GSMOL Roadshow Report 2013
—Marie Pounders, GSMOL Region 8 Manager and SLOMAP President
Since 2008, GSMOL has been hosting a Regional Conference in San Luis Obispo County every couple of years, open to all residents of all parks. This year, SLOMAP (San Luis Obispo Mobilehome Residents Assistance Panel) and NSBMHT (North Santa Barbara Manufactured Homeowners Team) co-hosted the very special GSMOL Mobilehome Residency Laws Roadshow, held at the New Life Community Church in Pismo Beach. The turnout was amazing! People had pre-registered and the larger parks had held in-park sign ups so we had an estimated count before Saturday. However, walk ins were also welcome and they kept coming and coming! The final count is approximately 165 residents with a total of 30 parks represented! The most exciting aspect for us is that many parks, which had not participated before, had residents in attendance. Many more people are now aware of the two county organizations as well as all the benefits GSMOL has to offer. There were two GSMOL tables filled with Californians, copies of the Homeowners’ Bill of Rights, our groups’ flyers, GSMOL applications as well as copies of the MRL.
One of the achievements we were most proud of was to be able to offer translation services to all those who could benefit from them. CAUSE–NOW, originating in Santa Barbara and Ventura County, provided both the wireless system and our excellent translator, Rafaela Moreno. Speaking of technology, New Life Community Church had wireless mikes for our speakers, both hand held and lapel types!
Sharon McMahan, HOA President of Mesa Dunes MHP here in SLO County, gave a report on the status of the forced condo conversion which their park is experiencing. The application for a subdivision map has been submitted to the county. The County Planning Department has found the application incomplete (11-21-13) because of the Resident Survey. Will Constantine, GSMOL attorney, is representing the residents. Read the story of Mesa Dunes on the NEWS page. There will be updates as they occur.
Residents consult with Bruce Stanton
Bruce Stanton, Corporate Counsel for GSMOL, was our main speaker on the topic of the Mobilehome Residency Laws. Bruce has worked with mobilehome residents for 25+ years, with both CMRAA and GSMOL. He touched on several ways GSMOL is involved in improving our quality of life as mobilehome owners. SB 510, which passed and will become law on Jan. 1, 2014, helps protect against unwanted, forced “condo conversions”. GSMOL had previously attempted to clarify state law with several previous bills which were not successful, but we did not give up! Currently, GSMOL along with TURN, is representing mh homeowners in a three year old CPUC (California Public Utilities Commission) hearing process which is attempting to determine the most cost-effective way for park owners who have submetering and want to give their utility services back to the utility company to bring the equipment up to code. Bruce focused on sections of the MRL which are most frequently in question: Rental Agreements – month to month vs long term leases, Rules and Regulations within Parks, Management Issues, and most importantly, why it is important to have some sort of organized group within a park, an HOA or a GSMOL chapter. On the topic of long term leases, Bruce has completed an update of a GSMOL LEASE Manual which will be available to regional managers next spring. Kamala Harris, our State Attorney General, has recently publicized an opinion regarding subleasing in mobilehome parks. Her office has stated that if the Park Rules do not allow subleasing, then parkowners and managers should have to follow that same rule and not rent out mobilehomes they own. This is not a court decision yet, but it will be interesting to watch what happens. The Legislative Action Team Steering Committee for GSMOL is current reviewing topics for new bills for the 2014 Legislative Year. The new bills will be publicized here on the SLOMAP website and the GSMOL website. If you are on our counties’ email lists (SLO and Santa Barbara Counties), you will receive an email describing the new bills in early 2014.
David Loop, also an attorney, is the new Vice President for Resident Owned Parks on our state GSMOL State Board. David outlined steps resident organizations can take if they are interested in purchasing their park. He has packets with excellent information which he can send to anyone who is interested (email@example.com) or 831-688-1293.
Dr. Carl Leivo, our guest author, has been writing articles for the www.slomap.org website since it began last February. He has also published a book, MHP Living: Successful Living in CA Manufactured Home Parks, a one of a kind resource which contains a wealth of information about relationships with park owners/managers, ideas for rehabilitation of mobilehomes as well as HCD and MRL facts. Carl has a diverse background in rent control management, manufactured home rehabilitation programs, facilitating the non-profit purchase of mobilehome parks and financial research. Carl had a very successful day on Saturday as he sold all the books he brought! If you still want to order, go to: https://www.createspace.com/3800762. Click "add to cart" button. On the Shopping Cart screen, enter discount code H7HP5CGH in the box at the bottom. Check out and follow the typical CreateSpace website instructions. Create Space will add sales tax and shipping charges.
There are many people to thank for such a successful conference including both Boards of both county organizations. These individuals handled the publicity, the distribution of flyers to a majority of parks in both areas, providing handouts and sign up capability to residents. The refreshment committee members were from Sea Oaks and Mesa Dunes MHP’s. Carol Moss, our SLOMAP webmaster, posted the Roadshow flyer and a sign up form on the website in both Spanish and English and 30+ people took advantage of that. People definitely came away with considerable knowledge about mobilehome living.
Audience at GSMOL Roadshow