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Another Change-up in Trailer Park Plans

Mobile homeowners see reason to celebrate after developer withdraws application for a demolition permit.

The developer seeking to transform one of the city's last remaining trailer parks has pulled its application for a permit to remove 109 mobile homes off Thursday's Rent Control Board agenda.

In a letter to the board Thursday, the developer's representative Mark Luzzatto said he's once again looking at revising plans for a major mixed-use commercial/retail/office space project on the property at 2930 Colorado Ave.:

The Planning Commission recommended that the City Council require a broader range of unit types and additional affordable units in the project.

The resulting replacement project will, based on the Planning Commission's recommendations, likely contain fewer units but a broader range of unit types with a greater mix of affordable units.

We will submit a revised application to you very shortly.

Under city law, any landlord who wants to remove a rent-controlled unit from the market is required to obtain a permit from the Rent Control Board. Village Trailer Park LLC's application is to remove the spaces on which the 109 trailers lay, not the actual units themselves, because those are privately owned.

Park resident Brenda Barnes called the application's removal from the agenda good news. She planned to host a party in celebration at the park's recreation room.

"In the meantime, there are many many things we can accomplish... such as getting enough signatures for an initiative to prohibit any city agency from allowing homes people own to be taken for development unless the residents are moved out [of] their homes [first]."

The developer's latest plans called for 480 new apartments and condos and 30,000 square feet of retail outlets and offices. They have changed in the past few months, with the developer, Village Trailer Park, LLC., scaling back the amount of commercial floor space, while increasing the housing and amount of walkways and gathering spaces for outdoor dining and parks.

Of the 480 residential units, 147 would be rent-controlled.

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But the city's Planning Commission to increase the number of units that would be restricted for tenants with "very low" and "low" incomes from 38 to 62.

Village Trailer Park LLC first introduced plans five years ago to the shutter the park, immediately prompting protest from residents who want to keep their homes.

The developer still needs to clear a number of regulatory hurdles—including acquiring the removal permit—before it can start building.

In his application to the Rent Control Board, Luzzatto said he anticipates breaking ground in the summer of 2013. Mobile home owners would have to relocate by January.

At Colorado Avenue, just east of 26th Street, the park was built in 1951, and was originally one of 11 trailer parks in Santa Monica. Now it's one of just two.

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