Santa Cruz County
CA

Agenda Item
DOC-2019-1003
Approved in concept
Dec 10, 2019 9:00 AM

Consider proposed ordinance adding Chapter 13.31, Mobile Home Park Closure Ordinance, to the Santa Cruz County Code (SCCC) effective January 2020, and schedule the ordinance for final adoption on January 14, 2020, as outlined in the memorandum of Supervisor Leopold

Information

Department:Board of Supervisors: First DistrictSponsors:First District Supervisor John Leopold
Category:BOS First District - Board LetterFunctions:General Government

Board Letter

Recommended Action(s):

1)              Consider proposed ordinance amending Title 13 of the Santa Cruz County Code (SCCC) by adding Chapter 13.31, Mobile Home Park Closure Ordinance, effective January 2020;

 

2)              Approve the ordinance in concept; and

 

3)              Schedule the ordinance for second reading and final adoption on January 14, 2020.

 

 

Executive Summary

Santa Cruz County’s current mobile home park conversion ordinance, SCCC Chapter 13.30, Mobile Home Park Conversions, was enacted in 1980, in compliance with California’s state statutes, namely Government Code Sections 65863.7 and 66427.4 and Civil Code section 798.56(g), and to give the County local implementing regulations for the conversion of mobile parks to other uses, however, it neither covers nor prevents park closures.  In 1985, the State Legislature became aware of park owners using a loophole in the state statute to circumvent its provisions and subsequently amended the statute to cover park closures.  On November 21, 2019, the Santa Cruz County Mobile and Manufactured Home Commission (MMHC) reviewed the proposed SCCC Chapter 13.31, Mobile Home Park Closure Ordinance (See Attachment A referred to as SCCC Chapter 13.31) that would close a similar loophole in the County’s Conversion Ordinance in an effort to prevent park owners from also circumventing its requirements by using such a loophole.   The MMMHC voted to submit a letter to the Board of Supervisors recommending that they add the proposed Chapter 13.31 to Santa Cruz County Code, effective January 2020 (See Attachment B referred to as MMHC Letter of Recommendation).  I am asking that Chapter 13.31, entitled SCCC Chapter 13.31, Mobile Home Park Closures, be approved and added to the Santa Cruz County Code, effective January 2020.

 

 

Background and Analysis

 

The unrestricted closure of mobile home parks diminishes the supply of low-income affordable mobile homes that are available in Santa Cruz County. Owners and potential purchasers of mobile and manufactured homes require strong protections in order to preserve the County’s largest supply of already-scarce affordable housing stock.

 

California’s Housing-Element law applies to all mobile home park conversions to other uses and requires a finding for approval that a proposed conversion is consistent with the local jurisdiction’s required housing element policy of preserving the current low-income affordable housing stock that is located in mobile home parks.  In order to comply with preserving low-income housing, the County must be able to compare the low-income affordability of mobile homes that would be lost in the conversion of a mobile home park to the development that would be replacing it.  The County essentially cannot do this if a park is closed before its owner submits an application for the development that would be replacing the park. 

 

Yet, some California park owners continue to circumvent this process, along with other mobile home park conversion requirements by closing parks early, once all of the homeowners have been evicted, only to then file their application for approval of the development intended to replace the park afterwards.  An example of this evasion is reflected in the Preliminary California Mobile Home Park Closure Study issued on October 15, 2019, and jointly sponsored by the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CRLAF) and Bay Federal Credit Union.  The study revealed that none of the park closures evaluated were actually in compliance with the Housing Element law about low-income housing preservation requirements.  The study also notes that several of the park owners admitted that they were intentionally closing their parks early because they did not want their development applications to be burdened with having to comply with the state’s mobile home park closure requirements.  Additionally, the study finds that park owners routinely avoided the state requirement to provide displaced owners with compensation that will enable them to obtain adequate housing in other mobile home parks.  Instead, these park owners made the displaced homeowners either move their mobile home into, or purchase replacement mobile homes in other parks that were unreasonably distant from other cities or counties in which the parks being closed were located.

 

The Mobile Home Park Closure Ordinance will protect individuals and families in the mobile home community from such unlawful early park closures by requiring park owners to demonstrate that there is a legitimate reason for early park closure, before they are ready to determine a new use for the park and apply for its necessary local permits.  Additionally, the ordinance would enable tenants who are displaced by park closures to obtain adequate housing in other mobile home parks within Santa Cruz County.

 

Body

Strategic Plan Element(s)

This item addresses the focus area of Attainable Housing (2), working towards the goals of providing affordable housing (A), increasing housing inventory (C) and preventing homelessness by increasing housing stability (D).

 

 

Meeting History

Dec 10, 2019 9:00 AM Video Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting

1) Considered proposed ordinance amending Title 13 of the Santa Cruz County Code (SCCC) by adding Chapter 13.31, Mobile Home Park Closure Ordinance, effective January 2020;

2) APPROVED the ordinance in concept; and

3) SCHEDULED the ordinance for second reading and final adoption on January 14, 2020

RESULT:APPROVED IN CONCEPT [4 TO 0]
MOVER:John Leopold, First District Supervisor
SECONDER:Bruce McPherson, Fifth District Supervisor
AYES:John Leopold, Ryan Coonerty, Greg Caput, Bruce McPherson
ABSENT:Zach Friend

Discussion