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Local News

Goleta Extends Moratorium on Mobile Home Conversions

The City Council wants to await the outcomes of ongoing litigation and pending state legislation.

The Goleta City Council, because of an ongoing flux in state law regarding mobile home conversions, on Tuesday voted unanimously to extend its moratorium on such conversions for another year.

The urgency interim ordinance and moratorium was enacted first in July 2007 because of emerging state legislation that would affect rent increases for residents who choose not to buy their lots. In August 2007, the council voted to extend the ordinance and moratorium to July 15, 2008.

The Rancho Mobile Home Park homeowners association in western Goleta for years has been fighting the subdivision of the park for condominiums, saying the owners, Daniel Guggenheim and family, would deprive them of one of the few opportunities to live in Goleta amid rising housing costs and rents. The city has stood behind the mobile homeowners, claiming that the mobile homes are one of the few affordable units the city has. The Guggenheims have claimed that the city’s action to block or delay the conversion into condominiums constitutes an unlawful taking. The city and the Guggenheims are battling their positions out in court.

There are three other mobile home parks in the city that also would be affected by the moratorium — and the state legislation — should they undergo conversion.

City attorney Brian Pierik says other counties and cities in California — including Sonoma, Ventura and Santa Cruz counties, and cities such as Palm Springs and Thousand Oaks — also are adopting ordinances regarding mobile home conversions in their jurisdictions. Furthermore, he said, the outcome of ongoing litigation between mobile home park owners Sequoia Park Associates and the county of Sonoma about the moratorium may provide further information.

“In light of the legislation at the state level that is being considered, and the ordinances that are being enacted by the counties and the cities, there is additional time that is necessary for (Goleta) to evaluate these pending changes,” he said.

Guggenheim attorney Richard Close could not be reached for comment.

The moratorium will last until July 15, 2009.

Noozhawk staff writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at [email protected]

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