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Buena Vista owner offers eleventh-hour changes to relocation benefits

Original post made on May 15, 2014

The owner of the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park Wednesday night upped his offer to more than 100 families and individuals who live in the park, promising to reassess the value of their homes within six months of relocation and pay for their rent for a year after they move.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 15, 2014, 9:56 AM

Comments (22)

Posted by WOW, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 15, 2014 at 11:23 am

[Post removed.]

Posted by football, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on May 15, 2014 at 11:41 am

gotta love it. In football we call this an audible. We set up a play and once we see the defense play we change the play at the last minute in hopes to throwing them off.

That is one smart owner.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 15, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

The owner isn't smart. The owner has an experienced, cagey attorney. You knew this was gonna happen, right?

Posted by jerry99, a resident of Barron Park
on May 15, 2014 at 12:50 pm

[Portion removed.] The residents have no "right" to compensation because Santa Clara county apartments and trailer parks are more expensive. The City already prescribes a formula for closing trailer parks and apartments and defines the compensation for the renters. They should be happt that he let them live there for so many years after he wanted to sell it initially.
[Portion removed.]
The sale and closure has already taken a year and a half, its time to sell the place and time for the residents to find new trailer parks.

Posted by Winter Dellenbach, a resident of Barron Park
on May 15, 2014 at 1:23 pm

To clarify my statement in this article - the Palo Alto City Council has not voted on any aspect of a Buena Vista relocation plan and won't unless this Hearing decision is eventually appealed to them. It was city staff that reviewed and found the Relocation Impact Report (RIR) to be complete.

Thanks to all of you who attended and participated in the Hearing. It was most enlightening. The testimony from Buena Vista and city residents was both moving and informative. The Hearing was not only unique for Palo Alto, the experience and feeling in the Hearing room was profound.

The entire 3 nights of the Hearing will, within days, be available to view at your convenience via Community Media (link to be posted on the city and at Community Media websites). Also soon on the PA Weekly site. You may easily forward to segments as wanted. I urge you to watch 2 Expert Witnesses, one on May 12, Dr.Kenneth Baar, and one May 13, Dr. Amado Padilla. The former for anyone with any interest in land use, planning and affordable housing generally and as applies to BV, and the latter for anyone interested in school issues, along with the testimony on May 12 of Ken Dauber. The information is top notch and easy to understand.

Posted by winter dellenbach, a resident of Barron Park
on May 15, 2014 at 1:36 pm

To clarify my statement above - the city council has not taken a vote on Buena Vista including on the Relocation Impact Report. It was city staff that found the, I believe, 6th iteration of the Report, to be complete.

Thanks to all who attended and participated in the Hearing. It was an extraordinary experience and deeply informative.

The Hearing may be viewed anytime once it is soon posted at the city, Community Media or Palo Alto Weekly websites. Of particular interest is the testimony of 2 expert witnesses, Dr. Kenneth Baar and Dr. Amado Padilla, the first on land use, planning and affordable housing (generally and as pertains to BV), and the second on schools, children and education. Much may be learned from watching.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 15, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Yeah, Jerry99 - it's always a bummer when the poor don't get the entitlements like the corporations and rich do. It's good to know you have a heart.

Posted by concerned resident, a resident of Community Center
on May 15, 2014 at 3:22 pm

[Portion removed.]

PA residents are being asked to accept ABAG conditions, and every time an "affordable housing" zoning event happens, somebody wins and somebody is losing because there is no such thing as "affordable" in Palo Alto.

The entitlements that major employers in the area receive (ie. tax avoidance) helps fuel their "corporate" success, and these wins fuel the rise in real estate here. It's a speculative environment, and the human cost of this ride is being ignored. At some point it's obvious and obscene. Not saying that the owner of the land is to bear all the costs, but this needs a better solution than "too bad."

I will look a the video, and wish I had expressed my support for BV during the hearings. Thank you to those who spoke about the real accounting that should be considered.

I wish the major success stories of SV, companies, individuals, could step up here.

Posted by Rupert of henzau, a resident of Midtown
on May 15, 2014 at 4:35 pm

Palo Alto needs to be careful-- every time a friends group gets involved, the city suffers. Sounds like now this has turned into a "let's see how much money we can squeeze from the owner". They want at least $200k per family- that sounds way too high.
Does winter and the friends group support this position? Does winter think that the owner should not be allowed to close the park and sell the property? What steps has winter and her group taken to raise money to buy the park? It sounds from winters comments that the council can decide to keep the park open. Is this true? I thought it stated in these articles that the city cannot prevent the parks closure ( that would be quite the slippery slope-- residents and the city dictating what an owner can do with his property-- though I am not surprised that certain entitled people feel that is okay)

Posted by BLANCA, a resident of Barron Park
on May 15, 2014 at 4:39 pm

What makes these people come here to the Buena Vista mobile home park,add additions to these old trailer with out getting the correct paper work from the city and expect to get more money for building illegal additions? I live in the park and feed up with these people,some lied to the counsil saying she is handedcap and she has had a hard time looking for a place to live that is a lie,she bought a home in medesto a few years ago,she rent it out to a friend of hers,this ia what kind of people who live in this park. It's all about money and nothing else

Posted by resident, a resident of Barron Park
on May 15, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Blanca, appreciate your honesty.

