Controversial proposals that would change Carson's mobile home rent control ordinance have been sent back to city staff for further review.

At a meeting that drew more than 150 Carson residents, opponents of the ordinance changes said that the proposals would place too great a financial burden on renters. The changes were originally designed to clarify the kinds of facilities and renovations that mobile home dwellers--who generally own their homes but rent the space that the homes occupy--could be billed for under the ordinance's provisions for capital improvements in the mobile home park.

"The changes would place a great deal of stress and strain on us if they were passed," said Harry McCarthy, president of the Mobilehome Action Committee, which represents about 2,800 city residents.

City officials say that the current ordinance is ambiguous about what may be considered a capital improvement. Under the proposed changes, capital improvements are defined as such major projects as the replacement of water and sewer lines and the reconstruction of streets.

Mobile home residents say that they feel that their rent provides adequate funding for park repairs and facility replacements. They also objected to proposed ordinance revisions that would allow park owners to bill renters 10% above the cost of actual improvements to compensate for interest.

An attorney for park owners, Carolyn Carlburg, maintained that tenants would benefit from paying only for capital improvement fees--which are limited in duration--rather than facing rent increases that never expire.

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