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San Diego Judge To Rule On De Anza Cove

The mobile homes of De Anza Cove still occupy prime parkland in Mission Bay Park.

Photo by Tom Fudge

Above: The mobile homes of De Anza Cove still occupy prime parkland in Mission Bay Park.

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.

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Avatar for user 'DonWood'

DonWood | May 6, 2014 at 5:58 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

Mayor Faulconer is dead on correct when he says that the property on DeAnza Point, currently occupied by squatters, must be returned to public parkland. This is dedicated city parkland and should not be used for any commercial purposes at all.

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Avatar for user 'foxx333'

foxx333 | May 7, 2014 at 1:10 a.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

funny how no one bothered to tell any one that the city collected rent from these people every month to the tune of 45 million dollars that was to be used to pay the people to move. But the city didn't do that they spent the money. Then called them squatters. Well I've never heard of squatters that paid rent have you??

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Avatar for user 'beachgal'

beachgal | May 9, 2014 at 1:50 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

I have been very disgusted with San Diego and the pb council for sometime. First, they want to turn Fiesta Island into a car park for the expansion of the trolley. Then, they want to get rid of residents they find "unsuitable" to live on waterfront property. Let's be honest. This won't become more of park land, it will be developed. If they really care about park land, the fact the rents are less than what others pay for waterfront property would not be part of the argument. They would illustrate how encroachment near wet lands is an environmental issue or that the land was always to be park land. That is not the argument. The argument is that these elderly residents aren't paying enough. Bets on it becoming the car park for the trolley or developed into half million dollar+ condos so they can have more "suitable" residents who can pay more. It is ridiculous the cost of living has jumped so much while pay has yet to increase to match inflation and services to hard working retired citizens are being cut. Anyone who calls elderly residents who are paying rent squatters needs to look within themselves to find a bit more compassion and perhaps a dictionary to understand the term a bit more. My understanding is that until the city pays them out to relocate, they are lawfully occupying the land. And it is the city who is acting unlawful and not for the citizens. And if it is dedicated park land, why the heck is the Hilton on it? Money talks.

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Avatar for user 'Socajen'

Socajen | June 22, 2014 at 5:31 p.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

I lived in De Anza 4 years it was a heart break finding out I had to move in 3 years I invested all my money to buy my dream home it was a hardship as I was on a fixed income but I moved out and lived in a small motor home with my dog and bird it was difficult being a single woman moving around I don't think I ever thought I was a squatter paying rent to the city!

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Avatar for user 'davidfig'

davidfig | July 7, 2014 at 9:48 a.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago

beachgal is right. This is just the usual people stealing land for the sake "of the people" which in reality is other developers so the city can make more money. The greedy ones here are those who want to develop this, its just another land grab.

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