Palo Alto City Council to vote on closure of Buena Vista Mobile Park

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- A long battle over Palo Alto's last remaining mobile home park could end today, but residents there promise not to go down without a fight.

The residents say they're going to show up to today's city council meeting -- hoping to get a better deal, before they're forced out of their homes.

The Buena Vista Mobile Home Park is tucked away off El Camino Real. It's the last mobile home park in all of Palo Alto. About 400 people live in 104 mobile homes, 12 studio units and one single family home. In November 2012, the owner submitted an application to close it. The residents fought back and now sit in limbo, wondering if and when the eviction notices will arrive.

Even the city council has its limitations; according to state law, the council can't stop the owner from closing the park. They can only discuss the adequacy of the relocation benefits required by a Palo Alto ordinance.

Basically, the residents need to be paid for the value of their mobile-home a rent subsidy and moving expenses. The appraisal is a range; residents ABC7 News spoke with were offered anywhere from $12,000 to $29,000. Others may be getting more, or less. However, with rental and home prices skyrocketing in Silicon Valley -- residents may be forced to look outside the Bay Area.

"He offered me $29,000. And I look into the same mine in Mountain View and they value it at $200,000 -- it's not fair," said Rene Escalante, Buena Vista Mobile Home Park.

At today's meeting, the council will decide if the amount from the independent appraiser is adequate. They can approve the closure, or hire another appraiser. One concern is whether the value of the highly ranked Palo Alto school system has been included.

"One of the main reasons most of the people here. They want the schools. They want the good education for their kids. They want their kids to do better," said Melodie Cheney, Buena Vista Mobile Home Park.

City and county leaders have discussed buying the mobile home park, but the owner didn't want to discuss a deal until the closure is approved.

The city council meeting starts at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
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