Speak Out For Mobile Homes
Send Us Your Comments
If you own a mobile or manufactured home and rent the land within the boundaries of Broward County, your home is at risk. Let your voice be heard all the way down at city hall. Use the feedback link below and we will publish your letter online.
If you wish to submit your story to this site, please feel free to do so. You do not have to be a mobile or manufactured home owner, however, mobile home eviction for change of land use is our main focus at this time. If you feel that your rights have been trampled, you can contact us below. Your name will not be used if you request. Please remember, any comment that uses profane or vulgar language will be ignored!
Re: Mobile Home Parks and Lori Parrish 12/21/2007
We completed a reassessment project just recently to try and help mobile home parks stay in operation. We consider them affordable housing.
Dear Lori Parrish Broward County Property Appraiser
Please consider taxing mobile home parks for what they are instead of the best and most profitable use of the land.
Re: Deerfield Lake MHP Sewage Violation 12/19/2007
The average water/wastewater ratio between Nov. 15 and December 15, 2007 is approximately 95%. This is less than the 100% threshold to trigger violation/fines but more than the desirable 80% as required in the City Code. The flows are being monitored weekly and there is steady decline, which is good news. Since we are in the dry season, we will have to wait until the summer months to see if the improvements made by the Deerfield MHP are sustained. My staff has advised that the MHP management has been making repairs. We’ll find out in the coming months if they are sufficient.
Thanks Raj Verma (Coconut Creek City Engineer)
*This e-mail message has been scanned for Viruses and Content and cleared by The City of Coconut Creek.*
Re: Free Government Paint 12/19/2007
Think twice about using the free government paint on mobile homes.
Discarded exterior paint is recycled by boxing it together with pigment to create five colors. This paint is meant for exterior stucco and does not hold up well on metal which requires an exterior trim paint.
The colors are much darker then the samples and lends one to believe
the true purpose of giving this paint away free is to identify the
blighted areas of the city that need redevelopment.
Re: Town of Davie’s Mobile Home Moratorium 11/08/2007
Please view this video then forward this link to everyone on your phone book. The more people who view and send it will help us with our cause which is to save over 4 million people in Florida from being displaced from their homes. The link is http://www.sharedemergency.com/Mobile%20Home%20Page%201 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VgSgjFnBRg The site is http://sharedemergency.wordpress.com The video is located underneath the photo of “Mobile Home Park in Plantation, Florida, May, 2007. Across the state, used foundations evidencing displaced residents litter the landscape”. (You Tube) Thank you,
Re: Tower Mobile Home Park Hallandale Beach 11/04/2007
My name is Joe Defalco, I am the president of the Home Owner Association Tower Mobile Home & RV park in Hallandale Beach Florida 33009.
This park was recently purchase by the city of Hallandale Beach.
They hired the Urban Group to manage the park and to scare some of the senior citizens out of their homes and possible the rest of their lives.
The town paid 10.3 million dollars for this piece of property which is little over 4 acres. This property was on the tax books appraised for one million. Can some one tell me what is going on here?
After a meeting with the city manager Mike Good, he assured me that he has a million dollars put aside to make sure every resident will be well satisfied. He also said he was going to drop the rent in half to make the residents happy. The city manager speaks out of both sides of his mouth, and he does nothing.
The Urban Group on the scale 1 to 10 is minus 90 and does nothing but hand people literature and tell them the longer they stay the less they will get which is a lie. This group comes across like Adolph Hitler dealing with the Jewish community.
People who live in mobile parks are human beings and most of them are very happy living in a mobile unit.
Speaking for myself, I have been living here for two years and have invested close to fifty thousand dollars in my home. I have two extra rooms plus three sheds. I have rebuilt this unit from one end to the other including all brand new hurricane windows and shutters. Three months ago I installed a new air conditioner unit which cost $4.000. I can go on and on and never end. The city of Hallandale wants to pay me $5.000 dollars if I get out from my home by December 1, 2007 and if I don't they will reduced it $500 a month for every month I will stay here after this date.
Some of the residents who live at this park have an income of $300 month. Where are they going to move to?????????? It is simple, pay the residents a fair price for their homes according with the cost of living today, and they will be able to move out of the park and survive. The law 723 in the Florida Legislation talks about moving your mobile home. What about the homes that are in RV/MH parks that can not be moved?????????? Being a good sport that I am I will paid the Mayor and everybody whose has being involve with the trailer park purchase about $10.000 for their homes and will turn them in low income units for seniors citizen that are being kicked out from the mobile home parks.
I fought for my country twice serving in the United States Marines when I was thirteen years old and United States Army during the Korean War 1951. That was an honor; this is a disgrace when things like this happen in this great country.
Eudely Ruiz president of Palms Trailer Park who is also being evicted by our friend Adolph Hitler from the Urban Group and myself will be contacting every single mobile park along Miami-Dade and Broward Counties to join with us to start one organization with hundreds of thousands of members in Florida to stop this eviction epidemic which will end up in an Economic Destruction. This new group will have plenty of backing and major celebrities will be helping us.
The first agenda of this group will be backing officials to elected officers who take their job serious and believe that every one is created equal. Most RV parks are occupied by majority senior citizen.
Joe Defalco 954-234-2833
Eudely Ruiz 786-380-5868 or 786-897-4992
Re: Davie Moratorium 07/23/2007
Last December the Town of Davie responded to the mobile home crisis and legislated a one year moratorium on development of these properties. The Town Council established a Mobile Home Task Force that is laboring very hard to come up with solutions to this solvable problem. This was responsible, and welcome, action. However, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, "Applications that have already been submitted would still be processed," notwithstanding the moratorium. A Davie Mobile Home Task Force has been formed to study affordable housing alternatives for those citizens who face displacement. The task force is working with Florida International University and a consultant to find local solutions. Their efforts are designed to find a way to avoid further creation of "economic refugees," which is a very real threat for this segment of Florida's population.
Mobile home displacement is a local, state and federal issue. As days pass, extreme stress is visited upon those who face the loss of their home, and places to live. For many, they are confronted with the reality of foregoing their jobs in order to find a home site elsewhere.
Park owners claim their property rights are being violated if they cannot sell or re-develop their land. Residents characterize this as a human rights issue. Pressure for answers is mounting, and the clock is ticking. There are 31 mobile home communities in the Town of Davie, which house approximately 7,400 units. More people live in mobile homes in Davie than in any other municipality in Broward County. Up to 25 percent of the Town's population is immediately affected by this issue. That's thousands of individuals. Multiply that by those similarly situated in cities and towns across the State. The median rent for a mobile home in Davie is $400 a month; the median rent in the Town is $1,342.
Where can park residents go if their average medium income is under $30,000 per year and the average apartment rental is over $1,200.00 per month? The average rents of the lots in Davie are under $600.00 per month. The working class (teachers, firefighters, police, blue collar workers and other workforce groups need the option of the most affordable of affordable housing...mobile home parks.
We must not allow the months to pass without a determined and thorough look at all options to alleviate this problem. If solutions are not in place within the time allotted, it may be too late to avoid the resulting damage caused by irreparable displacement. While the economic impact of eliminating mobile homes is severe, the human consequences are hard to imagine. At a minimum, they are extraordinarily harsh. This threatened (and actual) reality can be avoided, however, with creative thinking, and concerted efforts from all aspects of society. The Governor's Office is the right place to bring this statewide problem to the forefront and on the public, and political, agenda, as many communities trying to deal with this issue have not instituted moratoriums.
We need your help. Please consider calling for and organizing a state-wide summit or task force to consider meaningful and immediate solutions and a simultaneous moratorium on converting mobile home parks until practical solutions are found. We have read of other groups and forums formed to study public issues. The efforts for which we seek your support are to take what has already been studied and promote practical answers to address the interests of property owners and mobile home park residents.
By ZZTOP 07/23/2007
Re: Rancho Margate 07/03/2007
I just happened to find your site Speak Out For Mobile Homes.
I just felt I had to email you my story because it still breaks my heart.
My mother owned a beautiful double wide mobile home in Rancho Margate. Her home was located along the canal.
My Mom was not a well woman, she suffered from emphysema. When she was told she had to move out, she was devastated.
This was her home of 15 years. The place her children and grandchildren loved to visit. She had the golf cart and all.
Well, Mom got very upset at the fact that she now had to move while being sick. She figured she would finish the rest of her time there. She ended up getting shingles from being so upset in February 2006. She suffered so much.
We went down to FLA from New York in April 2006 to help her move because she was too ill to do so. She was in so much pain from the shingles that her emphysema was no longer the main concern.
We moved her to a house she hated. She was miserable there. She cried to me all the time on the phone. We all also hated the place but would never tell her. It was no comparison to Rancho Margate, our favorite place to vacation.
Mom passed away November 25th 2006. What's so sad is the hospital she was released from with hospice is across the street from Rancho Margate. Mom was on the 6th floor with a perfect view of Ranch Margate mobile homes being torn down.
I realize she was sick but the shingles is really what did her in. The doctors were limited to pain medication because of her breathing. Most pain meds cause shallow breathing as a side effect. I hate that this happened this way.
These people don't care about anything but the dollar. I blame the sale of Rancho Margate for my Mother's 10 long months of suffering from the shingles.
So many lives are being ruined/changed forever by the sales of Mobile Home Parks. So much for the wonderful retirement life for those poor folks. I wish them all good luck and hope this stops happening. T
hank you for letting me tell you my story.
Re: Davie Moratorium 04/23/2007
I am the Chairman of the newly created Mobile Home Task Force in the Town of Davie. I found your website and saw the section where you wrote about the moratorium and the task force. Attached is the resolution & ordinance from Davie with the schedule time and dates for our meetings. If you can please post our resolution & ordinance for all those who needs a guide line on what Davie is doing.
There is a national emergency sweeping South Florida which many people refused to cope with. The Town of Davie noticed this problem and quickly began to resolve this issue by passing a moratorium and forming a Mobile Home Task Force to come with a solution that will benefit all parties involved. I am talking about the displacement of tens of thousands of residents in our respective communities (Town, Village, City and County). As you are well aware from either reading or seeing it on local news about Mobile Home Parks being closed down, residents forced into the streets all in the name of development.
You are welcome to attend one of our meetings and share any and all experience you have had with Mobile Homes Moratorium.
Re: Rancho Margate 2nd Reading 04/18/2007
You should have been there. This was government in action protecting the developer and ignoring the law.
Lawyers for United Homes International included Gerald Knight and Carl Peterson. They performed a series of sleazily shyster tricks to fool the commissioners into thinking the laws written by the Florida legislature didn't apply to them.
Example: Gerald Knight, "Mr. Esteban is there anything in the city code that prevents this mobile home park from closing?
Emil Esteban, "No."
The question was nonsense because the state controls all matters regarding mobile home parks. Of course citizens were prevented from challenging being limited to 3 minutes each to speak before the tricks began.
