County Considers Plan to Save Palo Alto Mobile Home Park

Palo Alto's only remaining mobile home park faces closure, which would force out hundreds of mostly low-income residents. But Santa Clara County's Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider putting up $8 million in seed money to help save the community.

Buena Vista Mobile Home Park is home to about 400 residents who could end up on the streets, Supervisor Joe Simitian says. The landowner, Joe Jisser, wants to sell the property to developers planning to build a new apartment complex.

The $8 million Simitian wants to chip in, in hopes that other community organizations would rally support for the effort, would come from affordable housing funds Stanford University pays as a condition of its general use permit.

"To be clear, we are not proposing that the county either own or operate the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park," says Simitian. "Rather, we believe that the appropriate use of these existing funds might provide the impetus necessary to turn the current conversation away from enabling the conversion—which puts 400 people on the streets—to determining if and how the property can be preserved as a long-term supply of deed-restricted affordable housing."

More from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors agenda for January 27, 2015:

  • A decades-old trash heap along Coyote Creek will finally get cleaned up to improve the public parkland just west of Highway 101 and north of Bailey Avenue past the southern border of San Jose. The site, which lies in Coyote Creek Parkway County Park, was piled with garbage—including tractor tires and empty, chemical-tainted drums—back in the 1970s, when the land was owned by a rancher.

WHAT: Board of Supervisors meets
WHEN: 9am Tuesday
WHERE: County Government Center, 70. W. Hedding St., San Jose
INFO: Clerk of the Board, 408.299.5001

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. Jenn W;

    Listed below are two documents that appear on the San José City Council Agenda for Tuesday, February 3, 2015;
    Item 5.3.

    Destination Home’s, Community Plan to End Homelessness in Santa Clara County (2015-2020)

    Here is the impending resolution:

    These documents are germane to your article for this mobile home park and many others may be doomed. In San José, mobile home parks have received some measure of protection via Council action but, the Envision 2040 Plan could trump current protections over time. These documents also should be of great concern to all taxpayers.

    If Destination Home’s, “Community Plan to End Homelessness in Santa Clara County (2015-2020) (herein “Plan”)” is adopted by all fifteen (15) cities within Santa Clara County (County), the “County Office of Supportive Housing” will be created. Supervisor Simitian should be queried about this issue.

    A “Sales Tax and Parcel Tax” are listed as potential funding scenarios for the aforementioned “Plan.”

    Referenced within the aforementioned documents is the framework to provide for “Extremely low income and permanent supportive housing,” food and other amenities to homeless people paid for by the taxpayers.

    Should the mobile home park be closed and if the aforementioned “Plan” is in place, they potentially will receive, “Free housing, food and other amenities;” paid for by the generous taxpayers-for life.

    Should the “Plan” be adopted and the mobile home park is spared from development these folks are still screwed. The owner of the mobile home park will just apportion the imposed parcel tax upon the residents exacerbating their unfortunate financial situations for they will be paying for the free ride of the homeless. Their plight will worsen if the “Sales Tax” is hoisted upon everyone to fund the homeless.

    Then, “Santa Claus County” will begin to house, feed and serve the entire world’s population. What Homeless person would not want to live in Santa Clara County for free?

    In my opinion, Destination Home’s, “Community Plan to End Homelessness in Santa Clara County (2015-2020) is nothing more than a communist manifesto that is materially flawed and will fail miserably if adopted.

    David S. Wall

  2. > In my opinion, Destination Home’s, “Community Plan to End Homelessness in Santa Clara County (2015-2020) is nothing more than a communist manifesto that is materially flawed and will fail miserably if adopted.

    As Yoda might say: “You are wise beyond your years, young Wall man”.

    You da man.

    Wall for President!

  3. Taxpayers paid for mental hospitals. Now that they are closed, we have to foot the bill for “housing”. The cost to society of homelessness is huge and growing, both financially and emotionally. Either way, the Middle Class is squeezed.

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