Jul 28, 2014
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Park Developer Considers Saving Some Trailers

A limited number of mobile homes could remain under a new design by the Luzzatto Co., which is seeking to build a disputed commercial/residential project at the existing Village Trailer Park.

Park Developer Considers Saving Some Trailers

Fewer than 20 mobile homeowners, who for years have face the likelihood of forced relocation, might have the opportunity to remain at even when a big development projects erupts alongside them.

Six years after announcing plans to close the park completely and replace it with 378,500 square feet of condos, apartments and retail outlets, developer Marc Luzzatto says he is reconfiguring plans and exploring the possibility of preserving some of the trailers.

All previous iterations of plans for the new "East Village"—which still needs City Council approval—called for the complete razing of the trailer park.

"We’re sort of cautiously optimistic that we could come up with a plan… to designate a portion of the site as a trailer park while developing the rest of it," said Maxwell Baldi, a spokesman for the Luzzatto Co. "It would involve a limited number of tenants."

Baldi said the company is looking to preserve the difference in the number of trailers that exist currently, which is 42, and the number available at Santa Monica's other mobile home park, Mountain View, which is between 25 and 32, he said.

Many of the trailer owners have objected to the park's closure. One of the most vocal detractors, Brenda Barnes, was unsatisfied by the latest proposal. 

"We are not going to compromise our RIGHTS so this wannabe can make millions," she wrote in an email.

Marc Luzzatto, president of the company's general partner, Village Trailer Park LLC, told the City Council about the new tack in a memo Aug. 9. In the letter, he asked the council to postpone its consideration of the East Village, which was on the Aug. 28 agenda:

We want to consider whether we could reconfigure our project preserving some trailer spaces and thus, allowing some residents of the Village Trailer Park community to remain on a portion in a portion of the trailer park.

The memo continues:

While we cannot predict if we will develop any revised version of the project that would be acceptable to use, while also addressing these community issues, we are cautiously optimistic about the outcome of our inquiry.

The new proposal isn't fully fleshed out. It could be ready for the City Council to review in an as soon as October, Baldi said.

On July 25, until Aug. 28, saying it would take multiple meetings to mull over the development's impact on the community and mobile home owners.

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