City attorney Eugene Steinfeld presented his theory the Florida Attorney General's opinion on the meaning of the law s723.083 isn't law. For municipal governments the Florida Attorney General is the highest legal authority in the state for questions of law except in Margate where the city attorney knows better.
When it was all over, the commission voted 5 to 0 in favor of
United Homes International. You should have been there.
Re: Florida House Bill H0259 and Senate Bill S2438 04/07/2007
Local government is offered monetary inducements to allow developers to destroy mobile home communities. Contributions, donations, permit and impact fees, mitigation, enhanced tax base all weigh heavy on the scale vs the moral obligation to mobile home owners as city residents.
All H0259 and S2438 do is ALLOW local government to assist the poorest of the poor when a park is closing.
If you've ever been to one of the commission/council meetings where mobile home owners are begging the park not be rezoned and closed, begging to keep their homes because they can not afford to buy or rent anything else. The commissioners cry a crocodile tear and say how very sad they are because they are precluded from assisting. Well these bills make it possible to use the same funds cities use to assist other residents to buy homes, S.H.I.P. funds and others to help low income and very low income mobile home owners relocate.
To hear the Davie and Pembroke Park commissioners they are being told to foot the entire bill to relocate closing mobile home parks and are actively lobbying against it along with the Florida League of Cities because they all want the money from closing mobile home parks.
If they were really afraid they'd have to pay the cost of
closing a park, they'd refuse to rezone it under s723.083
and it wouldn't cost them one thin dime.
Re: Mobile Home Crisis 04/05/2007
Imagine waking up a target of class warfare. As an injun in Custer's America, a woman in 1890's America, a Jew in 1939's Germany, a gay blade in 1950's New York, a negro in 1960's Selma Alabama, a mobile home owner in Florida 2001-07.
Imagine the law protecting your lifestyle declared an unconstitutional taking of someone else's property. Your ancillary protections ignored or reinterpreted by your city council and local judges in favor of developers.
Try and imagine what it's like to have the Florida State Government declare the value of your home to be $1,375.00 per title if a developer wants to buy the park your home is located in. Imagine the excuse being you can always move the home, it being all mobile and such, only to find the same state has also made it illegal to move the home or impossible to get permits to install it under current codes.
Imagine being forced to abandon your home for $1,375.00 only to learn the Federal Government has decided you can't deduct the loss from your taxes because you "voluntarily abandon the home" after being mass evicted.
If you own a mobile home in Florida, you don't have to imagine what it's like to be a victim of class warfare, you already are. Your property rights have been trashed, old laws canceled, new bills defeated by lobbyists, your home valued at $1,375.00 per title no matter what you may owe on it. Raising land values, taxes and insurance make it almost impossible for residents to buy the park without state help which has not been available.
Developers appear before local commissions warmly welcomed thanks to generous donations. Mobile home owners objecting to rezoning and building plans get only three minutes like some kind of horrible game show where they have three minutes to save their bacon.
Take the current case of Margate and the Rancho Margate Mobile Home Park.
The city's lobbyist to Tallahassee Jack Tobin the former Florida House Rep. is an agent of the city in the pay of United Homes. He represents United Homes before the city Commission in their scheme to deprive hundreds of senior citizens of their homes.
The city attorney Eugene Steinfeld isn't there to protect the citizens, he's there to protect the Commission from the citizens. He weaves his own definitions of what our laws mean, how they are not to be applied, why they aren't applicable despite court cases and the opinion of the Florida Attorney General now Florida Governor Crist and the opinion of Florida Senate Staff all put before him and the commissioners, completely ignored or dismissed.
The Florida Statutes s723.061 and s723.083 clearly state that a mobile home park requiring rezoning can not be closed before it is rezoned and can not be rezoned before a hearing to determine whether there is adequate and suitable housing within city boundaries affordable to the mobile home owners of the closing park. The appellate court in Wieker Enterprises vs the City of St. Petersburg found this was clearly the law and yet city attorney Eugene Steinfeld and commissioners ignore it.
The first reading for rezoning Rancho Margate MHP took place April 4th, the developer United Homes didn't even bother to make their case. The developer's attorney said they'd make their case at the second reading, very unusual. Citizens and Legal Aid attorney Janet Riley spoke and the vote went 5 to 0 in favor of United Homes.
Now you might wonder why people are still speaking for a mobile home park that was illegally closed months ago. United Homes owns the land, they can do whatever they want with it. What can mobile home owners hope to accomplish?
We believe mobile home owners have a stake in the land, having been required to improve the land owner's property with driveways, patios, garages and other permanent items we can not take with us.
We believe property rights are not a solid block as they were prior to 1907, but a bundle of rights some of which can be restricted by zoning, code enforcement and other laws to protect the investment of mobile home owners lured into mobile home parks by this park system set up under state law.
We believe we should be paid fair market value to abandon homes that cannot be moved to an adequate and suitable location when a park is closing for redevelopment bringing millions of dollars in windfall profits to the park owner whose property we improved to the point of sale. We are owed something for when the mobile home parks were the biggest business in town and because our loss will bring millions of dollars to city coffers in impact fees and other revenues insuring our rights get short shrift.
It is also important to send a message mobile home owners won't stand for injustice and we won't forget. We'd like an admission of wrongdoing, an apology and proper relocation of the remaining residents a condition of the zoning approval.
Don't think you're all safe and smug in your house or condo
paying low taxes because you've lived there twenty years, well
that's no guarantee in Florida where gentrification and
redevelopment zones can toss you right out on your ear for the
value you're paying taxes on.
Re: Simple Truth 11/23/2006
People's mobile homes are being stolen for pennies on the dollar, destroyed with bulldozers and no one of any consequence will take action to prevent it.
The mobile home park owner acquires a cheap piece of property on the edge of civilization. He invests minimal infrastructure for water, sewage, electric and roads. He then sells people mobile homes requiring the buyers to improve his property with expensive appurtenances such as concrete driveways, carports, patios, sidewalks and steps, Florida rooms, screen rooms, all designed to permanently attach the "mobile" home to the land.
The mobile home owners often have a relationship with the park owner going beyond contracts and state law his having given his word he won't sell the park or won't sell it to anyone that would close it.
Everyone lives happily ever after until one day civilization comes a knocking on the park gates and the park owner is offered a price for the land equal to a lottery jackpot.
Suddenly there is a hearing at city hall to consider rezoning the land from trailer park mobile home park to planned unit development PUD or whatever the developer has in mind for the land.
The park residents beg and plead with city officials for their homes. They are inevitably told there is nothing the city can do when a man owns his land he can do what he wants with it. They feel so bad so sad, maybe they can convince the developer to provide some early move out incentive money to soften the blow.
The reality is, the city has already decided to do the mobile home owners in. So much for a fair and honest hearing.
Developers don't buy property only to find out later they can't build what they want. They visit the city building and planning department and discuss their plans for their potential purchase. Developers aren't bastards because it's profitable, though they may tell themselves that's why they didn't give your park a pass. They're bastards because they were born that way. And for as long as I've lived, I don't know of anybody who was better off for being a bastard in the long run.
If the city staff told the developer to back off when they first came sniffing around, that the city intended to protect their residents, that all applications would take forever to be processed and hard to get approved the odds are good the developer would move on to an easier kill.
When you instead hear at the DRC or planning and zoning meeting the words, "City staff recommends approval." You know you've been sold out by your city.
But wait, the city council/commission can still save you, right?
Councilmen/commissioners can't discuss city business with each other outside of their public meeting at least in Florida they can't due to the Sunshine Law. So city staff and developer meet with them one on one before the meeting, enjoying access mobile home owners only enjoy in theory, votes are decided long before you plead your case.
Note how other meeting business is finished before the park item comes up last on the agenda to eliminate witnesses.
Their own citizens stand before them pleading for their homes, their life time investment, explaining they will become homeless. Watch the eye rolls on the dais, the staring at the ceiling or floor. How quickly they vote YES and adjourn scurrying for the door.
Do not let these people intimidate you. Don't be abusive, but don't be a doormat with the wrong headed notion nice and polite has a chance to win. Don't roll over and play dead to injustice. Even when injustice has the law behind it. Don't accept their crocodile tears as proof they can't vote no, they can or they wouldn't be on the dais. (It is true a properly prepared proposal for a legal use can't be turned down or they risk a law suit, but that's rarely the case and they can still vote gut feel for what's best for the city. Usually such proposals are rife with imperfections the city chose to ignore.)
The latest nasty trick is to close the park with the city's
secret acquiesance before applying for rezoning. This is illegal
in Florida, but there is no one who cares to enforce the law. In
fact judges who don't understand mobile home law s723.061 are often
fooled into thinking the law allows this nonsense.
Re: 1,000 Friends of Florida 11/11/2006
Mobile home parks—a significant source of affordable housing for Florida’s elderly and low income workforce—are being lost at an astounding rate as their lands are being sold and redeveloped for other more profitable uses. Recognizing the crisis at hand, 1000 Friends of Florida has partnered with other affordable housing supporters to advocate for more meaningful implementation of Florida Statute 723.083, which requires that alternative housing be made available for displaced mobile home park residents.
With financial support from the Fannie Mae Foundation, 1000 Friends developed and produced a symposium on preserving mobile home parks for the residents who live there. The symposium was incorporated into the Florida Housing Coalition’s annual conference, held September 13. At the request of 1000 Friends, the University of Florida’s Shimberg Center for Affordable Housing assembled substantial data, mapping the mobile home park housing populations most at risk. The symposium brought together key stakeholders, and has served as a catalyst for preserving mobile home parks through statutory protections and the use of community land trusts.
1000 Friends is available to assist those interested in preserving mobile home parks for the residents who live there. Contact Affordable Housing Director Jaimie Ross at
Re: Chan Lowe Cartoon 05/26/2006
Great Chan Lowe cartoon about Florida House Representive Irv Slosberg
who like Florida Representative Ron Greenstein never replied to a single request
to help the home owners being mass evicted from Coral Lake and Rancho Margate.
Re: 723.062 Removal of mobile home owner; process.-- 05/26/2006
(1) In an action for possession, after entry of judgment in favor of the mobile home park owner, the clerk shall issue a writ of possession to the sheriff, describing the lot or premises and commanding the sheriff to put the mobile home park owner in possession. The writ of possession shall not issue earlier than 10 days from the date judgment is granted.
(2) At the time the sheriff executes the writ of possession, the landlord or the landlord's agent may remove any personal property, including the mobile home, found on the premises to or near the property line or, in the case of the mobile home, into storage. If requested by the landlord, the sheriff shall stand by to keep the peace while the landlord removes personal property. When such a request is made, the sheriff may charge a reasonable hourly rate, and the person requesting the sheriff to stand by to keep the peace shall be responsible for paying the reasonable hourly rate set by the sheriff. Neither the sheriff nor the landlord nor his or her agent shall be responsible to the tenant or any other party for loss, destruction, or damage to the property after it has been removed.
