At its next meeting, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors will amend an ordinance related to rent control at mobile home parks to protect tenants.
The changes come after a review of the existing ordinance first adopted in 2003.
The review found that the county has never received a petition from a mobile home park owner requesting an additional rent increase as required by local law.
The review found that most mobile home park owners are charging rents permitted by the ordinance. However, county officials concluded that at least one mobile home park owner may have directed tenants into longer-term leases to avoid certain provisions of the ordinance, according to a staff report by County Manager John Maltbie.
The ordinance only applies to mobile home parks in unincorporated county lands.
The current ordinance places a cap on rent increases; reduces rent if services dwindle; and prohibits a park owner or manager from requiring “any homeowner or prospective homeowner to sign a rental agreement with a term in excess of 12 months as a condition to reside in the park.”
These two issues — mobile home park owners not petitioning for rental increases and tenants being routed into longer-term leases — appear to be related and may result, to an extent, from a lack of knowledge regarding the ordinance and its requirements, according to Maltbie’s report.
To address these issues, the following is proposed:
• Amend the ordinance to require that mobile home park owners complete an annual report providing information about occupancy, rental rates and uses of the mobile home parks;
• Amend the ordinance to require that mobile home park owners post the provisions of the ordinance in the rental offices and include the material terms of the ordinance in all rental agreements in the language in which the rental agreement is negotiated; and
• Develop an education and outreach program regarding the ordinance for mobile home park owners and tenants.
The proposed amendment to the ordinance was first heard at the board’s Dec. 15 meeting. It will be heard a second time at its Jan. 5 meeting when it is expected to be adopted.
At the same Dec. 15 meeting, the board also adopted an urgency ordinance that imposed a ban on closing or conducting major renovations at eight mobile home parks in unincorporated San Mateo County for 45 days.
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. 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.
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 residents are not displaced without having some protections.
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.
The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors meets 9 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 5, 400 County Center, Redwood City.