City Watching Mobile Home Owners’ Back

Ranch Cordova, CA (MPG)  |  By Chris Ching

RANCH CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - No Doubt, Ranch Cordova has the back of mobile home park residents.

At the February 1 City Council Meeting, members discussed at length how they could assume the responsibility of administering to the needs for nine parks in the city as rental increases and poorly kept grounds have sparked concern.

At present, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) oversees those living in motorhome parks and it is this organization the city would have to petition to gain control.

Mobilehomes and mobilehome parks are regulated largely by three state bodies of law. The Mobilehome Residency Law deals with rental agreements, types of allowable charges and evictions. The Manufactured Housing Act of 1980 focuses on construction of mobilehomes. Finally, construction and operation of the park themselves fall under the Mobilehome Parks Act.

Along with rent control and maintenance, the city could establish zoning and locations, regulate construction and expand the multifamily smoking prohibition to mobilehomes. City Attorney Adam Lindgren reported much work would be required if the city attained responsibility including increased staffing and training.

Jill Fellows, a resident of Mobil Country Club, felt the statements by councilmembers were “right on target” and hoped that it would be affordable for the city to pursue this new role.

Discussion ended with more research to be made with a report forthcoming in about six months’ time. The research would include dialogue with the HCD, how other cities have fared in similar situations, information on rent stabilization and maintenance plus community outreach to understand mobile home park resident sentiment.

Vice-Mayor Donald Terry expressed caution that the city understand what grounds the HCD could possibly deny their petition and to be prepared for it. “Are there things that clearly we’ll be disqualified on the second we turn it in? Terry asked. “I want to understand that.”

Keeping within the night’s talk of housing, council also discussed Home Owners Associations (HOAs) and Covenant, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs); Specifically housing developments that do not share a common area like a club house and have no HOA. Such homes are referred to as Non-CID (Common Interest).

Councilmember David Sander humorously referred them as “the Wild, Wild West. There may be rules but no one to enforce it.” Goulart replied it would likely fall into the hands of the City.

A Non-CID HOA could provide some middle ground between a traditional HOA and nothing but is vulnerable to poor management and inability to successfully enforce CC&Rs (which are required by the city for the developer to make).

Community Development Director Elizabeth Sparkman emphasized the key for such a solution would be “cooperation with the developer from the get go. Education and information to make sure property owners don’t inadvertently violate municipal code.”

It was decided the policy be brought back as an action item at the next council meeting when all members were present. Councilmember Siri Pulipati was not in attendance.

A presentation was also given by Housing Manager Stefan Heisler on the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) 2020-2024 Consolidated Plan and the CDBG-CV Round 3 Program Applications which details funds to organizations and businesses due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Mayor Garret Gatewood who also serves on the Sacramento Library Board made a few brief comments concerning a new library possibly coming to Rancho Cordova. Councilmember Linda Budge remarked progress was being made on the Civic Center and they were at the design stage. Councilmember Sander attended a homeless roundtable put on by the League of California Cities where the focus on mental anxiety he found encouraging. Vice-Mayor Terry and City Manager Cyrus Abhar discussed purple air monitors residents will be hosting in their homes to help monitor air quality. 15 of these handheld devices that will connect to a regional network are ready for distribution.