Mobile Home Residents Seek Commitments from Candidates
• Council Hopefuls Are Asked to Oppose Any Efforts at MoHo Park Rezoning to Allow a Hotel
BY BILL KOENEKER
BY BILL KOENEKER
Paradise Cove mobile home park residents are always forthright about getting answers from city council candidates about what they will or won’t do for park residents. They demand promises.
As has been the case at previous park forums, one of the questions asked of eight of the 10 council hopefuls (Jan Swift and Matthew Katz were not present) is whether they would vote to change zoning of the mobile home park if it was sold and the new owner wants to develop a hotel, and would candidates oppose any statewide attempts at decontrol.
John Mazza said it would be important to stop any change in zoning at the beginning. “The mobile home parks are an integral part of our culture,” he said.
Kofi, who indicated that he lived in the Paradise Cove park 12 years ago, said he talked to major Malibu commercial landowner Larry Ellison four days ago about the rumors that he bought the park or is thinking about purchasing it, and said that it’s not true in either case.
Laura Rosenthal said, “Absolutely not. Absolutely not,” She reminded park residents she had already opposed legislation to change mobile home rent control. “This affects my family. It affects my father, who lives in a mobile home park,” she added.
Mike Sidley said it is a much more complicated issue. “The values of the mobile homes are in the millions,” he said. “The landlord is entitled to a return. It is not an easy solution. I would not be in favor of vacancy decontrol,” he added.
Ed Gillespie said, “I would fight for you. I was told David Geffen made an offer of $65 million. Paradise Cove has to be protected. You can’t dig it up. There can’t be a hotel. I would fight vacancy decontrol.”
Steve Scheinkman said he learned about rent control 40 years ago from his grandfather. He said he would not vote for a zoning change. He said what has to be scrutinized is how landlords deal with pass-through costs.
Lou La Monte said he saw no reason to change the zoning. “It is historical,” he said.
Harold Greene said the zoning issue and talk about hotel development is not a new one for park residents.
Questioners took it a step further and wanted candidates to pledge yes-or-no to the question by asking if council hopefuls would resign rather than vote on the change in zoning.
Most said they would resign.
However, Gillespie said he would recuse himself.
Sidley said he would not resign. “What if the residents wanted to change the zoning?” he asked.
Greene asked residents if they wanted a no vote lost, a council member on their side, or one who would resign rather than try to convince other council members to change their votes.
There was also a question about taxes and how the Kissel Company, the owner of the land, would have to pay. Residents rent the land and are exempt from property taxes and school parcel taxes.
Scheinkman said the Kissel Company contributes little to the school district parcel tax, since the park is broken up into just a few parcels.
Rosenthal said Scheinkman is correct on the parcel tax issue. “Kissel could legally pass the tax through if there were lots of parcels,” she added, telling residents they were lucky that there are so few parcels in the park that the school district could tax.
Some of the candidates briefly touched upon a question about whether there is another kind of index that could be used instead of the Consumer Price Index and told the residents they should get Malibu’s Mobilehome Rent Stabilization Commission to meet more often.