Re: Some People Are Getting Help 05/22/2006
The good news is The Urban Group is finally helping people. The bad news is time is quickly running out as any money left goes to Habitat For Humanity June 1st.
No matter what your situation, talk to The Urban Group to see if there is anything that can be done to "fix" the problem. The tag agency in front of Rancho Margate can help with bad titles. The Urban Group can help you if they want to, push, meet them halfway. You can't afford to get angry and walk away with nothing.
As one resident said to me, "Why can't they divide the number of homes still here into the $100,000.00 and give us each our share and we'll leave." Something to think about . . .
The park is unsafe, especially for children who live there and
those who visit. Some people don't have the out of pocket to pay first,
last and security before getting their share which will leave the
majority of the money going to a charity that has to the best of my
knowledge done nothing for Coral Lake residents.
Re: Update On Settlement Saga 05/20/2006
The latest twist in the settlement saga even puzzles me.
Requirements for who is eligible for the new funds is clearly stipulated in the May 5th 2006 consent decree and order. A letter sent by The Urban Group dated May 15th 2006 added a new requirement that people who had filed a lawsuit against Wood Partners, Coral Lake MHC or the city could not receive money from the fund.
First, even a lay person knows once you sign a settlement or contract one party cannot later make additions or changes. This is an agreement made under the auspices of the federal court and signed by a federal judge. Who in their right mind would challenge the authority of a federal court? It will be interesting to see what rational, if any, the other side has for this latest action.
Second, this action retaliates against anyone who has filed any legal action against any of those three parties in the past. It would put a penalty against people who have exercised their first amendment right to petition. Does this sound familiar? This is what my law suit was about in the first place!
Only one person I am aware of has received money from the fund. If there are others who have received assistance, let me know. I could use some good news for a change.
You would think the other parties would be glad to help Coral Lake residents solve their issues and move on. If nothing else, they could then be rid of us and build their concerted condo project.
Unfortunately this latest sage only reinforces my belief that this settlement was a bad decision. Unlike other parties, I am able to admit when I make a bad decision.
Please stay tuned for future updates.
Jan Ellery May 20, 2006
Re: Via Certified Mail -- Return Receipt Requested May 15th 2006
Dear Coral Lake Mobile Home Owner
As a result of a private civil action, an additional $100,000 fund has been made available for mobile home owners who qualify. The following are specific requirements which need to be met in order to apply for this fund:
1. Must be a mobile home owner.
If the above requirements are met, the homeowner is entitled to $3,500.00 for a single wide home or $4,300.00 for a double wide. Please note that these fund are on a first come first serve basis. In addition, the acceptance of this fund does not and will not effect the entitlement to apply for the State Relocation Fund under the Florida Statute 723 guidelines.
Please review the above conditions. If you qualify, you must IMMEDIATELY contact our office at (954) 522-6226 ext 110 to set an appointment to meet with a representative of The Urban Group, Inc.
THE URBAN GROUP
WebMaster's Comment: The state fund had limitations of home ownership with clear title, etc. There is a certain value to this to insure only one payment per mobile home is distributed. It would be trouble to pay a resident only to have the real owner of the home show up to collect on the title(s). Even so, the casual indifference to the plight of the home's occupants is disturbing. It is hard to understand how management can be so cruel and mean as to force people out with no assistance what-so-ever, because they don't hold a sheet of paper if they were willing to accept their lot rent payments all those years.
One resident sued knowing full well it would cost every home owner thousands of dollars and did so anyway because he wasn't qualified and had nothing to lose. The fact the developer and park owner went ahead and gave almost as much (less $800.00 per qualified household) does not excuse his depraved indifference and I can see management not wanting to reward such bad behavior.
The other resident sued only the city after our money was secured. The park owner and developer joined the defense of their own accord. There is no reason to try to keep the resident's mortgage holder from collecting what they are entitled to as title holder.
This final fund money should be available to everyone still in the park with the exception of the one who cost us $800. each. All title owners have already weeded themselves out by not coming forward, when the true moving incentive was in place, with the exception of lien / mortgage holders and rental homes who were forced to wait until the home was empty to apply for any incentive money.
These people and those remaining should be helped whether they qualify or not, (if they owe back rent deduct it) if for no reason other then to avoid the bad publicity of the eviction police dumping their stuff on the side of the road.
There is no defendable reason to hold out on people trapped
in the park with nowhere to go and then give the money away to
charity instead. What a nasty trick.
Re: HELLO !!! If you are still in the park 05/16/2006
If you are still in the park or your house is and you haven't turned in title you may be eligable for assistance, whether it's moving expense money or paying down your debit or looking for a little more time you need to participate in this process.
Trust me you do not want an eviction on your credit history if you ever want to rent a place or buy anything ever again.
Even if there is a problem with your title, or you don't have it, or you never transfered it into your name, contact The Urban Group they are supposed to do their best to help you out of this mess.
Jan's attorney needs to know the outcome of your contact or
lack of contact with The Urban Group. Write out your attempts
to contact them. If they contacted you and what the outcome was,
what did they offer, why they wouldn't help you. FAX that
information to (305) 666-6296 if things change FAX the changes.
DO IT TODAY !!! After June 1st this last chance will be gone !!!
Re: The Urban Group Settlement Assistance 05/15/2006
If you are still resident in the park or you have a lein holder who you have notified you are leaving due to the park closing and you are not moving your home, please make a serious attempt to contact The Urban Group for relocation assistance, or to have your debt paid down by The Urban Group. Document (time, date, you called, left message, etc.) your attempts to contact them, and if they are not helping you, write out a letter of complaint with your contact information and fax it to Jan Ellery's attornies at (305) 666-6296.
This is your last chance at the full assistance money the rest of
us scrambled to get, at the start of the six month eviction, take
advantage while you can as the money will be gone June 1st.
Re: Jan Ellery comments on her lawsuit's resolution 05/14/2006
An Unsettling Settlement
The settlement from my lawsuit may well be known as the settlement that has settled nothing.
There appears to be more questions than answers. It was set up to give $3,500. to $4,300. dollars for people who could still give title or move their homes.
The Urban Group was also supposed to give assistance to help resolve problems with lien holders or movers that didn't' show up. So far, none of my neighbors I've spoken with have benefited from this settlement.
The city chose The Urban Group to administer this fund, not me. The mistake I made was agreeing to this stupid settlement. I'm more angry at myself then anyone.
I apologize to any of my former Coral Lake neighbors who got their hopes up again. I'm so angry about this whole situation Robert couldn't put the words I want to say on this web page.
On Friday (05/12/2006) eviction notices were served to anyone who hadn't moved out or given them title yet. I moved out two weeks ago, but still got one like at least three other residents, I have a lien holder. If someone has a lien holder you cannot give title. Hello, what part of this doesn't the park or developer understand?
The lien holders also have the right to move or sell the unit themselves. I basically surrendered the home voluntarily back to my lien holder. Giving me an eviction notice won't do anything to solve the problem.
As I understood it, part of the settlement signed by the judge gave people until May 15th to move out. Waiting one or two more days wouldn't have made that much difference and would have given people another weekend to move out without an eviction attached to their names.
Many other problems exist. Some people arranged to move, but the mover canceled or didn't show up. Another park reserved lots for at least two families to move to, but then told them they couldn't have the lot. One person can only get title to half of his house because the other half was never registered. Eviction notices don't solve these problems, The Urban Group could have, but they didn't.
I heard rumors The Urban Group may come back to Coral Lake for a few days. In the meantime, I've heard most people say they aren't returning phone calls. If anyone has gotten last minute help from The Urban Group this week please let me know. So far the count of people who have benefited from this new fund is zero. (sounds like contempt of court to me)
If you have already signed a waiver and got move out money in the past, sorry, you aren't eligible for any additional money. This fund goes to Habitat for Humanity June 1st, nobody has anything to gain from the money not being used.
As for me, I moved to Dania Beach with my cats including those I could rescue. The most ironic thing happened Friday night after I stopped by Coral Lake and found my eviction notice. I felt so mad I wanted to burn up. When I got on the turnpike, my car started smoking and my engine caught on fire and burned up. I guess my poor car couldn't stand it anymore. At least it went out in a blaze of glory.
I will keep you posted for any changes.
Jan Ellery 5/14/2006
Editor's Note: The final $100,000.00 of fine money that
was to help the remaining park residents was squandered
by an agreement the money would only go to "qualified"
residents. Everyone should have known the reason these
remaining people are trapped in the park, is because none
of the prior incentive money could go to them because they
didn't qualify due to title and mortgage problems. Where
is the help? These people received all the respect due road
kill, stranded like raccoons in the middle of I-95!
Re: Complaint For Tenant Eviction At Coral Lake 05/10/2006
IN THE COUNTY COURT IN AND FOR BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA
COMPLAINT FOR TENANT EVICTION
CORAL LAKE MHC, Limited Partnership. d/b/a
Plaintiff, vs Defendant
and all others in possession,
COMES NOW the Plaintiff, CORAL LAKE MHC Limited Partnership, d/b/a CORAL LAKE MOBILE HOME COMMUNITY, and sues the Defendant, and all others in possession, and states:
1. This is an action to remove a tenant, occupant, mobile home owner, and/or mobile home from real property located in Broward County, Florida, pursuant to Florida Statute, Chapter 723.061(d).
2. At all times material to this Complaint, CORAL LAKE MHC., is a Limited Partnership authorized to do business in the State of Florida and doing business in Broward County as CORAL LAKE MOBILE HOME COMMUNITY.
3. Plaintiff is the owner of the real property comprising CORAL LAKE MOBILE HOME COMMUNITY.
4. Upon information and belief, at all times material to this Complaint, the Defendant is sui juris.
5. Plaintiff is the owner and Defendant the tenant of certain real property located in Broward County, Florida at: 4701 LYONS ROAD (LOT # ZZZ) COCONUT CREEK, FL 33073.
6. The Defendant is currently a tenant pursuant to an oral lease.
7. Florida Statute, Chapter 723.061(1) and 723.061(d) provides that a Mobile Home Park Owner may evict a mobile home owner, mobile home tenant, a mobile home occupant, or a mobile home, only on one or more grounds provided in this section. Florida Statute, Chapter 723.061(d) allows for the above eviction for change in the use of the land comprising the Mobile Home Park.
8. On October 19, 2005, the Defendant was provided a Six (6) Month Notice of Termination of Tenancy which was delivered to the Defendant via certified mail, return receipt requested, and by posting upon the Defendant's manufactured home, in compliance with Florida Statute, Chapter 723.061(5). A copy of this Termination of Tenancy Notice is attached to this Complaint as Exhibit "1" to this Complaint.
