By Linda Sutter – August 10, 2021
This is the letter the Harbor District Commissioners will receive in their mailboxes today when they arrive to work. People are under intentional stress in regards to a possible eviction at the two RV parks owned by the Harbor District.
The following includes excerpts from a letter from Chris Vanhook Law Office;
August 10, 2021
Pre-Suit Demand Letter – Gov. Code §§ 7260, 54220, 65580 / Res. Code § 21000 VIA EMAIL Honorable Commissioners of the Crescent Harbor District101 Citizens Dock Road, Crescent City, CA 95531
RE: Redevelopment Project, Housing Element Law, & Related Violations
President Stone and Honorable Commissioners:
We write you on behalf of several current residents of the Bayside Park (Bayside) and Redwood Harbor Village Park (Redwood), along with other potential residential and business plaintiffs in adjacent areas, now considering whether to bring legal action against the Crescent Harbor District (the District) for violations of California law related to redevelopment plans of certain real property within the District. Please refer to sections (III.) through (VII.) below for a detailed exposition of the alleged violations. It is the intent of this letter to avoid litigation, provided that the District immediately ceases and desists its unlawful activities and takes prompt remedial action to comply with: (1-) the Housing Element Law, Gov. Code § 65580, (2-) the Relocation Assistance Act (RAA), Gov. Code § 7260, (3-) the Surplus Lands Act, Gov. Code § 54220, (4-) the Housing Crisis Act of 2019, S.B. 330, and (5-) the California Environmental Quality Act, Public Res. Code § 21000.
It has come to our attention that the District Board of Harbor Commissioners (the Commission) is currently taking action to lease District-owned land in a manner that is contrary to the express mandates of the SLA. This will have the effect of reducing the availability of affordable housing. Apparently, the District intends to displace current permanent (year-round) residents of two RV parks operated by the District, to allow the lease of the RV park properties to a private developer, a Mr. Alex Lemus. At a public Commission meeting on June 7, 2021, Mr. Lemus announced his intention to install cabins for use by tourists on a short-term basis. Notwithstanding the claim made by the District that current residents are in no IMMEDIATE danger of eviction, the District is still in violation of the SLA.To comply with the SLA, prior to any such development by Mr. Lemus, the District would need to send a written offer to sell or lease the land to other local public agencies and to affordable housing developers that have requested notice pursuant to Gov. Code § 54222(a). When considering offers to purchase or lease such land, the District must give first priority to, and enter into good faith negotiations with, an interested entity that proposes to make at least 25 percent of the total number of units developed on the parcel affordable to lower-income households. Gov. Code § 54222.5.
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