In 2002 California Government Code section 66427.5 was amended to address the 2001 El Dorado decision. AB 930 (Keeley, 2002) clarified that the intent of the resident survey language in 66427.5 was to ensure that all mobile home park conversions were “bona fide” and not merely an attempt to avoid local rent control. Unfortunately AB 930 did not specify how one is to determine that a conversion is bona fide (20% resident support? 50% resident support? 75% resident support?) To fill in the gaps left by the state legislators, California cities and counties are enacting ordinances which flesh out what must be contained in the surveys and factors that may be considered in determining whether a conversion is bona fide. Richard Close and the mobile home park owners he represents claim that the resident surveys they are required to submit under California Government Code section 66427.5 are a meaningless formality of the conversion process and cannot be used to deny an application for conversion. They further claim that ANY conditions imposed by city and counties that go beyond a strict interpretation of California Government Code section 66427.5 constitutes an illegal taking of their property. This is is why all county and city ordinances revolve around the resident survey. Because it is the only tool provided by state law that involves direct participation of mobile home residents it has become the battleground for the conversion process. City and county governments, and mobile home park owners all know that if given the choice residents will overwhelmingly choose NOT to convert their parks.

03-06-07
Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors passes emergency moratorium temporarily halting all mobile home park conversions. View PDF

04-17-07
Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors extends emergency moratorium halting all mobile home park conversions until February 2008. View PDF

07-07-07
Paul Golstone Trust, owner of Alimur Mobile Home Park in Soquel, California, files a $15,582,000 lawsuit against Santa Cruz County. Paul Goldstone is represented by Richard Close of Gilchrist and Rutter. View PDF

08-07-07
Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors passes ordinance (Chapter 14.08) to establish requirements and procedures to comply with state laws related to the conversion of mobile home parks to resident ownership. View PDF

08-07-07
As expected, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors denies Paul Goldstone’s lawsuit. Paul Goldstone continues with lawsuit. View PDF

Further Reading:
Santa Cruz County Official Website

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