9. The Defendant has failed and/or refused to vacate the real property owned by the Plaintiff, as required by Exhibit "1" to this Complaint.
10. Upon information and belief the Defendant is not in the Military service of the United States or any of its allies.
11. Plaintiff has retained the undersigned and agreed to pay him a reasonable fee, and pursuant to Florida Statute 723.068 the Plaintiff is entitled to attorney's fees.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment for eviction against the Defendant and all others in possession, attorney's fees, court costs, and any other relied this Court deems just and proper.
ERNEST A. KOLLRA, ESQUIRE
SWORN TO AND SUBSCRIBED before me this 10th day of May, 2006 by ERNEST A. KOLLRA, who is personally known to me and who did take an oath.
Edythe J. Huisinga (sig)
Re: Last Chance Incentive 05/10/2006
Thanks to the Jan Ellery lawsuit the city is forced to use the last $100,000.00 to help the remaining home owners. However, home owners still have to qualify, pay up their rent thru 3/31, turn in a clear title and be out of the park by May 15th. Money that doesn't go to residents goes to charity. I have no control over where the remaining money goes, that was stated in the "Ellery Order" by the city. The city again made the decisions on the money, since technically it was their code fine money (collected under the color of their bogus local code for missing tax tag stickers) to forgive.
I cannot get a straight answer whether lenders holding title are entitled to assistance and relocation money to pay down your debit. Tell your lender to contact The Urban Group.
Don't forget, if you have a clear title and are paid up you are still entitled to the state relocation money. Don't leave home without applying for it.
Contact The Urban Group. See the sign in the office window. You must leave a message. They generally won't answer calls to their park relocations lines. Document your attempts to reach them listing dates and times, so if they don't get back to you there is proof of good intention on your side.
Please tell everyone in the park about this last oppertunity.
Re: Final days for Coral Lake 04/10/2006
The final offer for residents who still own homes in the park is no April rent or rent rebated if the title is turned in before the end of April. I would assume this includes turning the title in to the Urban Group for state fund processing. The Urban Group is currently working out of the club house at Rancho Margate, at Rancho Margate Blvd. off 441 / State Road 7 across from North West Medical Hospital about three blocks south of Publix at Peppertree Plaza.
Coral Lake Mobile Home Park will cease operation as a mobile home park on April 30th, 2006.
The level of park management that may remain after the end of April is unknown.
Rent will not be accepted for May.
Eviction notices will be processed for those households and mobile home title holders with homes remaining in the park after April 30th.
Utilities will not be shut off, but the park does not intend to maintain them after April 30th. If a water pipe breaks the water will be shut off. If remaining residents want water they will have to have the pipe repaired. Temporary legal eviction extensions may extent the time utilities will be maintained.
There will not be a free day for residents to take what they want at any time. All such requests for items from homes now belonging to the park must go through park management.
A fence will be placed around the property after the last resident has left the park.
Any residents intending to remain after April 30th are advised to remove as many possessions as possible to a secure location and post notice the home is still occupied.
There will not be a closing ceremony.
Re: Judge David Crow's Hilltop Garden MHP Ruling Casts Confusion 04/12/2006 rewritten 05/19/2006
The limited reporting by news sources when it comes to mobile home park legal cases is becoming a problem when developers, park owners and mobile home owners rely on them instead of reading the actual court decision.
On April 7th 2006 Terry Sheridan of the Miami Business Review wrote under the title "Mobile Home Owners Facing Eviction Weigh Options -- None Pleasant:"
Skip to "Pinnacle special counsel Ernest Kollra in Fort Lauderdale said Okomo residents would lose for a simple reason. Another section of the same state law (723.061) cited by (Janet) Riley provides for the termination of mobile home park rentals with a change of use, erasing the need for a city study.
In a recent Palm Beach Circuit Court case, residents of the Hilltop Gardens mobile home park homeowners association argued the owner couldn't terminate their leases until Palm Beach Gardens determined there was suitable replacement housing.
Circuit Court Judge David Crow ruled for the property owner, saying cities must examine replacement home issues only if they were the ones requiring changes in use, Kollra said.
'The argument that Janet (Riley of Legal Aid) and others make flies in the face of logic,' he said. 'The statute couldn't be any more clear.'
What's more, case law rooted in a Tarpon Springs lawsuit protects mobile home park owners' property rights from government charges in use that could be construed at property takings, he said."
WebMaster's Comment: Hmmm, Florida Statute Section 723.083 only applies when cities are requiring the change of use? Sounds pretty bad for all Florida mobile home owners that lease their land in mobile home parks. A clear victory for mobile home park owners.
Well, that isn't what Judge David F. Crow ruled. Here are his actual words taken from his decision for Case No.: 502005CA006520 XXXX MB AO Hilltop Gardens Homeowners' Association, Inc. et, al., vs Hilltop Residential, LTD., etc.
In Count III, the Plaintiff seeks a declaratory judgment clarifying the parties' rights with respect to Florida Statutes Section 723.061(I)(d) and Florida Statutes Section 723.083. In essence, the Plaintiff seeks an order from this Court determining that these statutes prevent the eviction of tenants prior to determination by the City of Palm Beach Gardens and Palm Beach County that there exists adequate mobile home parks or other suitable facilities for relocation of the tenants. To the contrary, the Defendant contends there is nothing inconsistent about the above statutes and that 723.083 is clear and is inapplicable to evictions pursuant to Florida Statutes Section 723.061(1).
In construing these statutes, this Court is guided by two basic rules of statutory construction. First, when the language of the statute is unambiguous and conveys a clear and ordinary meaning, there is no need to result to other rules of statutory construction, the plain meaning of the statute must be given effect. Star Tyme, Inc. v. Cohen, 659 So.2nd 1064, 1067 (Fla. 1995). Further, the provisions of these statutes must be read in pari material and should be read to give full meaning to both, if possible. See e.g., Harris v. Martin Regency, Ltd., 550 So.2d 1160 (Fla. 4th DCA 1989). Applying these principles it is clear that Florida Statutes Section 723.061 deals with eviction because of change in use.. To the contrary, 723.083 is applicable under such circumstances and applies only when eviction is the result of government action as a result of rezoning. The term 'use of land' and the term 'zoning' as applied in this statute are clearly not synonymous and have different meanings. See, Crown Diversified Industries, Inc. v. Watt, 425 So.2d 803, 805 (Fla 4th DCA 1982). In fact, Florida Statutes Section 723.061(e)(3) specifically provides that Florida Statutes Section 723.083 is not applicable where the provisions of this subsection apply.
Moreover, by it's terms, Section 723.083 provides restrictions upon government as to rezoning, not the park owner's right to evict for a change in use. Here the landowner, regardless of any zoning change, does not intend to 'use' the park for mobile homes. The record is clear that there are other uses for the land in spite of any possible zoning change. As long as the land is not going to be used as a mobile home park, the government's action or inaction will not affect HILLTOP's right to evict tenants for a change in use of the land.
Based upon the foregoing, is is
CONSIDERED, ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment is hereby granted as to Count 1 and the Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is granted as to Count III. In all other respects, the Motions are denied.
DONE AND ORDERED this 23rd day of March, 2006 at West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida.
David F. Crow (sig)
WebMaster's Comment: I am in full agreement with Judge David Crow there is nothing in 723.083 to prevent eviction under 723.061 prior to the relocation report required of the city if rezoning is necessary.
The real world problem for a park currently zoned T-1 or M-1 is there may be only two legal uses of the land.
1. A mobile home park.
2. Vacant land.
By evicting the park residents prior to rezoning, the park owner is deliberately destroying his existing business.
Destroying a profitable business is not grounds for a taking claim if the city denies the rezoning. The park owner is taking a great (abet legal) risk of owning a plot of vacant land that can only be used for mobile homes or planting petunias.
Of course, what city won't find for the developer, once the park is gone? The days of honorable leaders doing the right thing on principle have become rare indeed.
Judge David Crow should take note there is no 723.061(e)(3)
723.061(e) Denotes a paragraph within a subsection.
723.061(3) Is an independent subsection containing the words 723.083 is not applicable where the provisions of this subsection apply. As subsection (3) is an encapsulated subsection containing nothing else, there is nothing it currently applies to.
Therefore, while the park owner has the right to evict mobile home owners prior to requesting a zoning change. The 723.083 requirement there be a determination: adequate, suitable, affordable, local housing, exist for the mobile home owners to relocate to prior to rezoning would still be in play. The park owner should be required to show the mobile home owners did indeed relocate to such housing or the zoning change should be denied.
Prior to 2001, 723.061 subsection (3), was 723.061 Subsection (2) paragraph (d) where it did apply to the the contents of subsection (2) which required fair market value be paid for mobile homes or full relocation costs plus a bonus for time lived in the park. The stipulation 723.083 did not apply when people were being fairly paid for their homes made sense.
Now that the state has made all mobile and manufactured homes worth
$1,375. per title if a park owner wants to sell the land out from
under them, 723.083 has become very important in cases where the
park owner can't afford to go without income waiting for rezoning.
Re: Jan's "Update" 03/19/2006
I am still here at Coral Lake.
There is probably still 20 to 25 homes occupied. There are three homes on my street that are not empty. People who swore they would stay until the end have long moved out. It's It's much like living in a ghost town now.
The latest issue was the continued Police training activities at the park. It's rather alarming to come home and see ten or more police cars in the park. At the very least, they should give us some advance notice. It's just a practice and not a crime in progress. Hopefully this issue will be resolved.
Aaron's case is over. It is interesting to note the court never addressed the meaning of statute 723.083. The court basically refused to review the city's decision and let it stand. The definition of what "suitable" and adequate facilities" are under 723.083 still remains undefined.
The Attorney General has given at least three informal opinions on 723.083. You can read them yourself on this web site (off the home page). They were not included in the evidence in Aaron's case. It may have been interesting to see if the Attorney General's opinions would have had any merit in State Court. (Aaron's case was found to be "without merit".)
One of the reliefs asked for in my law suit was that the city allow a new opportunity for the rezoning to be challenged in court. Mr. Stuart just assumes myself or another former park resident would raise the same issues Aaron has. Besides compliance with 723.083, there were two ordinances related to the actual rezoning (2005-027) and approval of the plat (2005-026) challenges could also be made to these ordinances that are entirely independent of these issues raised in Aaron's case.
The core of my case remains the First Amendment right to petition. I've had several people question if this right even exists.
This first amendment right is not as well known as the others, but is clearly in the constitution. Here is the First Amendment verbatim . . .
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
The right to petition is a basic legal principal that goes back to Roman and Old Testament Halakah law. Our particular American version of this legal right is descended from the English Magna Carta (1215) and the English Declaration of Rights (168801689).
