In February 2023, RVtravel.com reported on the case of City of San Rafael v. Chessen et al., in Marin County Superior Court, as well as a ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on the inherent issue of applicability of Marin County’s Mobile Home Rent Stabilization Ordnance (MRSO). You can read the earlier article here.
The City of San Rafael won a motion for a preliminary injunction to enforce the MRSO, and a trial was scheduled for May 2023. The settlement provides relief for current tenants of the park, in which there is a mixture of mobile homes and RVs.
Despite the MRSO, about 10 percent of the park residents left since the lawsuit was filed; a third of them were in the process of being evicted, and their tenancies were terminated at the time of the settlement. The owners had announced last year that the park would close.
Under the settlement agreement, rents for park tenants will be subject to the limits outlined in the MRSO.
- Rents for tenants will not increase as long as they remain there.
- Tenants will also receive a refund of a $100 monthly rent increase imposed upon the residents for the eight months from November 2021 through June 2022.
- The park owner, Harmony Communities, will withdraw pending notices of termination of tenancies.
- Residents who are in violation of park rules or state regulations on the condition of their homes will be granted an additional 30 days to comply.
- Harmony Communities will halt efforts to close or change the park’s primary purpose before January 1, 2033.
The City of San Rafael has agreed that its previous definition of park dwellings as mobile homes and not recreational vehicles would be clarified, resulting in future residents not being subject to the rent control provisions.
San Rafael’s City Attorney Rob Epstein said, “The City has devoted significant resources to protect and defend the approximately 45 park residents in multiple lawsuits filed by the park owner as long ago as 2001 and again in federal court this past year. We are pleased to have achieved a resolution that maintains affordability for the existing park residents with an agreement that includes terms that are better than what the court could order even if the city were to have prevailed at trial.”
The previous long-term owner of the RV Park of San Rafael, Donna Chessen, told RVtravel.com in March 2022 that she had sold and transferred ownership of the park to Harmony Communities and thus was no longer a party to the pending legal actions.
Welcome to my California world. 😢
Diane, this comment section shows 7, 8 now, comments made but only 2 are showing up, (3 now). Is it my device or a glitch? Possibly this subject matter has has 5 comments totally censored but that sure doesn’t sound like you. Have a great day. I hope “Batter up” made you smile. just a little? You had to see it coming. 😆 LOL.
When a comment gets deleted by a moderator, apparently anything linked below that comment disappears also. But that’s strange that it still shows the total number. Sometimes there are glitches in this commenting program, unfortunately. Like when I see something in Spam and I look at the history of the comment and it indicates that it has been cleared for publication by the program, yet it put it in the Spam folder. 🤔 Have a good day, Cancelproof. 😀 –Diane
👍 So 5 people’s posts got “accidentally ” censored while 2 got published? Obviously you did not moderate. The issue/article was pretty contentious and elicited a lot of harsh dialogue in February so best to leave it alone, IMO. ✌️
Now it shows 11 comments and only 7 actually.
Harmony blew it by buying this place in uber-liberal Marin County. The 9th Circuit Court moves in lockstep with Marin. Harmony should sell it to the City of San Rafael and let them deal with it. Besides- wealthy, NIMBY Marin desperately needs low/no income housing locations to meet Newsom’s dictatorial mandate that all communities in California shall have a decreed percentage of low/no income housing.
If Harmony could sell it to the City of San Rafael, they would but why would the city of SR, buy it? They already control it. They decide the price of the product. The City decides the product Harmony can offer. The City decides the customers Harmony must serve. Seems kind of Soviet to me. It’s like eminent domain without an exchange of money. In what world is this part of a Free Market system?
If you own a seafood restaurant and want to make it into a steakhouse because your studies show the demographics for a steakhouse offer a higher profit margin, would you support the govt, any level of govt, forcing you to keep the seafood joint open and on top of it dictate your price for fish and chips be $2.00 and on top of all of that, not let you enforce a dress code out of fear that the $2..00 fish and chips may attract the customer you do not want. Very Soviet.
Your comparison is disingenuous and irrelevant. The judicial system, and the settlement agreement between the involved parties, have already resolved the issue. That sounds American to me. Very American.
Your assumption is that Harmony is happy with the settlement. That this was a win win. This was Harmony relenting. Crying uncle because the giant they were battling had unlimited resources and unchecked power. The power to impose daily fines and penalties and permitting postponement and the threat of lost business license or any livelihood at all.
Gov’t power unchecked and the use of that unbridled govt power used as a strong arm tactic until the other psrty submits and calling it a settlement is the definition of a Soviet tactic.
If this was a win win settlement, which of the negotiated points fell onto Harmony’s plus side of the ledger? If being allowed to continue to do any business at all is the plus on the ledger, you have made my point for me. Soviet style strong arming. “Our way or no way peasant”.
The problem is we have reached a point where the “business” of housing people is equated with the business of running a seafood restaurant.
I dont see your correlation. Soviet dictates versus freedom. Doesn’t matter what the size or scope of the issue is. A Soviet style dictate is just that, a Soviet style dictate. Renting aquariums or renting real estate, same issue. Freedom or not. Private property or not. Free Market or not.
In an area where the median home price is 1.3 million, I can see where the owner of this prime real estate would want to get out of the RV park business and sell to a developer – FOR MILLIONS. Over 30 years ago I lived in Marin. My wife and I decided to leave because we couldn’t even afford to buy a garage, let alone a home, and that was 30 years ago!