Daily Journal file photo
The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors adopted an urgency ordinance Tuesday to temporarily ban the closure or conversion of mobile home parks such as what is taking place now at Pacific Skies Estates in Pacifica.
Eight mobile home parks in unincorporated San Mateo County cannot close or make major conversions for the next 45 days as the Board of Supervisors adopted a temporary urgency ordinance Tuesday.
The ongoing housing crisis in the Bay Area has led to concern about the preservation of affordable housing in mobile home parks, according to a report by County Manager John Maltbie.
The report notes that some mobile home park owners in the area have moved toward building high-density housing, in Palo Alto, or luxury manufactured homes on their properties such as proposed at the Pacific Skies Estates mobile home park in Pacifica.
Within unincorporated San Mateo County, the eight parks have space for 850 mobile homes but currently only 350 spaces in the parks are actually occupied by mobile homes.
Many of the spaces are occupied by recreational vehicles that face their own challenges because most facilities that accept them have long waiting lists.
Those who live in RVs and have resided at a mobile home park in unincorporated county lands for the past nine months are also subject to the moratorium.
When the parks are converted or closed, the residents are displaced and not easily able to relocate because of the physical condition of the home or the fact that parks generally only accept new mobile homes, according to the report
The ban on closures and conversions could extend for two years depending on later board action.
State law requires park owners to submit relocation impact reports to municipalities prior to closure or conversion.
The municipalities can then impose conditions to mitigate the adverse effects on the displaced residents but San Mateo County currently has no such regulations which may include a requirement to provide relocation assistance, according to Maltbie’s report.
The intent of the urgency ordinance is to give county staff time to study and consider adoption of land use regulations for when the parks are proposed to be closed or converted so that residents are not displaced without having some protections, according to Maltbie’s report.
Mobile home parks in unincorporated San Mateo County are also subject to rent control.
Some longtime residents of area parks urged the board to adopt the ordinance Tuesday including Magdalena Lara, who is retired and living on a fixed income.
She has lived in a Redwood City mobile home park for 30 years.
“I can barely live now,” she said.
Without the park, she said her family would have nowhere to go.
Oscar Vasquez told the board his family too would have nowhere to go if they were displaced.
“I would not like to lose my housing,” he said through an interpreter, according to a video of the meeting.
Housing attorney Daniel Saver, with Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto, praised the board for being proactive.
“This is a potential threat to affordable housing and could be a displacement disaster,” Saver said Tuesday. “It’s good to address this in advance.”
The urgency ordinance affects these properties:
• Bayshore Villa in Redwood City;
• Belmont Trailer Park in Belmont;
• La Honda Trailer Park in La Honda;
• Pillar Ridge in Moss Beach;
• Redwood Trailer Village in Redwood City;
• Sequoia Trailer Park in Redwood City;
• Sierra Point in Brisbane; and
• Trailer Villa in Redwood City.
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