Before the Revolution, many colonial leaders tried to file grievances and petitions in British court. King George ignored these petitions and didn't ever bother to answer them.
One of my relatives, William Ellery of Rhode Island complained the colonist's rights as British citizens were violated and advocated revolution. He later went on to sign the declaration of independence as the representative of Rhode Island.
If a government entity takes any actions that hinders, intimidates or interferes with an individual's ability to exercise their constitutional rights, it is known as a "chilling effect" or infringement. The federal civil rights law states "It is unlawful to coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with any person in the exercise or enjoyment of, or on account of his having exercised or enjoyed, or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of, any right granted or protected by this title".
Mr. Stuart openly admitted he put in the clause to cancel the relocation fund to deter people from filing any challenges. This is documented in the City Commission Minutes very clearly.
Jim Waldman, the vice mayor and Mr. Moskowitz, the park owner's attorney, also clearly endorsed and reinforced this action.
Even after I filed my suit, Mr. Stuart was quoted in The Forum, Feb 2, 2006 as apparently boasting about his actions. "I don't regret recommending the inclusion of the litigation caveat. Without it, the lawsuits to overturn the rezoning could have taken months or years to be resolved."
In this same article he was also quoted as saying, "You can't be penalized for taking away a right that a person doesn't have in the first place."
Mr. Stuart doesn't appear to understand that the right of citizens to file appeals or challenges is part of the democratic process. What part of the constitution doesn't Mr. Stuart understand? I'll let readers draw their own conclusions on Mr. Stuart's actions. If a city violates first amendment rights, it effects every citizen in that city. This is a civil rights case, not just a "trailer park" issue.
(Editor's note: When Mr. Stuart said, "You can't be penalized for taking away a right that a person doesn't have in the first place." I believe he was referring to the residents' right to the relocation fund money. As the fund was a proposal set to come into existance at the close of the time to file an appeal, it cannot be said to exist prior to that time.
None of this addresses the ethics of public servants who conspire to do in their citizens they swore to protect in favor of an out of town developer. Nor does it address the property rights of mobile home owners whose legal right under Florida law to be paid fair market value for their meager homes was removed to the benefit of the wealthy.) end editor's note.))
Unlike vague state statutes, First Amendment cases have over two hundred years of case law behind them. There are hundreds of cases preceding mine that have addressed the right to petition city, county or state governments. I'll let Mr. Stuart do his own legal research on this. Federal courts almost always supersede country or state courts. An injunction or a court order from a Federal judge would be binding over the city's actions.
I offered to settle on one issue if assistance would be provided for the other remaining residents and people who left. The city, developer and attorney for the park owner would not agree to a partial settlement, as allowed under federal mediation rules. So the case goes on. Keep tuned for future developments.
On an unrelated note, there remains many adoptable cats in a bad situation people left behind after being forced to move to pet unfriendly accommodations. If you or anyone you know can adopt one of these cats, please leave a way I can contact you on Robert's web site his feedback email is at the bottom of every page. These cats and other abandon pets are also victims of this rezoning.
Jan Ellery 0319/2006
Re: Florida Representative Ron Greenstein (D) 03/09/2006
If you own a mobile home in Florida House Representative Ron Greenstein's
district you need to know how he voted on House Bill 835, a bill that allows
cities to use available housing funds to assist mobile home owners being
evicted when the land is sold out from under them. 18 people on the committee
see how this guy VOTED and think how you should vote when he runs for higher
office this November.
Re: The Facts of Life 03/07/2006
When your park is sold, the simple truth is . . . no matter how much law you know, if you can't drag them into court, the city, developer and park owner will not give credence to anything you have to say.
You can be a law school professor, know all the law there is to know, able to quote chapter and statute. Even know the intent of the legislature when the law was passed. All that knowledge is totally worthless without a license to practice law. Think of it as a magic wand.
When it comes time to stand before the city zoning agency and the city council or commissioners, you are wasting your time without an attorney standing next to you ready to sue when they violate your rights.
Think your homeowner's association can't afford to hire an attorney? Where will you go when the park closes? Even the cheapest apartment costs double what you are paying for lot rent. People in the park can easily afford $200. a month to keep a lawyer suing when they realize it will cost them $500. a month not to. (no free rides for those who don't kick in their fair share)
Think Legal Aid will help you? There are limits to what Legal Aid attorneys are allowed to do to protect your rights. For instance they will not sue for big money money because if there is money to be made you can hire a regular lawyer for a percentage.
Often the developer will offer just enough incentive money to send people in rotting trailers packing. Understand some people will always want out, accept this and don't let them derail the permanent resident's attempting to save the park or get a fair price for their homes.
Sue for the right to buy the park (offer shares to residents not lots so people with more money can buy the shares of people with no money who won't, otherwise you can't raise the money).
Sue the developer for the fair value of your homes. More time more money. Sometimes the only way to get to the second is to fight for the first.
Sue the park owner for breach of promise not to sell the park. For violations of 723, if the rent was raised just before the notice went out, if the eviction doesn't merge with the state given yearly lease (723.031) that starts when the rent is usually raised. Sue for fraud for unfair dealings if the park allowed homes to be purchased without warning the buyer.
Sue the park owner in anticipation of breech of contract. You don't have to wait till they do it, that just makes it harder to fix.
Sue the city to prevent rezoning, you don't have to wait till they do it!
Sue the city for rezoning knowing it will cost you your homes when there is no place that will accept your homes or affordable housing for the price you pay to lease your lot. 723.083
Sue for whatever your lawyer thinks will have real traction in court. Don't fall for the nonsense where you decide what the attorney sues for, that's like a crooked mechanic asking what part you'd like replaced in your car to fix your problem, then when it isn't the cure, he claims he just did what you wanted. Lawyers make their money win or lose, so make sure what they do for you will have a good chance of working.
Fight for your homes, they will walk all over you if you don't.
And of course, please don't take any of this as legal advice,
which is illegal in Florida for private citizens to provide.
Re: Rancho Margate 02/17/2006
Residents report receiving their six month notice of pending eviction.
The notice says they must be out by Sept. 30, 2006. This comes as a surprise as a request for rezoning the property has not yet been applied for. Now that the housing crisis has become critical, this may be a new developer's trick to empty the land before requesting a zoning change to avoid proving to the city of Margate there is available affordable housing and mobile home parks for the residents to relocate to.
A city that cares about its citizens should tell the developer in no
uncertain terms they will never rezone the land from T-1 if they use this
trick to evade the intent of the legislature.
Re: from blogpost @ http://madyankeerant.blogstream.com/ 02/17/2006
Commentary on a growing trend of GREED!!
Its amazing how many wanna-be bourgeois people have no idea what the wholesale displacement of mobile home owners really means. It is simply the powers that be working in unison to trash the lives of people that they know..or hope...cannot defend themselves against the greed of the people that have been living very comfortably on the rent they collected for years. It is a case of a partially obscured outline of exactly what these money-grabbing toads are doing to get what they want. If the changing of use of the land that mobile home parks occupy is done via fraud and deception,is it still fair and just? Hell NO! It is just as stated...fraud!,which happens to be illegal in our fair US of A.
There are many that believe that they have no redress to this injustice, mostly due to the fact that very few attorneys will take a case and fight the assets and political influence of the up and coming carpetbaggers...oops! I mean land-grabbing unkind people with faith in the almighty dollar apparently above that they should have have in God,should simply be fair to those that suffer the consequences of their actions.
Judge not lest ye be put upon and shoved to the curb like so many of the fine law-abiding folk in mobile home parks have been of late.Find time to educate yourself, avoid opinionated takes on this topic if you do not get clued in correctly.Humanity should not have a price tag.
PS:bless Atty. Joe Magri P.A. for his hard work and patience as an advocate of the inherent rights of the Mobile Home Park residents he is assisting here in Florida.We may just continue to regard it as "The Sunshine State" thanks to his efforts and those of all who refused to be trampled under foot in the erstwhile "gold-rush" to re-develop our neighborhoods.Ending...these are not trailers, they are manufactured homes, and you have to look very closely to find any "trailer trash" outside the contracted disposal containers,aka dumpsters. Special thanks to :Ray Brooks (vote for him: Pinellas Cty Commission ) Marlyn, Jim, Joanne, Natalie and all of the renters that chose to make a stand here at Anchor North Bay MHP in Oldsmar Florida.
If you look deeper, you will find that the FMO is doing little or nothing to help goto www.fairfl.org where there is a groundswell against abuse of MHP residents...Thanks, sincerely; Chris McCoy Anchor North Bay Lot 31 Oldsmar Fl. 34677
When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everybody will respect you.
Re: Mobile home parks fall to developers. February 05, 2006
I was distressed to read last week that the town of Davie has allowed developers to purchase two more mobile home parks and evict the residents. It is distressing to learn that Broward County continues to pander to the wealthy at the expense of the less fortunate. When are we going to allow people who cannot afford to live in half million dollar homes to find a decent place to live?
Elected officials talk about affordable housing, and they have lengthy meetings to discuss the subject. There are probably 10 committees working on affordable housing in Broward County, but no one has stopped the bleeding; no one appears to be really helping the people who can only afford to live in a mobile home environment.
It is unfortunate that we cannot put any strength in our practices and allow people who are not as fortunate as others a decent place to live in Broward County. Shame on the politicians of Davie and Hollywood who continue to allow this to happen, and shame on Tallahassee for allowing laws to loosen so that the developers make more money and innocent people get hurt.
Davie at one time prided itself on being a community that would keep its rural lifestyle. Shutting down low-cost housing and displacing the elderly seems to throw that concept out the window. Hollywood has just allowed a developer to buy the Kokomo Mobile Court on Taft Street for condos and townhomes and a low-cost apartment complex on Dixie Highway is going to be used for the same thing.
What these cities forget is they will need more police and fire-rescue personnel to handle the additional population.
I would like to see the developers and politicians who are allowing this to happen be given $1,300 and told to move out of their house and find a new one within three months, and told sayonara, that's it, good bye! I wonder how they would feel. No one is talking for the person who is getting evicted, and it doesn't appear that anyone cares.
Broward County will become an elitist society and it will cost us all in the long run. Once again, I am asking the powers that be to fight off the almighty dollar and recognize the needs of human beings. Out of our 11 mobile home parks, we do not have any vacancies, however, if we did, one and all would be welcomed.
John P. Lyons
February 5, 2006
Re: January rent rebate 01/02/2006
Learned today from Rosemary of The Urban Group, those who pay the full month's rent for January and are out by the 15th having turned in title, keys and are paid in full, etc. will have the remainder of January's rent payment returned after they leave. Please contact The Urban Group for complete details.
The next two weeks are the last chance to leave Coral Lake with a little extra money to work with. There is no available information on how the remaining four and a half months will go for those remaining in the park. The law says things will be maintained as normal, but the park has already taken on a rough and tattered look, so many families have left.
