The Santa Barbara City Council Ordinance Committee approved an ordinance that, if approved by City Council, will enforce the preservation of senior mobile home parks.
The senior mobile home park overlay is a permanent law of an interim urgency ordinance passed when Flamingo Mobile Home Park sent a notice to residents that it was converting to all ages.
Residents expressed their concerns to City Council, afraid that their space rent would become unaffordable if changes were made.
Last week, City Council adopted an ordinance that establishes vacancy control atop pre-existing rent control in mobile home parks.
“The action we recently took to also offer protections for vacancy control, the two together serve as a backstop for very threatened low-income and senior low-income housing stock in the city, and I also enthusiastically support this as I did that,” Mike Jordan, chair of the ordinance committee, said.
The discussion was short Tuesday afternoon.
Assistant City Attorney Tava Ostrenger drafted the ordinance after the City of Yucaipa’s overlay, which was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2012.
She added a provision that clarified owners must follow federal housing guidelines, based on one of Yucaipa’s challenges.
Flamingo Mobile Home Park has made its opposition clear in letters sent to staff prior to the meeting and in attorney James Ballantine’s comments at every meeting.
Flamingo Mobile Home Park’s owners feel targeted by the proposed legislation, Mr. Ballantine said. He doesn’t see evidence the City researched parks’ demographics or used data to draft the overlay.
Ms. Ostrenger said residents have reported code enforcement violations, which the City is investigating.
Mr. Ballantine said he was surprised to hear the park was out of compliance.
“Although we don’t necessarily agree with this process or what the city wants to do, we certainly intend to follow the law,” he said.
The City believes it stops the conversion to an all-ages park with its interim urgency ordinance based on the fact that if residents voice objections during a meet and confer, parks must wait six months.
Ms. Ostrenger has an unofficial transcript from the meet and confer given by one of the residents.
Mr. Ballantine questioned the transcript and said the City had never asked him about the meeting.
The next step for the ordinance is review and adoption by City Council.
Mr. Ballantine specializes in mobile home and RV park law.