Senior mobile home park issue heats up

Rancho Huntington residents voice objections to a notice they received warning them of a conversion that would allow families to move in.

July 24, 2013|By Anthony Clark Carpio

Residents of a senior mobile home park in Huntington Beach are furious about a memo they received last week telling them the park would soon be open to all ages, an apparent reaction by the owner of the property to the city's intention to restrict such conversions.

Folks from the Rancho Huntington Mobile Park on Brookhurst Street appeared at a meeting Monday of city's Mobile Home Advisory Board and vented their anger over the notice. During the meeting, city staff alerted the nine-member board that an ordinance restricting such action was being written.

Residents of the mobile home park said they found the note, from an "authorized agent of the owner," posted on their doors July 16. The notice said that while the owner had no intentions of changing the status of the park before, the change in thinking came after the council's vote to draft the ordinance and moratorium to "preserve our legal rights."


The letter also said the owner is considering keeping the property as a senior park "for a fixed period of time while the [homeowners association] and management" work out a deal for a long-term lease.

"Unfortunately, that is the law. We have to follow the law in regards to notices," said Amber Monte, a newly appointed board member who represents the owers of Rancho Huntington. "The notices certainly weren't our intention to harass. We were simply following the law."

An authority with the state Department of Housing and Community Development said it is up to the owner of a property whether and when to notify residents of any status change. In Huntington Beach, those who favor protecting senior housing are hoping a moratorium will prevent owners from making a change before an ordinance is drafted.

Monte said a meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at the park to discuss the memo.

Betsy Crimi, a resident at Rancho, said she considered the management's actions a "form of elder abuse."

"Yes, the owners are willing to come and speak with us, but the damage has already been done to our frail and elderly in our park," the 73-year-old said.

This month, Councilman Jim Katapodis introduced a resolution directing city staff to draft an ordinance that would restrict the conversion of senior parks to family, or all-ages, parks.

Huntington Beach has 18 mobile home parks, eight of which are set aside for seniors.

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