Condo project moves forward

The potential new owners of a mobile home park on Newport Boulevard in Costa Mesa are one step closer to building condominiums on the land.

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously certified Newport Beach-based IntraCorp Socal-1 LLC's closure impact report for Anchor Trailer Port, 1527 Newport Blvd. The report examines any adverse impacts of the closure, describes relocation options for residents and potentially mitigates problems.

The certification does not necessarily mean the council approves of the conversion, only that the plan meets the minimum requirements of state law, according to city special counsel Celeste Brady.

As Costa Mesa does not have its own ordinances regarding mobile home conversion, the city must rely on the state statutes, which are minimal, and somewhat vague and ambiguous, Brady said.

The park's residents, some of whom have lived there more than 20 years, gave almost an hour of testimony during the meeting while IntraCorp representatives and its advisory counsel, Carlsbad-based Loftin Firm, discussed the proposal for another hour and a half.

Residents described themselves as homeowners, just like everyone else. Several said they understood the park wouldn't be there forever and just wanted due compensation, but others expressed frustration and confusion over the conversion process — a sentiment with which the council seemed to sympathize.

After hearing the testimony, Councilwoman Sandy Genis said she felt the park's current owner misled residents who recently moved in.

Those new residents, she asserted, were "led down the primrose path" because they are not eligible for as many relocation benefits as those who have lived in the park at least nine months.

Of the park's 43 spaces, 13 are vacant. Mobile homes, recreational vehicles or travel trailers occupy the rest.

After hearing word of official notices not going out to residents in time, failure of post office delivery and other disagreements, Councilwoman Wendy Leece called the saga "a failure to communicate."

In the city's defense, Councilman Gary Monahan pointed out that city staff have spent considerable time and resources — 130 hours, officials said — into helping the park's residents.

The sale of the 1.9-acre Anchor Trailer Port is still in escrow. The Costa Mesa Planning Commission will hear about the project during its meeting at 6 p.m. Monday.

Twitter: @bradleyzint

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