The Riverside Board of Supervisors have ordered a thorough review to determine if an ordinance that governs mobile home park rents in unincorporated areas of Riverside County is due for revision.
“This is going to be very, very controversial,” said supervisor John Tavaglione during the Sept. 20 Riverside County Board of Supervisors meeting. “You’re going to get many, many advocates on both sides who are going to come out for this. We could have some pretty long hearings.”
Board chairman John Benoit proposed the review of Ordinance No. 760, the Mobile Home Park Rent Stabilization Law, noting that the last time the measure underwent changes was in September 1996.
“I didn’t realize how excited people might get,” said Benoit. “We should listen to both sides, get input and suggestions from everyone.”
The supervisor, whose district includes several dozen mobile home communities, wrote in a document posted to the board’s policy agenda that “mobile homes are often occupied by senior citizens, persons on fixed incomes and persons of low or moderate income, where extreme rent adjustments fall upon these individuals with particular harshness.”
Tavaglione, a former realtor, acknowledged the need to “strengthen” Ordinance No. 760, but he stressed the importance of fairness to residents and mobile home park owners alike.
Lawrence McAdoo, co-owner of the Corona Palms Mobile Home Park, told the board that “things have been working pretty good” since the implementation of Ordinance No. 760, and he hoped the county wouldn’t proceed with undue haste in making changes.
“If the process moves forward, we’ll make sure to include you in the discussions,” Benoit replied at the meeting.
The ordinance specifies that mobile home park owners shall only be permitted to raise rents once a year, using a formula that factors base year rent and cost-of-living adjustments. The base year in the ordinance is listed as 1991, but later years can be utilized, depending on when tenancy began.
The board looked to chief counsel Greg Priamos for guidance as to how to proceed with the revision process; Priamos said the city of Riverside’s experience in 2011 would serve as a good example.
Priamos, who was city attorney at the time, said all stakeholders participated in the process, culminating in a mobile home park rent control measure that was “updated and improved, facilitating the original intent of the ordinance, which was to preserve housing for seniors and low-income residents while allowing a reasonable rate of return to owners.”
The board directed the Office of County Counsel and the Executive Office to undertake a joint examination of Ordinance No. 760 to determine what might need to be revised. However, the supervisors did not specify a date for hearings on the matter.