Very few Barron Park Residents have been vocal because the owner has a right to sell..( only a few of the usual people keep commenting and advocating - but this is a very small number). BV residents have rights, but now they are taking advantage and have made this a more difficult process. They are loosing the sympathy of the general public.

It is sad that these residents who obviously where grateful for many years of Mr. Jisser's efforts are now turning their back on him. Mr Jisser made great efforts to keep the residents happy and it was published over 10 years ago in city notes that the city did not expect the park to exist past ten years...( below is the section from 2001, published by the city). As you said, its about money. I commend Mr. Jisser for his support of BV community for many years. But now his "lax code enforcement" and "good will" is backfiring on him a bit. But thats business. Can't be too nice, or it will backfire....

Web Link:
A development agreement under State Law exchanged development rights to a property owner for some extraordinary type of benefit. The first principal benefit of the preservation agreement was that it compelled the Park owners to maintain the Park in its current condition for at least ten years. Under current laws, subject to relocation, the Park could close at any time. One of the policy questions that the special committee spent much time on was how long was long term. Ten years seemed to be an achievable number. The Park owners said they did not have much visibility after three to five years, which meant they were highly unwilling to speculate on what they might do with the park after three to five years.

additional info from 2001 City Council Minutes:Web Link

Posted by Rupert of henzau, a resident of Midtown
on May 15, 2014 at 5:56 pm

What is really interesting is that the owner makes a better offer to the residents and gets slammed by winter and her group. What is the real goal of this " friends" group?

Posted by Josef Stalin, a resident of another community
on May 15, 2014 at 6:04 pm

The real goal of this group may be upzoning the property.

Posted by jane, a resident of Barron Park
on May 16, 2014 at 9:36 am

leave it to greedy attorneys. The owner ups the offer and all the residents attorney has to say is the city hasn't reviewed it. Really? they approved the lower offer, so they would now what? REJECT THE HIGHER OFFER.

What is wrong with people today?

Posted by jane, a resident of Barron Park
on May 16, 2014 at 9:38 am

Hmmm, you really have something against this land owner. "He's not smart" last I heard attorneys only advise, the client makes the final decision

Posted by BarronParker, a resident of Barron Park
on May 16, 2014 at 10:02 am

BarronParker is a registered user.

Palo Alto Process in spades!

The regulations for this conversion were supposedly designed for a 6 month process to work out the details and another 6 months for implementation.

Instead, with all the delays manufactured by the City Attorney, it has been 18 months just to get to the hearing. It will be at least 6 more months to get the judge's final decision. After that the BV lawyers will appeal to the City Council.

After all the delays, the City Council will likely approve the judge's decision some time in 2015, and implementation might be complete by the end of 2015. What should have taken 1 year, according to the guidelines of the municipal statute, will take 3 years or more! This is absurd -- it is a significant failure of the democratic process to allow property owners to exert their rights.

In retrospect, the only mistake the owners made was to wait until 2012 to start this bureaucratic process.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 16, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

I have the usual suspicions about the owners, but hold nothing against them personally. You of course prefer to twist my words. It's doubtful that the owners have created the various strategies employed. That's the attorney's job. They have a successful, experienced attorney who brigns the best strategies to the table for them to decide on. Are you deliberately sounding naive, Jane, or perhaps you're really not that knowledgeable about legal strategy and how this game works?

Posted by Jane, a resident of Barron Park
on May 17, 2014 at 9:33 am

Hmmm if you read the post above posted by resident. He has the link for the minutes were the owners made a deal to keep the park open for 10 years. It's been 14 years and the residents are fighting for more.

You questioned me before about the "deal". Now you have it. The rents were maintained low. 685 well below market.

So why should the landlord have to go through this ordeal again. And pay any benefits.

Posted by GonOnTooLong, a resident of Barron Park
on May 17, 2014 at 10:16 am

I'm a resident of Barron Park and I've followed this closure talk and process since 2006.
The residents claims and demands are unreasonable.
The City's behavior has been egregious.
Mr Jisser has my full support.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 17, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Jane - if you can't figure out why the owners should pay relo fees, etc., then you have a serious comprehension problem that I can't help you with.

Posted by Jane, a resident of Barron Park
on May 17, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Yes. A 14 year notice to vacate is not reasonable. Perhaps he should give them another 20 years, and let's force him to maintain the rent. Perhaps then the tenants will leave freely without relocation fees

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 17, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Hmmm is a registered user., that's not a notice to vacate, Jane. Again, you're having problems with reading comprehension. I'm sorry about that.

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