If you choose to stay till the end, it might be worth considering doing something to make it obvious your home is still lived in by a legitimate park resident. Some parks people put up a sign "We still live here" leave lights on, radio or tv on when away, etc., to show signs of life.
Good luck to you all.
Robert Perkis Web Master
Re: S723.083 Unpublished Attorney General's Opinion 12/14/2005
Here is the unpublished Florida Attorney General's opinion from Janet Riley's Legal Aid lawsuit appeal. It contains information that belonged in the original suit indicating things were done wrong, ie: not considering the financial needs of the residents, not considering the refusal of the local parks to accept residents and/or their homes and for considering housing outside city limits. Robert Perkis
DEPARTMENT OF LEGAL AFFAIRS
January 3, 1986
Mr. Van B. Cook
Re: Counties - Mobile Homes - meaning of phrase
Dear Mr. Cook:
This is in response to your request made on behalf of the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners for an opinion on substantially the following question: What is the meaning of the phrase "adequate mobile home parks or other suitable facilities" as used in S723.083, F.S. (1984 Supp.)?
Your inquiry states that the Board of County Commissioners of Pinellas County has concerns regarding the interpretation of the phrase "adequate mobile home parks and other suitable facilities" in S723.083 , F.S. (1984 Supp.), in acting upon applications for rezoning involving mobile home parks. Section 723.083, formerly S83.760(4), F.S. 1983, was originally enacted by S4, Ch. 74-160, Laws of Florida. Except for amendments made by S3, Ch. 76-81, Laws of Florida, which do not materially affect the issue under consideration, the provisions of the 1974 law are substantially identical to those contained in S723.083, which provides that "[n]o agency of municipal, local, county, or state government shall approve any application for rezoning, or take any other official action, which would result in the removal or relocation of mobile home owners residing in a mobile home park without first determining that adequate mobile home parks or other suitable facilities exist for the relocation of mobile home owners".
Mr. Van B. Cook Page Two
The fundamental rule to which all others are subordinate in construction of statutes is that intent thereof is law and should be ascertained and effectuated. American Bakeries Co. v. Haines City, 180 So. 524 (Fla. 1938); Parker v. State, 406 So.2d 1089 (Fla. 1981) (legislative intent is the polestar by which courts must be guided in interpreting statutory provisions). The legislative intent must be primarily determined from the plain language of the statutes, as the Legislature must be presumed to have working knowledge of the English language and to express its intent by the use of words found in the statute. S.R.G. Corporation v. Department of Revenue, 355 So. 2d 687 (Fla. 1978); Thayer v. State, 335 So. 2d 815 (Fla. 1976).
Section 723.083, F.S. (1984) Supp.) clearly provides that the zoning authority must determine the existance of adequate mobile home parks or other suitable facilities for relocation of mobile home owners. Nothing in the language of the statute expressly precluded the zoning authority from considering facilities other then mobile home parks. If the Legislature had intended such, it could have so indicated by adding after "suitable facilities" the phrase "for the relocation of mobile home owners" the phrase "and their mobile homes." The phrase, "other suitable facilities for the relocation of the mobile home owners," in the absence of any qualification, includes all facilities suitable for the relocation of mobile home owners. See, Florida State Racing Commission v. McLaughlin, 102 So.2d 574 (Fla. 1958) (use of a generally comprehensive term indicated an intent to include everything embraces in the term): State v. City of Jacksonville, 50 So.2d 532 (Fla. 1951): Florida Industrial Commission v. Growers Equipment Co, 12 So.2d 889 (Fla. 1943).
The factors to be considered by the zoning authority in determining the "suitability" of relocation facilities are not expressly set forth in the statute. The legislative intent as to the application of these terms must therefore be determined from the evil to be corrected. the intention of the lawmaking body, and the purpose sought to be accomplished. State v. Webb, 398 So.2d 820 (Fla. 1981); Lanier v. Bronson, 215 So.2d 776 (4 D.C.A. Fla., 1968); Maryland Casualty Co. v. Marshall; 108 So.2d 212 (1 D.C.A. Fla., 1958). The political and social conditions of the
Mr. Van B. Cook Page Three
community for whom the law was enacted may also be considered in determining legislative intend. State ex rel. Parker v. Lee, 151 So. 491 (Fla. 1933).
Prior to the enactment of Ch. 74-160, Laws of Florida, the Governor's Task Force on Mobile Homes published its findings on the mobile home industry. The Task Force found that the industry had undergone phenomenal growth from the 1950's to the 1970's and that in 1970. 6.9% of year round housing units were mobile homes, with the percentage increasing. Report of the Governor's Task Force on Mobile Homes; March 1974, at 1, 2. The Task Force also found that although mobile homes could be relocated, they were not really mobile, but were placed in mobile home parks with the expectation of permanency. Task Force Report, at 70: The Task Force also acknowledged the low cost of mobile homes, and their availability to those who could not afford conventionally built housing. Task Force Report, at 76. These findings of the Task Force were reiterated by the legislative committee on Business Regulation, April 15, 23, 24, and 25, 1974, Series 414, Box 14, Archives of State Library. During these hearings information was placed before the committees that in many areas of the state, the populations of many mobile home parks were composed primarily of senior citizens on fixed incomes. Tape Recordings, April 15, 1984.
The Governor's Task Force noted a reduction in land being used for mobile home parks. The reasons cited were that mobile home parks were sold as the land became more valuable for commercial and residential development, and zoning authorities were reluctant to approve no zoning for mobile home parks. Task Force Report, at 72, 73, and 76. Members of the committees discussed this trend and observed that individuals evicted from mobile home parks due to changed in zoning would be unable to afford other types of housing and consequently have nowhere to live. Tape Recordings, April 15, 1974. Thus, in light of the conditions which existed at the time of the enactment of Ch. 74-160, Laws of Florida, which the Legislature sought to address, it appears that the legislative intend in using the phrase "adequate mobile home parks or other suitable facilities" was that the relocation facilities be appropriate to the financial and other
Mr. Van B. Cook Page Four
needs of the specific population of mobile home owners who would be displaced by rezoning.
In your letter you present three possible factual determinations which might be reached by the Board of County Commissioners in considering an application for rezoning of a mobile home park, and asked if the factual situation meet the requirements of S723.083, F.S. In the first factual situation presented, the Board determines that vacancies exist in other mobile home parks but the affected mobile home park owners would not be accepted into such parks by virtue of the characteristics, age, or size of their mobile homes. In considering your example, I will assume that these mobile home parks are the only facilities available for the relocation of mobile home owners. This factual situation was specifically discussed by members of the legislative committee in their consideration S4, Ch. 74-160, Laws of Florida. Tape recordings, April 15, 1974. Information was placed before the committee at that time that in the situation described, displaced mobile home owners may effectively be precluded from relocating in a mobile home park due to the lack of which would be required to comply with the park's rules and regulations. Tape recordings, April 15, 1974. Thus, in making a determination as to whether or not the mobile home parks are adequate, the zoning authority would necessarily have to consider the financial abilities of the mobile home owners who may have to relocate, repair or replace their mobile homes.
In the second situation you present, a determination is made that no adequate mobile home parks exist, but other facilities such as apartments, trailer parks, and boarding houses exist for the relocation of the mobile home owners. As stated hereinabove, I am of the opinion that the statute does not preclude a determination that the facilities described in your example are suitable, if the mobile home owners to be displaced have the financial and other resources to allow them to relocate to other facilities.
In your third factual situation you state that the Board finds that adequate mobile home parks or other suitable facilities
Mr. Van B. Cook Page Five
exist only outside of the territorial limits of the county. Generally, zoning and planning powers of a county are restricted to its territorial limits, unless the Legislature expressly authorizes the county to exercise its zoning powers extraterritorially. See, AGO 071-388 (municipal zoning powers are restricted to territorial limits unless extraterritorial powers are expressly authorized by statute). Such express authorization is not provided in S723.083, F.S. (1984 Supp.), or elsewhere in Ch. 723, F.S.: nor does the Local Government Comprehensive Planning and Land Development Regulation Act, SS163.316-163.3215, provide such authorization. See, S183.3171(2), F.S. as amended by S4, Ch. 85-53, Laws of Florida. To decide that mobile home parks or other suitable facilities for displaced mobile home owners exist in other counties would require that the county make planning decisions which impact upon areas not within its jurisdiction. Thus the fact that there are adequate mobile home parks or other suitable facilities outside the territorial limits of the county should not, in my opinion, be a factor in deciding whether to rezone a mobile home park.
In Summary, unless and until legislatively or judicially determined otherwise, I am of the opinion that the phrase "adequate mobile home parks or other suitable facilities" in S723.083, F.S. (1984 Supp.), includes all alternative housing which is appropriate to the needs, primarily financial, of the specific population of mobile home owners to be displaced.
RE: The Urban Group: 12/10/2005
Time is running out to take advantage of the developer's offer of an additional $3,000. for single wides and $4,000. for double wides to move out of the park or be abandoned.
Make an appointment to speak with The Urban Group about how to get
your early moving incentive and how they might be able to assist you in
your search for housing.
RE: To the Honorable Governor Jeb Bush: 12/04/2005
Citizens of a democracy share a collective guilt for crimes against humanity committed in their name by the state.
When an identifiable socioeconomic group is singled out for negative propaganda in the popular media backed by unconstitutional laws allowing the destruction of their homes and communities passed by elective officials charged with representing this group among their constituents, we have a world class problem the United States usually takes a leadership position to address.
In 2003 the Florida Legislature and Governor Jeb Bush green lighted the destruction of mobile home parks in Florida, by making all mobile homes worth $3,750.00 or less to a park owner or developer wanting to mass evict the park residents for another use of the land. This is a abuse equal to the loss of homes and businesses due to the internment of American citizens of Japanese decent and one day an American President will apologize to us.
FEMA pays households forced from their homes $2,300.00 per month, while Florida mandates a one time payment to mobile home owners forced from their homes by park owners and developers a one time payment of $1,375.00 for a single wide trailer and $2,750.00 for a double wide trailer. It wasn't always like this.
In 1986 the Florida State Legislature wrote into Florida Statutes Chapter 723.061 reasonable property protections for mobile home owners.
The fs723.061 protections did nothing to prevent the park owner selling the park to developers or other change of use, but did require the park owner to either move (at his own expense) the homes to another local mobile home park, or purchase the mobile homes for their book value.
In 1993 the Mobile Home Industry challenged the constitutionality of fs 723.061. Judge Reynolds in Largo Florida ruled portions of fs 723.061 unconstitutional. In 1994 the ruling was appealed and the appellate court affirmed Judge Reynolds decision.
From 1993 to 2000 disputes over mass park evictions for change of land use were addressed in the Florida courts.
