Trailer parks a mixed blessing for cities

first_imgCommon violations included in reports were: trash piled on the ground; broken windows; unpermitted and ungrounded electrical wiring; gas lines running above ground; and illegal structures. During an inspection at one facility in 2005, workers noted sewage flowing directly from trailers to a puddle on the park’s grounds. “There was, and still is, a concentrated effort to get the owners to comply with health and safety issues,” said El Monte Community Development Director Dante Hall. Owners of the parks found in violation have started to make improvements, although the city had to threaten to take at least one to court, according to Hall and city documents. [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2703165Let’s talk business.Catch up on the business news closest to you with our daily newsletter. Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88And most of the parks are not filled with luxurious double- wide manufactured homes. They have trailers: 8-foot-wide, 12- to 40-foot-long trailers, many with the wheels still attached. The 2000 U.S. Census lists about 1,800 mobile living units in the two cities, most of them trailers, according to Clay Hollopeter, director of the Boys & Girls Club San Gabriel Valley. Community activists and city officials agree the parks are a mixed blessing. They provide inexpensive housing, but, due to absentee landlords, tend to degenerate into slums. “If it wasn’t for the trailers, whole families would be on the streets,” Hollopeter said. During inspections in 2004 and 2005, El Monte code enforcement officers listed about 100 violations of building and safety laws each at two parks and about 60 at another, according to records at City Hall. Roommates Isidio Torres and Maria Castillo keep a flowering bush on the patio with a picture of the Virgin Mary hanging from its branches. They say they love the peace and simplicity of their home on Mountain View Road. Torres, a 64-year-old retired machinist, lives in the front 12feet. Castillo lives in the back 12. They are two of an estimated 5,000 to 8,000 residents in El Monte and South El Monte who live in trailers. Due to a quirky zoning law from the 1950s, the two cities share the uncommon distinction of being crammed with small trailer parks. last_img read more