San Diego Judge To Rule On De Anza Cove
Monday, May 5, 2014
Aired 5/5/14 on KPBS News.
Legal ruling this week could mean the end of a battle over a mobile home development in Mission Bay Park.
This week San Diego could see an end to the legal battle over removing a mobile home development from Mission Bay Park.
On Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Charles Hayes is expected to decide what the City of San Diego should pay in relocation fees to the residents of the De Anza Cove mobile home development. The lease for De Anza Cove ran out more than 10 years ago. But the residents of about 300 mobile homes have taken the city to court over the relocation payments.
That has stymied the city's efforts to evict them.
The De Anza Cove mobile home park takes up 76 acres in the heart of Mission Bay Park. Most of the residents of De Anza Cove are elderly, and they are paying rents that are far below the commercial rates expected for waterfront property.
City officials and community activists have grown impatient over the amount of time it's taking to get the mobile home residents to move out. Mission Bay community activist Scott Chipman sums up that frustration.
"The important point here is the people of San Diego are being denied the use of Mission Bay Park as it was intended to be used,” Chipman said, "because we have people who have permanent housing on tidelands and on Mission Bay Park property."
But lawyers for the residents say the city has violated state law in the way they've sought to enforce a rental agreement. Longtime De Anza Cove resident Ernie Abbit told KPBS, in a recent interview the city has not dealt with them fairly.
"If we had been treated justly and properly, we would have left, and it wouldn't have been any problem," Abbit said.
Barring an appeal, Judge Hayes decision will this week allow the residents to be paid to relocate, and allow the city to reclaim that part of Mission Bay Park.