RENT CONTROL BOARD VS. VILLAGE TRAILER PARK BOUT MOVED TO 9/13
As it turns out, The Santa Monica Rent Control Board’s consideration of the the removal of the Village Trailer Park at 2930 Colorado Avenue,
which was scheduled to be held tonight, has been
moved to September 13
The applicants – Village Trailer Park, Inc., and Village Trailer Park, LLC (LL) by M. Luzzatto (Rep) – seek “a removal permit to develop a mixed-use project that includes at least 109 rent controlled multi-family units, of which at least 17 will be deed-restricted as affordable to low-income households.”
Brenda Barnes, trailer park resident, has been very active in the battle to preserve it, and
wrote the following article.
It IS ironic that the RCB would be complicit in this. There is absolutely nothing in the Charter Amendment to justify the RCB being involved in destroying people’s homes without making the developer replace like-for-like what the poblic lost. That has nothing to do with us. It has to do with what the main purpose of the Charter Amendment was (Charter, Sec. 1800)–to retain the rental housing stock of the City. You can’t replace a mansion with a doghouse. You can’t replace 109 750 square foot pads including private yards plus adjacent ground-level parking, renting for an average of $416 per month, requiring no income-qualifying, where people own their own homes on those rental pads, with any number of rental apartments of any type or size renting for any amount. Certainly you have not retained the rental housing stock of the City if you replace them with 325 (or even smaller) square foot boxes in a high-rise renting for $1500 per month (if one does not qualify as low or moderate income, which some people here are $11 per month too high in income to do).
The RCB also is abdicating its separate and sovereign job to retain rental housing if it grants any conditional removal permit, letting the City Council do the RCB’s job. The City Council was allowing demolition of thousands of rental units in 1978, which is why rent control passed and gave the RCB separate and sovereign power over rental housing. Vacancy decontrol and Ellis passing at the State level were no reason to abdicate calculation of relocation fees to the Council, but once the Board did that, the new people on it seem to believe their Staff’s misrepresentations that the Board has no power left over relocation. The Board approved the relocation plan in 505 Olympic. Nothing has changed since then, or since 1978, to allow ultra vires transfer to the City of power the Charter gives the RCB. Neither is such transfer wise, even if it were legal, since the City Council will, just as the City Council did in 1978 until stopped, allow demolition of rental housing in favor of luxury condos.
The bottom line for the RCB is, the type of replacement units have to protect the public. The Board required 42 mobile home rental spaces for people who own their own mobile homes to be built in the 505 Olympic case because that is what the public was entitled to have. Where the 11 remaining residents at the time went is a separate and actually unrelated subject, unless as in this case some of those residents had insisted as we do on living in the replacement units, if development is allowed by the courts to occur at all. What machinations later caused those mobile home spaces not to be built, I can only imagine, given what we have seen the City do in this case. The statute of limitations is long past for us to do anything about that, but if 109 mobile home replacement spaces are not ordered by the Board to be provided to the public in this case, as a condition of the removal permit itself, not to be left up to the Council, we will definitely sue on behalf of the public. The Charter Amendment requires that we will win.