MORENO VALLEY WIN FOR RESIDENTS

Fax from Margarita Stice, Country Squire Mobilehome Estates, October 10, 2006 to CoMO-CAL

Hi Frank:  Just wanted to let you know how our appeal hearing went!  See the attached newspaper article, which says it all!  We have no doubt that the park owners will take this to court, but it will be against the City of Moreno Valley, not the residents.  Although we will offer our support and any other assistance that is possible.

Let everyone know not to give up the fight against unscrupulous park owners.  We are one example that right can prevail and although it is a hard road to take, it is definitely worth traveling!!  We have to stand up for ourselves and for each other and support one another.

Thanks, Margarita

Rent Won’t Rise Over Septic-System Battle

Moreno Valley:  The city says the mobile-home (park) owners should have quickly fixed the system.

Residents at a Moreno valley mobile-home park will not have to pay the cost of installing a new sewer connection, the Moreno valley city council decided  Wednesday night. Councilman Bill Batey said the owners of country square

Community asset management the Ontario-based owners of the park, spent about 1.5$ million to replace the septic system with a sewer connection. State and county regulators had ordered  the change after the sytem failed in 2004 and raw sewage overflowed into the park.

Moreno valley has a law regulating rents at mobile-home parks that allows the owners to pass the cost of capital improvements onto residents if residents approved it. Mobile estates should have heeded warning sighs from 2000 that the park’s septic-tank system was falling and moved quickly then to install the sewer connection.

I don’t think these (residents) need to be paying for the replacement. Batey said during a Wednesday-night hearing. Its up to the owner to make the necessary improvements … so its safe for families.

The council voted 4-0 against a proposal that would have passed the cost of installing the during an      election. The  residents rejected the increased charges during a February election. But city manger bob Gutierrez authorized a monthly rent increase of 231.85 per space for the next five years, about a 50 percent increase, to pay for the work, saying regulators had mandated the work.

Residents appealed the decision to the council, arguing that the owners neglected the septic system.  The owners also appealed, saying they were entitled to recover more costs than Gutierrez had allowed.

Margarita Stice, a park resident, said she was shocked and happy at the council’s decision.  Stice said she had expected the dispute would go to court, but the park owners will now have to fight the city instead of the residents.

“That will be a hard, long battle for them,” she said.  “The city has to defend its decision.    We don’t.” Article by Dan Lee, The Press-Enterprise, Thursday October 12, 2006