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Coastal Act To Square Off Against Mello Act In Mobile Home Park Case

A case involving the relationship of the Subdivision Map Act with the Coastal Act and Mello Act has been accepted for review by the state Supreme Court.

Last year, the Second District Court of Appeal ruled that a section of the Subdivision Map Act governing the conversion of mobile home parks to residential subdivisions (specifically, Government Code  66427.5) did not pre-empt the restrictions of the Coastal Act and the Mello Act. The Coastal Act seeks to protect natural resources along the coast, while the Mello Act attempts to prevent coastal exclusivity by ensuring a supply of low- and moderate-income housing in the coastal zone.

In Pacific Palisades Bowl Mobile Estates, LLC v City of Los Angeles, the court ruled that the conversion of a 170-unit mobile home park in which spaces are rented to a subdivision of individually owned spaces was subject to both the Coastal Act and Mello Act (seeCP&DR Legal Digest, September 15-30, 2010). Because compliance with those statutes could hinder the conversion, the property owner turned to the state high court.

The state Supreme Court framed two issues for review: (1) Do the Mello Act and the California Coastal Act apply to the conversion of a mobile home park to resident ownership if the park is located within the coastal zone? (2) Do the limits imposed by Government Code 66427.5 on the scope of a hearing on an application for conversion of such a mobile home park prohibit the local authority from requiring compliance with the Mello Act and the Coastal Act?

Attorneys are still briefing the case, and no date has been set for oral argument. The case is Pacific Palisades Bowl Mobile Estates v. City of Los Angeles, No. S187243.