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Driving toward mobile home resolution Allison K. Sampité-montecalvo | Sat, Feb 09 2013 12:00 PM

Following nearly a year of discussion and input on Chula Vista’s mobile home park space rent review ordinance, all parties came to a solution.

At Tuesday’s Chula Vista City Council meeting, council members unanimously approved streamlining administrative fees and addressing outstanding issues related to unresponsive residents through city outreach.

The mobile home park space rent review ensures mobile home residents and park owners are afforded a fair process for proposed rent increases.

Staff has attempted to reach park residents for nearly a year via postcards sent in March and April 2012, a billing and reminder notice by the U.S. Postal Service in July and August 2012 and direct posting on doors and mailboxes in late October 2012.

Staff also met with the mobile home park owners and residents to address a potential permanent resolution to the issue.

In August 2011 there was a temporary decontrol on change of ownership and an administrative fee was established to retain rent control services.

In February 2012 the process for collecting an administrative fee began.

One year ago, an outreach effort began to determine resident eligibility and identify residents not interested participating in the fee collection.

“We had no idea how many spaces were eligible for rent control services,” Kurz said.

In June 2012 a $60 administrative fee was adopted for July 1 through June 30, 2013.

Billing and reminder noticing was done in July and August and the initial first payment deadline was Oct. 1, 2012, with the second $30 installment due on Nov. 28.

In October 2012, the city had an unknown space eligibility of approximately 900 residents.

Two months later it decreased to 700 and the deadline was extended to March 28.

With park owner cooperation, city staff narrowed the number of residents with unknown eligibility down to approximately 450, who will be targeted with one last billing outreach next week.

“For this past month we’ve been meeting with stakeholders, including park owners, assisting city-identified eligible residents and we’ve narrowed down the list to 450,” Kurz said. “We didn’t want anybody to fall through the cracks.”

Staff also added an annual courtesy billing noticing requirement by May 1 each year.

Chula Vista Mobilehome Rent Association President Penny Vaughn has worked closely over the year with city staff on the process.

“They have done a wonderful job of listening to the residents and listening to the park owners,” Vaughn said. “The park owners and residents have basically come together and made agreements.”

Councilwoman Pamela Bensoussan thanked everyone involved for “minimizing the hardship and bureaucracy.”

“By the time you’re finished I think you’ll have a model program,” she said.

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