The Huntington Beach City Council voted Monday to maintain its mobile home advisory board, a move that pleased many of the city's mobile home residents who feared losing their voice at City Hall.
The nine-member advisory board — made up of three park residents, owners and at-large members — address issues related to mobile home laws, management, rules and regulations. The board, which meets quarterly, also works as a liaison between residents and owners.
Because the relationship between mobile home park residents and owners can be contentious, the city has had a difficult time getting owners to join the board because they feel they have the "cards stacked against them" during the meetings, Councilman Don Hansen said.
Some owners also live outside the city and can't attend sessions.
As a result, the Intergovernmental Relations Committee, which comprises three council members, recommended changes in September to the advisory board and four other boards, including the Historic Resources Board and Library Board, according to a city staff report. The full council agreed to all the changes except those to the mobile home board.
The committee recommended picking one of three options: switching the board from a government-regulated one to an independent one; reduce the number of at-large members from three to one; or keep the number of members the same while allowing owners to have representatives serve in their place.
Mayor Joe Carchio and Councilman Matthew Harper, who serve on the Intergovernmental Relations Committee, and Hansen wanted to make the mobile home board independent from the city.
Carchio said the third option is what the city has now — and it's not going to work.
"Mobile home park owners are not going to participate," he said.
However, the council voted 4 to 3 to implement the third option and made it a requirement for park owners or their representatives to go through the same selection process as others on the board.
In other city news, the council voted to prepare an environmental impact report to study the affects of banning single-use plastic bags at supermarkets and other stores. The EIR, which is required by California law, is expected to cost about $40,000 to $30,000 for Rincon Consultants Inc. to prepare it and $10,000 for documentation, preparation, copying, distribution and notification. Except for a $3,000 donation from the Surfrider Foundation, the city was expected to also cover Rincon's fee.
Although residents and some council members opposed the plan, contending that the city shouldn't spend money when it is laying off employees, the council voted 4 to 3 to go ahead with preparing the report, but agreed to not act on it unless it receives money to cover the costs.
Members from Surfrider agreed to raise an additional $27,000 to cover Rincon's cost.