Council Sidesteps Rent Control Issue
The plan was initially proposed by the owners of Treasure Island Mobile Home Park, but the council voted unanimously to encourage the other two parks in the city to accept it.
If the agreement can be reached before the June 5 council meeting, city officials will use the next year to develop a long-term plan for Laguna Beach’s mobile home parks.
During that year, the Planning Commission will consider specific mobile home park issues, such as whether mobile home owners should have the first opportunity to buy their parks if they go on the market and whether the city should have a relocation plan for residents if a park is sold.
“Tonight’s issue is not an issue of rent control for me,” Councilman Robert F. Gentry said Tuesday. “It’s an issue of neighborhood preservation.”
Others, however, said it is unreasonable for residents to expect special protection.
“If you can’t afford where you’re living, you should find a place you can afford,” said Laguna Beach resident Debra Wright.
The issue of rent control for the 435 mobile home park spaces in Laguna Beach was raised largely as a result of a continuing dispute between Treasure Island Mobile Home Park and the park’s new owners.
The 27-acre oceanfront park was bought for $40 million last August by development interests that expect eventually to close it to make way for other development. Residents want to buy the land and maintain it as a mobile home park.
If the interim measure approved Tuesday night is agreed upon, park owners who have no other tenant lease agreement in place could then boost rents by 7%, excluding rents of low-income seniors.