In 2001 an Arizona statute was adopted as the model for Florida Statute 723.061 paying $5,000.00 toward moving a single wide, $10,000.00 toward moving a double wide and a quarter of those amounts if the home were abandoned.
Few mobile homes are moved. Once a home settles it looks like it has been through an earthquake when moved. Only about 240 mobile homes have been moved under the new state relocation fund law fs 723.06112. Most residents consider themselves forced to abandon their homes due to new codes and a lack of parks that will accept older mobile homes.
In 2003, Governor Jeb Bush ordered fs 723.06112 payment amounts changed to $3,000.00 toward moving a single wide and $6,000.00 toward moving a double wide. Abandonment amounts were raised to a payment of $1,375.00 for a single wide and $2,750.00 toward abandoning a double wide mobile home.
The park owner does not pay the full $3,000.00 or $6,000.00 toward moving the homes, paying only $2,750.00 or $3,750.00 per home. The remainder comes out of yearly tax revenue paid by the park owners and mobile home owners at the rate of one dollar per unit per year state wide. Yes we are forced to buy our own rope.
Fs 723.06112 is just as unconstitutional as the original law, but it is acceptable to the mobile home manufactures and park owners so they don't challenge it. Mobile home owners are afraid to challenge this horrible law for fear of getting an even worse law from an uncaring legislature in its place.
The fs 723.06112 law is truly insidious as a park owner can open a park, sell everyone $100,000.00+ mobile homes and upon selling the last one, sell the land out from under his victims to a developer who pays $3,750.00 or less to each homeowner.
Even the offer of this fraction of the true cost of relocating a mobile home is a nasty trick as it provides the park owner and developer and zoning commissioners an out, allowing them to pretend you can always move your home if it's worth more to you then the abandonment pittance.
Not only do other parks refuse to accept older homes because they want to sell brand new homes when they clear a space, the moving payment prevents mobile home owners from taking the loss of the home off their taxes because they didn't suffer a catastrophe because they supposedly had a choice between abandoning and moving.
Public officials shed crocodile tears for park residents as they defend the park owner's right to do as he pleases with the land, ignoring the many other restrictions society places on land use. Just try to open a fireworks factory if you don't believe this truth.
Zoning boards and city commissions hold quasi-legal kangaroo court hearings for rezoning mobile home parks into everything from storage facilities to ever more condos and townhouses. Kangaroo courts adhere to the letter of the law before passing their predetermined judgment. What a travesty of justice.
The Sunshine law is meaningless when city staff act as lobbyist for the developer while citizens are forbidden submissions to the commissioners outside the hearing because it might unfairly influence their "impartial" decision.
Cities are required by law fs 723.083 to determine there are adequate parks and facilities for mobile home residents facing mass eviction to relocate to. This is another travesty as nothing park residents, their lawyers or experts can say at public rezoning hearings will be found credible.
While the most patently false nonsense spoken by city hired "experts" (former park owners who have bought and sold their residents, from an industry without acknowledged experts) will be accepted as verifying each other.
Now that cities can take any property by eminent domain they declare blighted, everyone has one foot in a mobile home. The only difference is owners of stick and brick built homes will receive the value they've been paying taxes on for their property (not the value of what the land will be worth for the new purpose) while mobile home owners get $6,000.00 or less no matter what the true value of their home is.
Mobile home owners live and work in the community, most local jobs are retail, you are served by mobile home residents on a daily basis. If you want local workers for your low wage jobs there needs to be low income housing. As the mayor of Davie Tom Truex said, the only low income housing in Davie is in the mobile home parks.
As a citizen of Florida you have a responsibility to demand your elective officials take action to prevent this injustice. Email a copy of this article to firstname.lastname@example.org and your elected representatives locally and in Tallahassee. Do it today!
Re: Sun Sentinel Letters to the Editor For Publication 12/04/2005
By Robert Perkis
I didn't speak out when developers converted all the apartments to condos because I own my house.
I didn't cry foul when Florida Judge Reynolds eliminated the legal protection of mobile home owners from developers nor when Jeb Bush and the Florida Legislature made it legal for developers to force mobile homes off their leased lots for between $1,375.00 and $6,000.00 because working families and senior citizens never did anything for me.
I didn't speak up when the U.S. Supreme Court changed the rules for eminent domain because Florida Attorney General Charlie Crisp said Florida law guaranteed only blighted property would be affected.
I didn't act when Hurricane Wilma blew the roofs off condos and people were given only twenty minutes to take their stuff and get out, because the news had already covered it.
Now the city says my house is blighted and wants to pay the 1985 assessed valuation so they can flip the property to a developer to improve the tax base, how can I fight this injustice alone?
Robert Perkis (I don't really own a house I said that for effect ;-)
Re: Rancho Margate Mobile Home Park 12/01/2005
I have it on good authority the Rancho Margate Mobile Home Park On State Road 441 in Margate Florida has been sold by Corner Stone Group to Celebration Point Town Homes Inc.
We can only hope the Margate Planning and Zoning Commission and
the Margate City Commissioners do the right thing and deny any and
all applications for destruction of this important low cost housing
source for senior citizens.
Re: Sometimes you've gotta wonder what it's all about.
Park resident Aaron Vantrease and Legal Aid have filed with the 4th District Court appealing the recent rejection by Judge Robert Rosenberg. See Lawsuit 2 right side menu.
The original suit was based on the failure of the city to follow proper legal procedure. As the quasi-legal kangaroo court we all sat through was a perfect parody of proper procedure, the judge ruled they had held the hearings, examined the evidence and reached a verdict thus satisfying the legal requirements.
Obviously the challenge should have been based on bias and the failure of city commissioners to recuse themselves. (Not that Legal Aid asked them to.)
One may assume this latest miserable attempt is to save face for having the first case tossed before oral arguments even took place. Legal Aid cost 184 low income working families a million dollars in assistance money without their permission and forced our move time to take place after hurricane Wilma when affordable housing is nearly impossible to find.
Lawyers for the Developer working also for Park Owners and the City of Coconut Creek are the GREENBERG TRAURIG law firm who supplies free legal personnel to Legal Aid of Broward who nominated them as their Philanthropic Organization of the Year. The first Legal Aid suit brought $50,000.00 to Greenberg Traurig for writing a brief and preparing an oral argument not needed to get the case tossed. Now Legal Aid files another case for their Greenberg Traurig friends to defend against . . .
The real clue here is the lack of a request for an injunction to prevent our mass eviction. Without such an injunction we will be long gone before this case is heard.
Not only does the appeal read like a tenth grade term paper petulantly rehashing the city rezoning. It suffers from the failure of Legal Aid to take the advice of the more capable and knowledgeable FMO attorney. It clearly does not meet the requirement of an appeal to show where the first judge errored. The error was in the suit, not in the judge's opinion the kangaroo court had followed procedure, they did. Appeals courts do not retry cases, they address mistakes.
By filing the first suit and this appeal Legal Aid is not only, not helping us, they are causing harm to every mobile home owner in Florida who leases their lot by causing our last legal defense (statute 723.083) to be dismissed due to incompetent legal action.
Robert Perkis / Web Master / 11/12/2005
Re: FEMA 10/25/2005
As of 10:00 PM Tuesday 10/25/2005 FEMA has declared Broward County eligible for personal disaster assistance.
For those without insurance or whose insurance is exhausted suffering hurricane related damages to housing and personal effects you may request a FEMA assistance grant application by going online to http://www.fema.gov or calling 1-800-621- FEMA. Mobile unit locations may also be announced on radio and tv.
FEMA does not duplicate insurance coverage. They do not replace lost wages, food, pay mortgages or utility bills. You can be audited for up to three years on how you spent the grant money so save all receipts from this time period.
You may be offered a SBA (Small Business Administration) low interest loan instead, this is a way FEMA distributes money. Even if you can't afford a loan apply for the SBA loan anyway and see what the terms turn out to be, it may be a grant or loan that does not need to be paid back.
Good luck to you. Robert Perkis / www.corallakemhp.com
Re: Aaron's Lawsuit 10/18/2005
Dear Mr. Perkis:
As you would imagine, we were extremely disappointed in Judge Rosenberg's decision. The decision went against the residents at Coral Lake with no real consideration of the issues of relocation embodied in F.S. 723.083.
We are in the process of planning an appeal to the Fourth District Court of Appeals by Petition for Writ of Certiorari.
Janet R. Riley
Legal Aid Service of Broward County, Inc.
491 N. State Rd.7
Plantation, Florida 33317
Re: Judge Rosenberg's Decision received 10/12/2005
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE
CASE NO: 05-11144(25)
CITY OF COCONUT CREEK BOARD
THIS CAUSE having come before the court upon petitioner's Petition for Writ of Certiorari and the court having considered the petition, reviewed the court file, and being otherwise fully advised in the premises, hereby finds and decides:
On June 8, 2005, the Planning and Zoning Board of the city held a hearing to rezone property on which Coral Lake Mobile Home Park is located. The following day, the city Commission conducted a hearing on the finding of fact as to whether there was adequate mobile home space or other suitable facilities for relocation of the mobile home owners. At that hearing the commission determined that adequate mobile home parks or other suitable facilities existed for the relocation of the mobile home owners pursuant to Florida Statute S 723.083. On June 23, 2005, the city held a second hearing and passed City Ordinance No. 2005-27 approving the zoning request. Petitioner timely filed this Petition for Writ of Certiorari. The Petitioner argues that the decision by the commission lacked substantial competent evidence.
When the circuit court reviews the decision of an administrative agency the court must apply a three-fold standard of review: (1) whether procedural due process was accorded, (2) whether the essential requirements of the law have been observed and, (3) whether the administrative findings and judgment are supported by competent substantial evidence. Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles v. Smith, 697 So. 2nd 3O (Fla. 1st DCA 1997). In so doing, the circuit court is not permitted to reweigh the evidence nor to substitute its judgment for that of the agency. Bell v. City of Sarasota, 371 S.2d 525 (Fla. 2d DCA 1979).
In the instant matter, this Court finds the commission's decisions are supported by competent substantial evidence. Prior to the approval of the rezoning and the ordinance, the city conducted two hearings at which testimony and witnesses were evaluated. Furthermore, the court finds that the commission did not depart from the essential requirements of law.
Accordingly, it is hereby
ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that Appelliat's Petition for Writ of Certiorari is DENIED.
DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, this 7th day of October, 2005.
ROBERT A. ROSENBERG
A TRUE COPY
Copies to counsel of record
Re: Aarons's Lawsuit CACE05011144 10/10/2005
Judge Robert Rosenberg's law clerk Nadine called me today to say the Oct. 14th court date for oral arguments has been cancelled because Judge Robert Rosenberg has already ruled. She could not tell me what the diposition of the case was, only that the information should be available from the Clerk of the Courts in a couple of days.
