-term move - $2,500 for a hotel stay, just for the weekend, said Oscar Toscado. Others pay hundreds to move their trailer in and out.

According to residents, the park owns about 15 percent of the RVs.

The city was told the routine move-outs are for the purpose of making improvements, Hall said, suggesting a better option might be to have people move within the park.

But the city's wishes are up against another reality: mobile home parks fall under the jurisdiction of the state, regulated by the Mobilehome Residency Law.

On the other hand, the city has to look out for the safety and well-being of the community.

"So we thought the best way to address it was with an agreement directly with the owner."

The city included anti-harassment or retaliation provisions; an immediate moratorium on evictions; a three percent rent cap; mediation through the city, not a third party; and that all complaints sent to management get sent to the city within 30 days.

Rent control may be the big hold up. Its parameters apply to other rental units in California, Hall said - but the state decided to exclude mobile home parks from rent control, partly because they have their own chapter in state law, separating them from other rental units.

"But because they are renters we believe they should probably have the same protections that all the other renters in the community have."

Julie Pauley, with Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association, a trade association that represents park owners, said it's important to manage expectations.

"I don't know that every point is going to be resolved in agreement. Also, every issue is not going to be resolved if you pass rent control," she added.

"As a core value we're against rent control ordinances."

Pauley called the policy "really harmful" to mobile home communities, creating a regulatory environment in which attorneys do all the talking. "It's just not a win."

But rent control doesn't seem to be the real issue at Miramar, anyway, she said. "It's the moving of the trailers," which she added is new to her, and she's been doing this for 13 years.

"I'm really here trying to broker peace," she said. "I think we're close."

The council didn't agree.

Councilmember Paloma Aguirre said she met with residents and the new owner at the park in January. Now it's September, and despite ample opportunity to enter into an agreement, there has been no response.

She made a motion to include everything in the agreement and have it be an ordinance, which the city will do next.

"Mr. Hall alluded to patience running thin...patience has run out."

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Miramar contains both mobile homes and RV spots.
Miramar contains both mobile homes and RV spots.

Imperial Beach has fought oil companies, cross border pollution, the San Diego Association of Governments – who's afraid of a mobile home park?

"We've gone out on a limb before," said Councilmember Ed Spriggs last week, as the city discussed what to do about the Miramar Mobile Home & RV Park, where tenants say they face unfair evictions and other problems like, for some, an unusual requirement to move out every six months for at least a few days.

Those other city battles "don't affect real people quite the same way this does," he added.

Miramar park residents packed the chambers, where city manager Andy Hall discussed the latest efforts by staff to reach an agreement with the owners.

"The problem is, we've circulated an agreement to them and we have yet to hear back if this is the direction they want to go."

The city got involved months ago, after hearing complaints from tenants of the Palm Avenue park, but residents say the problems continue.

Sponsored
Sponsored

"The 48-hour notices, the rent increases, sewer problems," and more, said Connie Villapondo.

Perhaps the worst, and most "unique" issue, as another resident described it, is faced by some of the park's RV tenants. Miramar contains both mobile homes and RV spots, and in order to maintain the park's RV status, some tenants are forced to move out every six months for at least 48 hours.

"I feel like I'm homeless," one woman said.

It's a costly short-term move - $2,500 for a hotel stay, just for the weekend, said Oscar Toscado. Others pay hundreds to move their trailer in and out.

According to residents, the park owns about 15 percent of the RVs.

The city was told the routine move-outs are for the purpose of making improvements, Hall said, suggesting a better option might be to have people move within the park.

But the city's wishes are up against another reality: mobile home parks fall under the jurisdiction of the state, regulated by the Mobilehome Residency Law.

On the other hand, the city has to look out for the safety and well-being of the community.

"So we thought the best way to address it was with an agreement directly with the owner."

The city included anti-harassment or retaliation provisions; an immediate moratorium on evictions; a three percent rent cap; mediation through the city, not a third party; and that all complaints sent to management get sent to the city within 30 days.

Rent control may be the big hold up. Its parameters apply to other rental units in California, Hall said - but the state decided to exclude mobile home parks from rent control, partly because they have their own chapter in state law, separating them from other rental units.

"But because they are renters we believe they should probably have the same protections that all the other renters in the community have."

Julie Pauley, with Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association, a trade association that represents park owners, said it's important to manage expectations.

"I don't know that every point is going to be resolved in agreement. Also, every issue is not going to be resolved if you pass rent control," she added.

"As a core value we're against rent control ordinances."

Pauley called the policy "really harmful" to mobile home communities, creating a regulatory environment in which attorneys do all the talking. "It's just not a win."

But rent control doesn't seem to be the real issue at Miramar, anyway, she said. "It's the moving of the trailers," which she added is new to her, and she's been doing this for 13 years.

"I'm really here trying to broker peace," she said. "I think we're close."

The council didn't agree.

Councilmember Paloma Aguirre said she met with residents and the new owner at the park in January. Now it's September, and despite ample opportunity to enter into an agreement, there has been no response.

She made a motion to include everything in the agreement and have it be an ordinance, which the city will do next.

"Mr. Hall alluded to patience running thin...patience has run out."

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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