Huntington council to consider taking rent-control measure off ballot

Huntington Beach's City Council will hold a special meeting Monday to decide whether to pull a rent-control measure off the November ballot.

Council members Joe Carchio and Jim Katapodis are bringing forward the item after talking with John Saunders, owner of Pacific Mobile Home Park and Huntington Shorecliffs Mobile Home Park, who they said agreed to negotiate rent terms with his residents.

Many people from both parks have told council members for months that Saunders has continued to raise their rent. However, Katapodis, who voted for the ballot measure, said Saunders is willing to work things out with the residents.

The council decided July 28 to ask voters in November whether rent control should be allowed at local mobile home parks.

"If the park owners are willing to do what they're supposed to do and make reasonable raises for the rent space, that's fine," Katapodis said about removing the measure from the ballot. "I think they're doing this because we brought this issue forward to begin with."

Saunders could not be reached for comment.

Carchio, who voted against having rent control, said negotiations between the residents and the park owner should have happened before having to resort to a ballot measure.

"If you sit down and talk about things, you can get things done," Carchio said.

He added that he believes Saunders will commit to working with residents.

Councilwoman Connie Boardman, who supported the ballot measure, said she has been told that Saunders will be offering five-year leases with minimal rent increases. She said she doesn't know how she will vote on the matter Monday.

"I want to hear from the residents of the mobile home parks and the council members, and then I'll make up my mind," she said.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 2000 Main St.

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