SCAC asking planners to prevent mobile home conversions

By Randi Block/Staff Writer, Santa Maria Times November 29, 2006

Members of the South County Advisory Council don’t want mobile home residents to be forced to find new places to live, and they are asking San Luis Obispo County planners to prevent that from happening.

The board reviewed a request from member Reggie Dion to send a letter to county officials requesting their support to ban conversions of mobile home parks to other uses.

These conversions threaten thousands of county residents, who depend on the parks for affordable housing, board members said Monday.

“What has happened in mobile home parks is a tragedy,” said SCAC member Istar Holliday.

The unanimously approved letter asks for a permanent solution to the problem because “if the number of mobile homes available decreases drastically, it is unlikely to be replaced by all the well intentioned, but marginally effective, policies and strategies for low-income housing development.”

“… Disrupting these existing communities will cause hardship to many elderly, disabled and single parent residents dependent on neighbors and their existing community’s support system.”

SCAC board member Phil Henry shared the group’s sentiments and said he wants to create a stakeholder group to study the issue and come up with a long-term plan.

Earlier this month, the county Planning Commission recommended to the Board of Supervisors that it adopt a two-year urgency ordinance banning all conversions. During that period, county planners should be directed to develop a permanent land-use designation for mobile homes and find land for additional parks. Randi Block can be reached at 805-347-4580 or rblock@santamariatimes.com. .