Supes approve multi-agency approach to aid residents in Agua Dulce RV park
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted Tuesday to initiate support for the residents of Cali Lake RV Resort, as tenants fear being displaced from their community.
The motion, written by Supervisor Kathryn Barger, 5th District, directs every relevant county department and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to explore housing options as well as programs and services, including finding new RVs for residents with older models who are interested in relocating to a nearby RV park.
“I think it’s important because when you have two young children come to the board and their fear is that they’re going to be homeless, and they were homeless,” Barger said. “And they now feel stability — they’re in school, they feel safe… It’s really for important for us to recognize that while on paper though they might not comply, we have an obligation, both morally and ethically, to try to provide suitable placement when possible.”
David DeGrazia, deputy director of the county’s Department of Regional Planning, provided the supervisors with a report of the RV park.
“In 2000, we granted a CUP [conditional use permit] allowing for 47 RV spaces for short-term tenancy only, which means under 90 days,” DeGrazia said. “In 2017, a new owner took over and renamed it from the White Rock RV Park to the Cali Lake RV Resort.”
According to DeGrazia, in 2020 there was an unpermitted expansion in the northwest corner of the RV park.
“That means they basically went from the 47 approved to 103 spaces, and that they were allowing residents to stay beyond the 90 days,” DeGrazia said. “So basically, people were allowed to stay indefinitely.”
Stewart Silver, owner of Cali Lake RV Park, previously said his permit expired in June 2020. Since then, Silver had been trying to obtain a new permit approved by the Department of Regional Planning and state Department of Housing and Community Development.
However, both agencies issued notice of violations citing health and safety issues. In addition, the agencies noted Silver was not permitted to allow the current 98 tenants.
The agencies gave Silver until Jan. 1, 2023, to comply with his permit, which would only permit 47 spaces. Silver would need to reduce the number of tenants, or RV spots, from 103 to the permitted 47.
Since then, according to Stewart, he has tried to do everything he could to ensure his facility was up to code in hopes the county agency would approve the expansion of Cali Lake RV Park.
“I’m going to interject on that’s not unusual for this park,” Barger said during Tuesday’s meeting. “I mean, I think we’ve all acknowledged that there are RV parks that are not supposed to be long term, but given the seriousness of the housing shortage, we kind of are letting that go.”
The Board of Supervisors noted the expansion occurred in 2020 during the pandemic.
In addition, DeGrazia said the RV park is located in a significant ecological area in a high-severity fire zone, which is another reason for the Department of Regional Planning not approving the expansion of the park.
Supervisor Holly Mitchell, 2nd District, asked why the permit would allow 47 RV spots and not for the expanded 103 spots. She asked DeGrazia about the criteria used to make that decision.
According to DeGrazia, when the conditional use permit was issued in 2020, there had been a list of findings, including evacuation related to fire and other hazards.
“Those would have had to been mitigated to the satisfaction of all the different county departments,” DeGrazia said. “The reason it got expanded was because they came back and did that on their own. In this case, we’re comfortable keeping the 47.”
Ultimately, the board approved Barger’s motion to begin assisting Cali Lake RV Resort residents.
County staff will also appeal to Gov. Gavin Newsom directly, asking for the state to work with Silver to allow for an extended timeline while the county works to connect residents to resources, and state support, too.