Hayward Moves To Protect Senior Mobile Homes

The city will decide on the motion next week.

After two years of legal issues, the Hayward Planning Commission has passed on a motion city council that will protect the status of the city’s five remaining senior-onlymobile home parks.

More than 100 senior residents of the parks actively showed their support for the legislative amendment last Thursday that would make converting a senior-only mobile home park to an all-ages park illegal.

“Our residents don’t want this changed. People who are living in these parks have made it very clear that the status quo is working well. And so I think it’s our job to represent them well,” Planning Commissioner Sara Lamnin said.

The five trailer parks in dispute are Eden Gardens, Georgian Manor, Hayward Mobile Home Country Club, New England Village, and Spanish Ranch II, said Associate Planner Arrynne Camlre.

When they were first built in the 1960s, all nine of the trailer parks in the city were reserved for the elderly, Hayward Mobile Homeowners Association President Kathy Morris said.

In April 2010, city council moved to create an ordinance designating these sites senior-only zones. A court ruling stated a similar case in American Canyon violated the Fair Housing Act, causing delays to the ordinance.

In 2012, an ordinance in Yucaipa designating the city’s senior mobile home parks was held to not be in violation of the Fair Housing Act by the 9th District Court of Appeals. In response the city of Hayward moved forward in passing the motion.

Residents say communities aren’t safe for children.

The city found that none of the existing senior mobile home parks are in violation of the regulations set by the Fair Housing Act.

Out of the 2,500 spaces in the city, 1,230 are allotted to seniors, said planning director David Rizk. 5,000 Hayward residents live in the mobile homes, Camlre confirmed.

Jack Shallow, a resident of New England Village, said that he lived in Spanish Ranch I in 1994 when it was being described converted into an all-age park. He described the experience as an “absolute nightmare.”

When he came home one day, there were 27 police cars there for raids into drug houses. There were noise disturbances from both young children and teenagers, he said.

Shallow eventually moved out of Spanish Ranch I and into New England Village. “It’s quiet, it’s peaceful, it’s heaven,” he said.

Jay Hendrick of Eden Gardens was concerned about the safety for teenagers and children.

“The thought of subjecting children to that environment is unthinkable,” said Hendrick. “There’s no place for kids to play other than in the streets, there’s limited sidewalks, there’s unsecured pools, which have no lifeguards, and there’s no parking.”

Kathy Morris, president of the Hayward Mobile Homeowners Association said that as her mobile home park Pueblo Serena was converted to an all-age park 19 years ago, the sense of community has diminished.

“We supported each other as friends and neighbors, and participated in many enriching activities such as community dinners and other social functions which fostered this strong sense of community,” Morris said.

She echoed sentiments that size constraints and infrastructural issues are problematic for younger people, and is not safe for teens and children.

“It seems pretty clear to me that your communities are safe and peaceful and you really value what you have and have a sense of community,” said planning commissioner Vishal Trivedi about the previously existing Senior Mobile homes.

Commissioner Sara Lamnin said that she would support the amendment based upon the safety concerns that were raised. Commissioner Mariellen Faria agreed with that sentiment.

The motion was passed unanimously. City Council will meet to pass the amendment on May 7.