A mobile home park in Palo Alto that faced closure, which would have displaced hundreds residents, will remain open for now.
On Wednesday, Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Brian Walsh ruled that nobody could be evicted from Buena Vista Mobile Home Park until the city determines exactly how much it would cost to relocate each household. The judgment reverses a City Council’s decision in 2015 to allow the park’s owners to close the park and sell it off to developers.
Owners of Buena Vista—the Jisser family—have been trying to sell the property since 2012. But the community is the last bastion of affordable housing in Palo Alto and home to 400 mostly low-income residents, who pushed back.
The ensuing land-use fight turned into a court battle and prompted Santa Clara County to offer to buy the park to avoid mass displacement.
The Housing Authority of Santa Clara County has offered to buy the park, to preserve what’s left of affordable housing in Palo Alto. The county and city offered to share the cost. In a meeting held earlier this week, the housing agency’s board voted unanimously to make an offer on the property and kick off negotiations.
“This is an important step forward,” said county Supervisor Joe Simitian. “With everyone pulling together we’re well positioned to preserve 117 units of affordable housing, prevent the eviction of 400 low income residents, and ensure that the current property owner receives full and fair market value for the property.”
If the Jissers reject the housing authority’s offer, officials said they’re willing to exercise eminent domain. The city will consider next month whether to appeal Walsh’s ruling.
Click here to read the ruling, which the Palo Alto Daily Post uploaded online.