Same Day New Info: Judge Robert Rosenberg ruled in favor of the City of Coconut Creek, Park Owners and Wood Partners the developer. In short the Judge said the City had already held the hearings, listened to the experts, and made a decision. It was their decision to make and he wasn't going to duplicate the effort.
If I can get a copy of the decision, I will post it.
Robert Perkis 10/10/2005
Re: Understanding Florida Statute 723.083
723.083 Governmental action affecting removal of mobile home owners. -- No agency of municipal, local, county, or state government shall approve any application for rezoning, or take any other official action, which would result in the removal or relocation of mobile home owners residing in a mobile home park without first determining that adequate mobile home parks or other suitable facilities exist for the relocation of the mobile home owners.
History.--s. 1, ch. 84-80.
In 1986 the Florida State Legislature wrote into Statutes Chapter 723 Mobile Home Lot Tenancies and 73.071 and 73.072 Eminent Domain, reasonable property protections for mobile home owners.
The 723 protections did nothing to prevent the sale of the park to developers or other change of use, but required the park owner either move (at his own expense) the homes to other local mobile home parks, or purchase the mobile homes (plus a percentage formula for infrastructure) for book value.
Eminent domain requires fair market value for the home plus infrastructure like concrete driveway, patio, etc.
723.083 Provided additional protection.
For cities looking to protect their citizens from park owners and developers, 723.083 allowed them to hold off rezoning until their citizens were properly relocated.
Cities siding with developers and park owners against their own citizens, were restricted from approving rezoning until the park owner had completed relocating or purchasing the mobile homes.
As the Florida Attorney General says in AGO 87-31. 723.083 Places "... a restriction upon government action affecting the removal of mobile home owners."
This was not today's market. Back in 1986 and for the next ten years a thousand square feet whether in a mobile home, condo or town house could all be easily purchased for under thirty thousand dollars.
In 1993 the Mobile Home Industry challenged the constitutionality of statutes 723.032 and 723.061. Judge Reynolds in Largo Florida ruled the first constitutional and portions of the second unconstitutional. In 1994 the ruling was appealed and the appellate court affirmed Judge Reynolds decision.
723.032 (1) A mobile home lot rental agreement may provide a specific duration with regard to the amount of rental payments and other conditions of the tenancy, but the rental agreement shall neither provide for, nor be construed to provide for, the termination of any tenancy except as provided in s. 723.061
The original 723.061 remained on the books with portions unenforceable from 1994 through 2000 and is still available for viewing. 1986 - 2000 - 723.061
From 1994 through 2000 change of use payment was determined through the following process.
723.061 (2) "In the event of eviction for change of land use, homeowners must object to the change in land use by petitioning for administrative or judicial remedies within 90 days of the date of the notice or they will be barred from taking any subsequent action to contest the change in land use. This provision shall not be construed to prevent any homeowner from objecting to a zoning change at any time." This portion of the statute remains unchanged in the current 723.0612
In 2001 Arizona statute 33-147601 Ch. 326, Sec 4 was adopted as Florida Statute 723.0612 paying $5,000.00 toward moving a single wide and $10,000.00 toward moving a double wide and a quarter of these amounts if the home must be abandoned.
In 2003, 723.0612 the relocation amounts were lowered to $3,000.00 toward moving a single wide and $6,000.00 toward moving a double wide. Abandonment amounts were raised to a payment of $1,375.00 for a single wide and $2,750.00 toward abandoning a double wide mobile home.
In Florida it is illegal for a non legal professional to interpret the law or give legal advice, (even though 723 was written to be understood by mobile home owners), so we are limited to a general discussion of 723 and 723.083 without making a definitive statement as to what exactly they legally mean. Do not take any of this as legal advice.
To begin with, a careful reading of Florida Statute 723 finds the only use of "50 miles" as the maximum distance the Mobile Home Relocation Corporation will pay toward moving a mobile home being relocated for change of land use. We should be able to assume 723.083 requirements are local within the city the rezoning request is before. Any relocation beyond city limits is the mobile home owner's choice, not the park owner's pleasure.
It does appear the current 723.0612 and unchanged 723.083 no longer guarantee the mobile home owner the right to a mutual agreement between home owner and park owner as to moving the home before the park can close. Instead we now have an either/or situation where the park owner is not required to relocate the home and is only required to pay a percentage of the actual value of the home or it's cost to relocate.
What 723.083 does appear to require, is the park owner and the city determine (prove) there is either adequate local mobile home parks that will accept the mobile homes being evicted for change of land use, or there is sufficient quantity of suitable local low income housing available for the residents who abandon their homes to relocate to.
While it is reasonable to point out individual mobile homes and/or their owners may not meet the requirements of other local mobile home parks or alternative local housing. It is likewise reasonable to note there must be a threshold where, when for example: 80% or more of the mobile homes and/or their owners do not qualify for the supposedly adequate mobile home parks or other suitable housing, such relocation options are neither adequate nor suitable for the purpose of determining such as available to the mobile home owner under 723.083
723.083 does appear to require the rezoning agency itself to make the determination of local adequate mobile home parks and suitable alternative housing and not rely on the say of partisan parties.
It should also be noted the mobile home industry lacks standards for expertise in the field. No institute of higher education known to this author, (including the Match Book University of Home Study) offers a Degree in Mobile Home Park Management and there are only a handful of books published on the subject such as Lonnie Scuggs' Deals On Wheels 1 & 2.
723.083 should not be construed as making it impossible to redevelop decaying mobile home parks. Cities have sufficient power under code enforcement and condemnation to have unsafe or unhealthy structures repaired or removed. Eminent Domain can now be used to redevelop blighted areas through commercial developers paying a fair value for the relocation or abandonment of the mobile homes.
723.0612 does not prevent park owners from paying a fair price for the relocation or abandonment of the remaining mobile homes prior to rezoning or as a condition for rezoning. City Commissioners retain the power of nullification regardless of whether the rezoning is properly applied for and thus may individually elect to protect their citizens by not approving rezoning until their citizens are properly taken care of.
Robert Perkis / web master / 09/25/2005
Re: Do you know what's happening to your neighbors?
The residents of Coral Lake Mobile Home Park in Coconut Creek, most of whom are making due on low or fixed incomes, fully appreciate we are wasting the land by living on it, when the city could be realizing more tax money with better people living here.
None of us are saying we have an inherent right to live on prime real-estate, thus denying the property owner the best use of the land. What we are saying, is given the totality of the circumstance, we are about to be evicted without due consideration and without enough time to rebuild our lives, especially given our history with the community.
When most of the home owners moved to Coral Lake in Coconut Creek years ago, we made a well informed decision to buy a home based on the law at the time which guaranteed us a fair price for our homes in case the land owner wanted to sell the land out from under us and the assurance of the community owners they would not sell the property except to another mobile home park owner.
Relying on these assurances, the home owners of Coral Lake continued to plan our lives based on remaining in Coconut Creek. We improved our homes, added additions, investing our limited wealth in our homes and this community. As the value of both increased, we are required to pay a $50.00 a month pass along tax in addition to the tax stickers we purchase and the tax included in our lot rent. For you see, we own our homes and lease the land much the way 7/11 or Walgreens might lease the land they build on.
As a result, unfortunately many of the very improvements that increased the value and livability of our modest homes provided code enforcement the excuse to fine our park out of existence even though many of these additions had been in place over twenty years totally ignored. These same improvements that increased the value and improved our lifestyles now render the homes almost valueless should we be required to move them to another location.
In short, we have a very vulnerable low income population that made a good decision based on all available information at the time, and then, in reliance on decades of assurances, they invested in their homes and their community to the point that they will now lose nearly everything they have because they are forced to move, in spite of those prior assurances. And that loss will render them nearly incapable of finding a place to live that comes even close to the quality of life they have in Coconut Creek.
As such, the plight of the home owners at Coral Lake is not so much a question of denying the city and property owners their right to put a property to it's best most profitable use, but rather it is a question of how that best use is achieved.
In this case, we have the owners of a land lease manufactured home community that will likely receive $12 million for their property for the construction of a development worth over $30 million and a local government that will receive a huge revenue influx in increased property taxes (presumable in the millions), and we have the approximately 200 soon-to-be-displaced mobile home owners that may receive $2,750.00 from the state to start over again. At least while homeless we'll be able to afford to eat. :-)
How exactly does one start over, with only $2,750.00 to work with? What kind of new home does the low income you pay your employees and $2,750.00 buy these days? It would seem that, again, given the totality of the circumstances and the history of the residents of Coral Lake and this land in Coconut Creek, the community owners and/or local government have a lot of latitude to help the residents rebuild their lives and transition into another equitable housing alternative.
Stand up for your neighbors and let the city know you expect Coconut Creek residents to be treated better then this.
Tip of the hat to D.H.
Re: Bay Pines Mobile Home Park 09/18/2005
I am once again asking that you copy and distribute to all your contacts and residents the enclosed notice.
I cannot stress enough how important it is that all of us email or write letters to these commissioners.
Chairman Marroni and Commissioner Stewart voted against the other five commissioners to redevelop, basically evicting hundreds of our fellow mobile home owners.
Thankfully, the other five stuck to the law and voted to deny.
We can win this war...but every one of us has to do their part. Write, email, attend the meetings.
This fall we will be having a meeting to discuss organizing a mass meeting of non-resident mobile home owners. I will let you know the date and time when it is decided, but please notify any other parks that you know of to get in touch with me so we can have as many as possible attend.
Thank you, and keep in contact.
The Pinellas County Commissioners met 9/6/5 to discuss the redevelopment of Clearwater/Largo corridor which would involve 200 acres and include the eviction and dislocation of many mobile home park residents.
The President of Golden Lantern spoke along with Leo Plenski, to once again, stress the urgency of halting this practice of plowing under the non-resident owned parks.
The Commissioners voted 5-2 to deny the redevelopment. This is a major victory for all of us. The issue of "adequate, suitable and affordable housing" seems to be the sticking point as it is NON-EXISTENT in Pinellas County.
PLEASE, PLEASE, email or write to the two commissioners who voted to bulldoze the mobile home parks in the clearwater/Largo corridor and stress how disappointed you are that they want to put hundreds of people, elderly, families and veterans alike out on the street: namely Chairman Marroni and Commissioner Stewart.
Also, please email or write to the 5 who voted with us and THANK THEM for their support, and urge them to continue to support us and protect our homes.
They are: Karen Williams Seel, Calvin Harris, Kenneth Welch (Vice Chairman), and Ronnie Duncan. Special thanks to Commissioner Duncan for taking on the chairmanship of the Historic Preservation Task Force.
They can all be reached at Pinellascounty.org (click on commission/contactus) or at Pinellas County Court Hours, 5th Floor, 315 Court Street S. Clearwater, Fl 33756.
EMAILS AND LETTERS DO WORK, SO PLEASE GET INVOLVED !!!
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