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Politics

City Offers $22M To End De Anza Cove Mobile Home Park Litigation

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

De Anza Cove Judgment
De Anza Cove Judgment
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The city of San Diego announced late Friday that it is offering around $22 million to settle a 35-year legal dispute with residents of the De Anza Cove Mobile Home Park at Mission Bay.

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In 2003, residents sued the city when they were given eviction notices after a master lease expired for the park, which the city owns. City officials have been trying to close the mobile home park since discovering several decades ago that a trust, under which the city acquired the land, does not allow for residential uses.

The latest ruling, finalized Aug. 20 by Superior Court Judge Joel Pressman, set rates for reimbursement for those being forced to leave the park.

Residents had asked for $48 million, but the formula approved last month envisions the city paying less than half that amount. Another $7 million or so would go to the plaintiff's attorneys.

"The City Council believes it is time to end the lawsuit, provide residents with reasonable compensation and reimbursement of attorney fees as determined by the judge and return this park to the people of San Diego," City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said.

"After 11 years of litigation, there are certainly legal issues that can be appealed on both sides. But there are times when the lawyers should get out of the way and allow a problem to be solved without more litigation. We think this is one of those times," Goldsmith said.

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If the plaintiff, the De Anza Cove Homeowners Association, accepts the offer, neither party would appeal and the residents would vacate the premises, Goldsmith said. He said if the plaintiff appeals the August ruling, the settlement offer would be withdrawn.

The City Council approved the offer unanimously in a closed session, according to the city attorney.