Three members of the Denver City Council are spearheading a push to temporarily prohibit redevelopment of the city’s five mobile home parks.
Council members Jamie Torres, Jolon Clark and Candi CdeBaca are behind the proposed moratorium, which if implemented would ban the approval or amendment of site development plans for mobile home park properties until April 1, 2024.
Torres told a council committee Tuesday that the parks play an important role as unsubsidized but comparatively cheap housing.
“Mobile home park preservation is affordable housing preservation,” she said.
But the city’s zoning code considers mobile home parks to be a “nonconforming use,” according to the proposed measure, which means owners of aging units can be unable to replace them with newer ones.
Mobile home parks are unique in that individuals often own the mobile homes themselves, but not the land beneath it. Landowners are typically paid lot rent. And the homes, despite the “mobile” moniker, often can’t be easily moved.
The proposed bill notes that investors sometimes purchase mobile home parks. It states that the city has an interest in “ensuring that residents are not displaced from their mobile homes due to rising costs from corporate investment.”
While there has been a push from some corners to have mobile home residents control their future by purchasing park real estate, Torres said financing that can be difficult when the park itself doesn’t conform to zoning code.
Torres said the idea is to use the moratorium period to survey park conditions, study mobile home park redevelopment trends and consider additional policies or regulations to be implemented.
“This moratorium just gives us some breathing room and some time to do that,” she said.
Torres said the moratorium is modeled after a 10-month one that Aurora enacted in 2018, and that Fort Collins also had a similar measure.
The committee voted to send the measure to the full council for a future vote.
According to Torres’s Tuesday presentation, the city’s five mobile home parks are:
• Capitol City at 4501 W. Kentucky Ave.: 80 units on 3.6 acres.
• 4765 N. York St.: 12 units on 0.8 acres.
• Longview Park at 5220 N. Steele St. and 5201 N. Adams St.: 55 units on 2.1 acres.
• Aspen Terrace at 960-990 S. Jason St.: 75 units on 4.6 acres.
• 2825 W. Evans Ave.: 90 units on 6.7 acres.
A co-owner of the 4765 N. York St. park told BusinessDen Tuesday that he was unaware of the proposed moratorium.
“Given there are only five mobile home parks within the City of Denver it would be appreciated that the five mobile park owners are invited to participate in a meeting to discuss the moratorium that applies exclusively to them prior to it being imposed without their input,” Michael Santisi said.
The Longview Park real estate, meanwhile, sold earlier this year to an entity affiliated with Pacific Current Partners, which bills itself as an owner-operator of mobile home parks, according to public records. The company didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with a comment from Michael Santisi.