The Arcata City Council adopted an ordinance on Wednesday night that temporarily bans the closure or conversion of mobile home parks in the city.
This urgency ordinance, which buys time for city staff to finalize a more permanent closure and convergence ordinance, becomes effective immediately and lasts for 45 days. If needed, the council can vote to extend the interim ordinance to 22 months.
The council discussed this ordinance at meetings on March 20 and April 4, and staff is still working out some of the details. The ordinance aims to protect residents of mobile home parks from having their rents raised or having to move if owners were to sell their park or convert it to a different use.
Arcata Mayor Brett Watson said that this is exactly what happened at the Lazy J Ranch in Arcata, which is what prompted the city to draft the ordinance. This ordinance is important, he said, because with limited places for mobile homes it is very difficult for the owners to move. Also, people who own mobile homes are usually on a fixed income and are often seniors.
“Mobile home parks are a very important part of affordable housing,” Watson told the Outpost.
The closure and conversion ordinance will come back before council for adoption at the next meeting on May 15.
In other business, the council directed staff to draft an ordinance banning the sale of single-use plastic containers in city facilities. This would include the Arcata Ballpark and the Plaza, affecting public events such as Oysterfest.
If adopted, this ordinance would help Arcata with its Zero Waste Action plan, adopted in 2017. The council has taken similar steps in waste reduction before, banning the use of disposable styrofoam food and beverage containers in 2015.
Maggie Gainer of Zero Waste Humboldt spoke in support of this ordinance during the meeting, urging council to take steps to “reduce the ever-increasing quantity of single-use plastics in our waste stream. We recommend the city lead by example and do everything possible,” she said.
The ordinance will come back for adoption at a later meeting.
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