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Oceanside City Council Votes to End Mobile Home Rent Control

The decision removes a cap on mobile home rents that has been in place for almost 30 years. Mobile home residents are gearing up for a referendum they hope will overturn the vote.

After three heated meetings between the city, park owners and mobile home tenants, the motion to remove rent control passed Wednesday with the adoption of a "vacancy decontrol ordinance," despite pleas from residents for the council to re-think its decision.

“I am here to plead with you to not adopt this terrible and horrible ordinance,” said Mira Mar Mobile Park resident Sharon Signs. “You will be hurting over 2,200 seniors and veterans. You will be taking our homes away without fair and just compensation.”

Rent control, which has kept a ceiling on fees park owners can charge their tenants for the last 30 years, has become a form of affordable housing for more than 2,000 residents and veterans living in mobile home parks throughout Oceanside.

“If doing the right thing is the pressing issue, then it fails miserably in favor of a very small group of people that represent interests almost exclusively outside of the city,” said mobile home resident Don Rogers.

Mobile home residents are planning for a referendum, which requires signatures in support of rent control from 10 percent of registered voters in the city by June 23.  Should the referendum be successful, it could lead to a special election that could cost the city a half million dollars.  So far the residents have collected around 1000 signatures and are hoping to have the required  7,600 signatures collected by the end of the month.

“I have always supported private property rights and believe that it’s not the responsibility of private property owners to supply affordable housing for others at their expense,” said Councilman Jack Feller. “I understand and I sympathize with the veterans and senior citizens living on a fixed-income ... but we are in the midst of a budget crisis and I do not think I will be supporting a half-a-million-dollar investment. I believe the right thing to do is to correct this wrong action of 1984.”

The council voted to keep rent control for those currently living under the measure, but residents say that while it looks nice on paper, it devalues their homes and will make it hard to recoup investment, should they opt to rent the home or sell it.

Robert Ryan May 27, 2011 at 02:17 PM
Without further consideration the council enacted an ordinance that will benefit 14 mobile park owners saying they should be able to control their own property. The next agenda item the vote to try to take 14 parcels of privately owned land by Eminent Domain was voted on and passed. They vote for the owners of property and then they vote against the owners of property two hours later. Interesting. The Melrose Extension benefits the city of Vista more than Oceanside. The Planning Commissions 6 to 0 against this project was ignored because KFF feel they know better what the people need. But the question is, Which people need it?
Joseph Espiritu May 27, 2011 at 03:26 PM
Hi Robert, thanks for getting this info to us. It seems as if the city is torn on their decisions. As for the Melrose Extension, do you think that the traffic relief it could offer is worth the cost and the farm lands it will take over?
Robert Ryan June 09, 2011 at 01:55 PM
Hi Joseph, The Melrose extension traffic relief will be minimum. The EIR says the time saved will be seconds, not even a minute. This will hurt the parklands of Quahome and take private property. The largest benefit will be to the city of Vista in that they will now be able to develop north of the 78 on Melrose. One more possible motive is to develop the farmland north of the 76. Kern and the two F's are benefitting from this and are helping developers for reasons only they know. Next it will be a bridge over the 76 to reach the farmland. Is this what the people want or just a very select few.

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