Council chides mobile home park owner over issues

ESCONDIDO — A mobile home rent increase application drew the ire of several council members Wednesday due to reoccurring issues with the park’s management.

Several residents, along with members of the council, chided the current park owner of Ponderosa Mobile Home Park on West Valley Parkway.

Councilmen Ed Gallo and John Masson along with Councilwoman Olga Diaz said the continuing issues regarding water shut offs, broken items in the clubhouse, parking, and others, persuaded them to vote against the application.

The Ponderosa Group L.P., which owns the park, applied for a 75 percent increase for the 2013-15 years, however, the council did approve a 37.5 percent increase to incentivize the owners to address the issues presented by the residents.

The water has been shut off at least four times in the past several months. With no loop system the park must shut down the entire system, which, residents say, leaves them without water for up to 14 hours. It was the biggest concern for the three council members.

“It’s an absolute health and safety issue with the water shut off,” Diaz said. “No other park has these issues. It’s disappointing we have to put pressure on you to fix those issues.”

Another issue voiced by residents was the months long process to repair the laundry room, which a guest of the park drove their car into.

A park representative, though, said asbestos was discovered in the laundry room, extending the project’s completion date. The repairs were completed in April.

In addition to the laundry room and water, residents took issue with the clubhouse, which they said had countless broken amenities.

“It’s easier to list the things that they don’t do anything about,” one resident said.

The park’s representative, however, said the ownership company has been working hard to revitalize the property after buying the park two years ago. She also said the community has been well maintained despite the lingering issues.

Masson said he was torn about whether to become more forceful with applications. He said if the application meets the requirements it should be approved, but the water issue was too hard to overlook.

“I’m hearing many of the same things as we did two years ago,” he said. ”I don’t see how I can support a full increase with the reoccurring issues.”

Conversely, the rent increase application from Westwinds Mobile Home Park breezed through the council. The council acknowledged the efforts by the park in keeping a clean and safe environment for its residents.

The increase raises the average rent space to $450.35 with an average total increase of $8.27.

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