A Public workshop was conducted April 19th by Sierra County Board of Supervisors for open discussion and direction to County staff on the status of the Loyalton Mobilehome Park located off of Hill Street in Loyalton. A binder of colored photos of each of the 51 mobile home spaces showed the gravity of the situation. Four of those spaces are within the city. The very least of the infractions was a parked trailer full of old mattresses and sewage failure. Other violations included illegal water and electrical hook ups, exposed wires at the box, garden hose in an RV, 15-+ vehicles at one mobile home and nearly all had wood burning appliances installed with no permit. Individual issues were listed as no responsible party, significant violations, structural alterations without permits, wood heat appliances without permits and ingress and egress blocked. Park-wide issues are accumulation of abandoned vehicles, debris, wet garbage and hazardous materials, public nuisance and health and safety risks. Representing California Department of Housing and Community Development were Richard Weinert, Deputy Director and Mitchel Baker Administrator III of Division of Codes & Standards. Weinert explained their jurisdiction is for half a million mobilehomes and 5,000 parks with authority as a building department and no authoririty for law enforcement or health, left up to locals. He stated they’re “not experts.” They have 40 inspectors and called it a “big job.” They don’t perform annual inspections. He thought they were “caught in the middle.” With the owner “out,” enforce-ment options are limited and puts operation in limbo. He called the situation, “unique.” The Legislature does not provide grant money and they get $4 per space per year, fee-based, not drawing off general fund. They gave Loyalton a “last chance letter,” followed by eight inspections and then the suspension of the permit. He stated they have no funding to fix up the park and liability is on the owner. He mentioned becoming a “partner”, team with local law enforcement and a court order, to remove residents. To revoke the permit is the last resort, removes all State protections and turns it into an existing non-conforming land use issue. To close the park is a loss of County affordable housing. Their Counsel “couldn’t make it here today.” And their Division of Financial Assistance couldn’t attend but there is a mobilehome park rehabilitation and resident program, eligible for acquiring repair rehabilitation with a June 30th deadline. Basically, he said, “It’s difficult with no owner of the park.” Park resident, Eileen “Beenie” Rose was interested in working with entities, a committee for the Board, getting it cleaned up within codes and “becoming the solution.” Randy Johnson had created a non-profit, Loyalton Mobilehome Estates Homeowner Assoc. but nobody wanted to pay $1/year to be part of it. Board members ran through a list of options to see who had primary jurisdictions, not finding good options. Supervisor Scott Schlefstein stated, “The State holds the card with license; ask the State to make a decision.”
LOYALTON CITY COUNCIL member Brooks Mitchell and Mayor Mark Marin voted Tuesday night to shut water off to the Loyalton Mobilehome Park in 30 days. Council members Nancy Rogers and Krystin Gallegos abstained. Nancy’s sister is affected and Krystin’s grandfather lives within the park. The Council was encouraged by those in the audience and by Mark Lombardi, who stated, “It’s a hell hole. Nobody should live there.” He added, “You’re insulting everybody who pays their bill.” With a split vote, it failed.