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Lawyers Say We’ll Soon Know The Cost Of Reclaiming De Anza Cove

— San Diego's effort to reclaim 76 acres of parkland in the center of Mission Bay Park may reach a legal resolution early next year. The remaining question: How much will San Diego pay to relocate mobile-home park residents on De Anza Cove?

Aired 8/22/12 on KPBS News.

Court is expected to settle the legal question of relocating mobile home park residents early next year.

The mobile homes of De Anza Cove still occupy prime parkland in Mission Bay Park, as the legal battle to relocate the residents continues.
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Above: The mobile homes of De Anza Cove still occupy prime parkland in Mission Bay Park, as the legal battle to relocate the residents continues.

There has been a mobile home park on the banks of Mission Bay for nearly 60 years. The residents' lease for the land ran out nine years ago. But they've held their ground since then, and they've taken the city to court to win better compensation to relocate.

The land is seen as prime real estate, which the city once eyed as a place for a resort hotel. Bill Rathbone, a private attorney representing the city, said he expects the court to soon make a decision.

"Everybody fully expects at this point to have it resolved by January or February of next year," he said, "in terms of a decision being made as to how much they get in relocation benefits."

Lawyers for the city argued that residents of De Anza Cove clearly understood the mobile home park's 50-year lease would expire in 2003, and they should have made their own arrangements to leave. But a judge ruled that state law, governing mobile home park evictions, applied to the case and the city was liable for relocation costs.

Relocating the mobile home park residents is expected to cost the city at least $10 million.

Today, plans to turn the area into a resort have been shelved, and city officials say they'll turn the land back to parkland. City Councilwoman Laurie Zapf, who represents the area, said she is anxious to see it returned to something that all San Diegans can enjoy.

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