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A. In 1985, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors recognized that a serious problem of rapidly increasing mobile home park space rents existed in the unincorporated areas of Sonoma County. In 1986, the Board retained an experienced consultant, Connerly and Associates, Inc., to conduct a market survey of mobile home parks and mobile home park residents in the County.

B. In January 1987, Connerly and Associates, Inc., submitted to the Board a written report detailing their findings, which were as follows:

1. The majority of mobile homes in the County are located in rented spaces in mobile home parks.

2. In the unincorporated area of the County, there are 75 mobile home parks containing 3,659 spaces (1986).

3. Mobile homes in mobile home parks provide an important alternative form of housing for a substantial number of County residents.

4. The majority of mobile home park residents are age 65 or older.

5. The median income of mobile home park residents in unincorporated County areas is $14,000/year, which is defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as “lower” income (in 1986).

6. In the unincorporated County areas, about 43 percent of mobile home park residents are defined as “very low” income recipients according to the HUD definition of that term (in 1986).

7. Seventy percent of mobile home park resident households have at least one retired member whose primary source of income is Social Security payments.

8. During the past three years, median mobile home park space rents have increased by 18.1 percent.

9. A majority of mobile home park residents in the County pay more than 25 percent of their income for housing.

10. A large majority of mobile home park residents own the mobile homes which they occupy and many of these residents have substantial loan payments to meet in addition to rent payments.

11. The median estimated sales value of a mobile home in a mobile home park exceeds $30,000.

12. Many mobile home park residents were born in Sonoma County or have lived in the County for 10 years or more.

13. The vacancy rate among mobile home park spaces is 0.3 percent (in 1986).

14. The cost of moving a mobile home is in the range of $2,900 to $4,000 or more (in 1986).

C. The Board of Supervisors reviewed the above conclusions on March 16, 1987, and found them to be true and correct. In reviewing a new rent control survey prepared by Connerly and Associates in early 1992, the Board of Supervisors found a profound need for continued mobile home space, and, in special circumstances, recreational vehicle space rent control. The Board of Supervisors found the 1992 survey, its data and its conclusions to be true and correct, and took particular note of the following:

1. Mobile homes and manufactured housing have represented an affordable form of shelter to millions of Californians with modest incomes. This has been especially true for elderly persons living on fixed Social Security or retirement incomes.

2. A vacancy rate of 1.2 percent in 1991 and vacancy rates of typically one percent or less over the past five years have given mobile home park owners a virtual oligopoly where market forces do not influence space rental pricing.

3. Typical moving costs for mobile homes from one mobile home park to another (if vacant spaces could be located) range from approximately $5,000 to $9,000 depending upon the size of the mobile home.

4. The average annual rent increase proposed by park owners between 1987 and 1991 was 13.2 percent per annum. Pursuant to the rent stabilization ordinance, on average less than half the proposed percentage rent increase was authorized during those years.

5. Persons over 65 comprised over half of the mobile home park population.

6. Of those survey respondents reporting their level of income, 43 percent were very low-income (50 percent or less of the median County income) and 27 percent were lower-income (50 percent to 80 percent of the median County income).

7. Few residents reported substantial assets which they could draw upon the meet future housing expenses. Fewer than half of the respondents had $30,000 or more in assets (excluding the value of their mobile homes).

8. Under the County’s voluntary mediation program between 1985 and 1987, park owners proposed annual rent increases averaging 9.6 percent, nearly four times the rate of general price increases according to the CPI for Sonoma County. After mandatory arbitration was established, and the current rent control ordinance adopted, requested rent increases were generally twice or more of the approved rent increases. Approved rent increases, on the average, began to mirror the CPI.

9. The mobile home space rent stabilization program has succeeded in its broad objectives and should be expanded to address additional problem areas.

10. The Board of Supervisors found that it would be desirable to include long-term recreational vehicle space tenants in mobile home parks under the rent stabilization program. Such tenants in mobile home parks appear to be similarly situated to mobile home tenants except for the vehicular character of their dwellings. Although mobile, recreational vehicles in mobile home parks are “trapped” by the low vacancy rate within mobile home parks. Transient recreational vehicle parks are not amenable to the type of permanent residency needs of permanent recreational vehicle space tenants.

11. The Board of Supervisors found that it would be desirable to provide prospective mobile home park tenants with an option to choose between a long-term lease and a periodic tenancy of less than one year in duration. The terms offered under typical long-term leases by some park owners are excessively long, oppressive, one-sided adhesion agreements. Such an option furthers a legitimate governmental objective and is not in conflict with or preempted by State law.

12. The Board of Supervisors found that, on average, several dozen mobile homes are sold or offered for sale each year in Sonoma County. The sale of these mobile homes on site subjects mobile home coach owners to unreasonably suppressed resale rates due to oppressively high rental adjustments upon rent de-control. The Board of Supervisors found that it would be desirable to provide vacancy control in its rent stabilization program as hereunder provided.

13. The need for effective and fair mobile home park space rent stabilization continues to exist in Sonoma County in 1993 as it did in 1986.