The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a long-contested permit for a mobile home park in Rowland Heights, pointing to improvements made by the owners.
Complaints by residents of Rowland Heights Mobile estates alleging unfair rent increases and unwarranted evictions led Supervisor Janice Hahn to press for a rent control ordinance for mobile home parks in unincorporated areas countywide.
Other allegations against management kept the board from approving a permit renewal for the 327-home park at 1441 Paso Real Avenue during earlier meetings.
“I am happy to say that we did get some of the issues that the residents have been fighting for,” Hahn said, noting that the owners had added a dedicated emergency exit and more guest parking and hired a Mandarin interpreter to meet residents’ demands.
Some homeowners remain frustrated by spotty internet service and asked for assurances about future rent increases. A group of them have been offering to buy the nearly 36-acre lot from the owners since 2014, one homeowner told the board.
Owner Sandra Sierra said she and the other owners want to satisfy the residents.
“We just try our best to create just a beautiful community for everyone,” Sierra told the board.
Hahn said she thought it was in everyone’s best interests to approve the permit now so that the park could operate legally — the last operating permit issued for the site expired in 1997 — but she issued a warning.
“The owner needs to know that while we’re approving this today, we’re still very concerned,” Hahn said, adding that she wanted residents to be treated with respect and dignity and did not want to get any more calls alleging retaliation against residents.
The pending rent control ordinance is anticipated to include an annual cap, protections against cutbacks to service and maintenance and an appeal process for park owners who believe they aren’t getting a fair rate of return. An update is expected back in May.
There are 86 mobile home parks and a total of 8,503 mobile home units in unincorporated areas of the county, according to Hahn’s rent control motion.
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