County gives Cali Lake tenants one year to relocate 

Managing Partner Stewart Silver describes the area containing the motorhomes in question at Cali Lake RV Resort in Santa Clarita on Thursday, 092222. Dan Watson/The Signal
Managing Partner Stewart Silver describes the area containing the motorhomes in question at Cali Lake RV Resort in Santa Clarita on Thursday, 092222. Dan Watson/The Signal
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Residents of Cali Lake RV Resort will have one year before they are forced to find another home after the park was granted a conditional use permit for short-term stays at last week’s hearing in front of the L.A. County Regional Planning Commission. 

The CUP allows for Stewart Silver, owner of the RV park, to have 47 spaces available to a tenant for no more than 90 days at a time in a six-month period. The 90-day limit is the same as Silver had in his prior CUP, though he is contesting that the enforcement has never been exercised, at his RV park or others around the county. 

According to Richard Claghorn, principal planner with the Planning Commission overseeing the project, the RV park is in a very high fire severity zone and a floodplain, making the area susceptible to fires and floods. 

“As such, the county’s position is that it is not suitable for long-term stays or high-intensity residential use and it is subject to a length of stay limit of 90 days in any six-month period,” Claghorn wrote in an email, adding that Silver has a year to fall into compliance in order to give time to current residents to find a place to relocate. 

Cali Lake, located in a remote location east of Santa Clarita limits and south of Agua Dulce, had been operating under its previous CUP since 2000. Should tenants need more time to search for accommodations, Claghorn said Silver can request a one-time extension after the one-year waiting period has come up. 

Silver said in a phone interview that he will comply with the terms while also looking for a way to open up a new long-term residency RV park elsewhere. 

“We have a whole year to figure out what direction we’re going,” Silver said. “I’m building another park and I’ve got to move the tenants from this park over to there, and I’m going to keep this park as a park that people go to for a week, a month, that type of thing.” 

A Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority spokesman sent the following statement to The Signal regarding how LAHSA is helping those who could be displaced: “Outreach teams have been going out to Cali Lake about twice a month to work with residents in LAHSA’s Problem-Solving program. LAHSA outreach will continue to assess the status of Cali Lake residents, while the switch from long-term residency to short-term residence moves forward and stands ready to provide assistance if required.” 

Multiple current residents expressed concerns over having to find another place to park their RVs. Some of them said they would have trouble finding another park that will allow their RVs in, as most parks have a rule not allowing RVs that are more than 10 years old. 

The hearing notes also mention a captain with the L.A. County Fire Department expressing gratitude in a letter for the residents and management cooperating with Fire officials during flood and fire events last year. 

Silver said it was “kind of cool” to hear all of his tenants telling the commission how much they enjoy living at his park. 

“What was said by all the tenants was that this is their home, we could afford this home, that we’re in a community that everybody watches out for each other,” Silver said. “Some people said it was the best place they ever lived in only because they feel comfortable. Everyone says hello, everybody knows everybody by their first name.” 

An evacuation plan was presented to the commission as part of the CUP, though Silver questioned how short-term tenants can be expected to know and follow that plan better than long-term tenants. 

“Our contention is if anything was to happen,” Silver said, “that it would be a lot smarter to allow the people who are there to stay because they’ll know how to get out of there, they’ll know the evacuation plan and everything else. Someone coming in for a weekend will have no clue.” 

During the hearing, the commissioners asked county staff if the 90-day limit could be waived if Silver were to ensure that all RVs were operable and could be moved at any time in case of emergency. County staff responded by saying that “this would be a positive step,” but would not address every concern regarding length of stay. 

Silver has until April 10 to appeal the decision to the county Board of Supervisors. 

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