Mobile Home Ordinance Is Held Back : Housing: Westminster wants more study on protection for residents of parks that close.


The City Council has put off action on a controversial plan to provide more protection to mobile-home residents when parks close.

The issue has been volleyed between city agencies and community groups for nearly three years, and a decision was delayed again over the strong objections of Councilman Tony Lam.

"The people have been very patient through many meetings," Lam said, "and this should be the last time they have to come here."

But the council voted 3 to 2 on Tuesday to take more time to review a recent draft of the proposal, which would give residents more protection in the event of eviction, including payment by park owners for food and lodging if residents must move.

The plan would require mobile-home park owners to find space in a "comparable park." One draft of the plan specifies a park within 35 miles, while another would allow a distance of 70 miles.

The park owners would also have to pay moving costs, plus lodging costs of $40 for each child and $105 to $135 for each adult if a family had to stay in a hotel while relocating.

If the mobile home could not be relocated, the park owner would be required to buy the coach and accessories at an appraised price.

Mobile-home residents have spoken in support of the plan, but park owners have criticized it as too expensive and have indicated that they may challenge it in court.

"This is as unfair and unworkable an ordinance as I've seen in the state of California," said Norm McAdoo, part-owner of the Villa Magnolia and Kensington Garden mobile home parks.

"We know this won't please everyone," said Art Gandy, a Planning Commission member who helped draft the proposal. "But this is as equitable is it will get."

Westminster has 18 mobile-home parks that house an estimated 5,000 people.

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