The place looks like a ghost town — at least during the day.
Old Christmas lights slouch on the walls, dirty tablecloths sway from the breeze coming in through the broken windows and stone angel decorations hang next to overturned toys.
It’s the scene of what once appeared to be a community where families relaxed on their porches while children played just feet away.
Soledad Trailer Lodge, located on Soledad Canyon Road and Solamint Road, is a park made up of more than 30 mobile homes built in the 1960s. Today, it’s an abandoned mobile home park in Canyon Country, notorious among its neighbors for becoming a potential haven for drugs, graffiti and other illegal activities.
“Right now, it looks horrible,” said Santa Clarita resident Debbie Jones. “There’s graffiti, the windows are broken and the people ‘living there’ are not the ones living there. It’s an eyesore; it’s dirty.”
Law enforcement regularly visits the site either to patrol or respond to crimes involving the mobile home park in some way. Among those cases is Saturday’s incident when Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies searched the park for a suspect in connection to an armed robbery at Joe’s Liquor, which is located adjacent to the mobile home park.
The manager at the liquor store said, “People just look next door to us and see the place and it’s just not a good look for business. It’s not a good outlook in the community.”
Multiple residents have called the city of Santa Clarita to complain about the poor condition and crimes surrounding the property, but city officials said there’s only so much that can be done.
“As long as the mobile home park is a mobile home park under the state, (the state) has jurisdiction for almost everything,” said Erin Lay, a city housing program administrator.
This means the city, including code enforcement officers, can’t go into the property to resolve some of the park’s current issues, such as graffiti, trash and broken windows, because all mobile home parks are generally under the control of the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).
The city filed a formal complaint against the property owner, Robbco Properties, with the state in October to address Soledad Trailer Lodge’s conditions, Lay said. HCD soon responded.
“We have issued a notice of intent to suspend the permit to operate for nonpayment of annual fees,” Alicia Murrillo, a communications analyst with HCD, said Wednesday. “If we do not receive a response to the notice of intent, we will suspend the permit to operate.”
She added that at this point, the department doesn’t know what the park owner has planned for the property. According to a statement of information document submitted to the California Secretary of State, the business owner is listed as Ira Robb, who’s also listed as the owner of Valencia Travel Village and Vestal Watches. According to his bio as an advisory committee member of the nonprofit Foundation for Animal Care and Education, Robb is the retired president of Enterprise Rent-A-Car of Southern California.
On Wednesday, the owner could not be reached for comment regarding the condition of and plans for the mobile home park.
City Communications Manager Carrie Lujan said “no one has submitted any plans for it,” in regard to someone possibly purchasing the abandoned location. At this point, the city is waiting to hear back from HCD on any updates regarding a response from the property owner.
Lay said the city was notified by HCD that an inspection of Soledad Trailer Lodge has been scheduled in the coming weeks.