Article by Kathy Mattes, CoMO-LAC Board Member
Residents of Canon de las Encinas are the first mobilehome park owners in Ventura County to join CoMO-LAC. Two recruitment meetings have been held, the latest was July 17th. CoMO-LAC has helped residents to organize and form a homeowners association to address issues of concern. David Shackle is the area representative and he is doing a great job organizing residents and scheduling meetings.
Last winter’s storms that produced powerful water flows in the flood control channel (barranca) that is on the east border of the park, wreaked havoc with the corrugated steel walls lining the barranca. David and the park manager were in the 14’ deep barranca shoring the walls with galvanized pipe to prevent further erosion of the earth from under David’s mobile home!
Residents were angry and questioned where the money went from a twenty year amortization (pass through in LA terms) granted to the park owner for barranca improvements. Actually, the amortization covered the installation of a concrete wall on the northern portion of the barranca. The park owner obtained emergency permits in January 2005 to complete the southern wall in concrete; however since no work was done and the emergency ended when the rains stopped, the park owner had to reapply for regular permits from the U. S. Army Core of Engineers and the California Fish and Game agencies. To date, other than a chain link fence to keep children from falling into the 14 foot deep barranca, there hasn’t been any work to the barranca. Residents in the mobile homes bordering the barranca remain fearful that the project will not be completed before next winter’s storms begin. Kathy Mattes, CoMO-LAC board member working with Las Encinas residents on this and other pertinent issues, has been assured by the various Federal and State agencies involved that the project will be completed before the winter season. In addition, Senator Tom McClintock was contacted for assistance to get the ball rolling on the barranca project. He issued a complaint to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). Now HCD is monitoring the barranca project as well.CoMO-LAC is helping its members in Las Encinas to be educated on their rights and united in purpose relating to issues and concerns with their park owner and manager.
Editors Note: Kathy Mattes, CoMO-LAC Secretary, has been spending much of her time working for CoMO-LAC and supporting mobilehome owners in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. I want you to be aware of her contributions and hard work. I am very grateful to Kathy!
The flood control channel (barranca) of Canon de Las Encinas Mobile Home Park (CLE located in Ventura County) remains untouched and the park owner is still waiting on issuance of permits to begin construction of a retaining wall to protect some residents spaces from falling into the channel. Fish and Game, one of the two key permitting agencies, has issued a permit; however, the water district is still pending. The entire project is dead in the water (no pun intended) until this permit is issued.
Agencies dealing with the Ventura County Water District report that the water district department is understaffed and inefficient. So the CLE Resident’s Association and CoMO-LAC are turning to Senator McClintock’s office for help. Allison Bonburg, District Representative, initiated the complaint that got the State of California Housing and Community Development (HCD) involved. Now Ms. Bonburg is in communication with Dana Cole in the water district office who has said that the permit will be issued before the end of August.
However, tension was once again heightened after hearing from Sam Lasso of HCD that the park owner, Robert Schrock, is considering dismissing Hawks Engineering from the project. This action would be immediately seen as a delaying tactic by Mr. Schrock and the opposition is fully prepared to take legal action and even get the State Attorney General involved if necessary. CLE residents are standing up for their rights and are being supported in their efforts by CoMO-LAC and Senator McClintock.
On another front, the CLE Resident’s Association members are studying safety, beautification and improvement issues. The association invited representatives of the police department to help initiate a Neighborhood Watch program at a meeting held on August 21. Future monthly meetings will include discussion and education on the Mobile Residency Law. Residents are encouraged by the support and efforts of CoMO-LAC, while CoMO-LAC congratulates CoMO-LAC’s Area Representative and CLE Resident’s Assoc. President David Shackle on the tremendous work he has accomplished and continues to do on the barranca project and also on the work he is doing to unite residents in making CLE a better place to live.