Gerald R. Gibbs

In the September 2007 periodical, Mobilehome Parks Reporttm Gerald R. Gibbs was recently interviewed by Thomas P. Kerr, editor of the Report, about pending legislation which will affect the manufactured housing conversion community.

The article, California Legislature: 3 mobilehome park bills on Governor’s desk Mr. Kerr analyzes the impact of three bills currently sitting on Governor Schwartzenegger’s desk, awaiting his signature or veto. The three bills are Assembly Bill 1524 which would not only continue local rent control in subdivded mobile home parks, but it would allow local jurisdiction to impose “all kinds of conditions on approval of subdivisions of mobilehome parks which could, in many cases, make it economically unfeasible to subdivide.” When asked to comment on the potential effect this legislation could have on an industry in which Mr. Gibbs has a long history of success, Mr. Gibbs indicated that the passage of AB 1542 “will make creating individual lot ownership ‘more difficult and can cause many groups to fall into the hands of continued tenancy.”

Although the bill, AB 1542 was sponsored by the City of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County, authored by Assembly member Noreen Evans, and is supported by some cities, counties and even GSMOL, it represents a significant slip backward for both park owners AND residents. The bill’s author claims that it will close what she calls a “loophole” in current law by preventing a park owner from using a “sham” conversion of a park to avoid local rent control. In fact, the bill will have the effect of completely stopping even legitimate conversion activity. Sadly, a bill could have been drafted to keep the door open for legitimate conversions, while at the same time preventing “sham” conversions aimed solely at defeating local rent control – the current law actually already provides to a slight degree for these protections, however, the authors and supporters of this bill chose to completely wipe out the carefully crafted exemptions available for legitimate conversions. Under the proposed legislation, a park owner legitimately wishing to subdivide his or her park and sell the lots to the resident may now be exposed to potentially unlimited demands from local jurisdictions in terms of both on and off-site improvements, fees and costs which may be extracted. The net effect is that the cost of that lot to the resident is now going to be substantially higher than it would have been without the passage of this legislation.

As of the date of this article, the Governor’s office is “undecided” as to whether or not it will sign the bill into law. If you wish to voice your opinion regarding this bill, contact the Governor’s office through his website at

About The Gibbs Law Firm, APC

The Gibbs Law Firm, APC has represented clients in all aspects of Real Estate and Business Transactions for more than 32 years from its office in San Clemente. Gerald R. Gibbs, and his son David Gibbs have a combined 47 years experience representing mobile home park owners and residents in a variety of legal matters, specializing in the sale of parks to its residents. Mr. Gibbs is generally acknowledged as one of the pioneers in the field of mobile home park conversions and subdivision, having represented Cities and other local jurisdictions, park owners, nonprofit entities, resident groups, and having testified in court and before legislative and administrative bodies on the subject of mobile home parks and conversion. Mr. Gibbs has worked with other industry leaders on shaping the legislation governing park conversions. For more information about this transaction or about the firm, please call David L. Gibbs at (949) 492-3350.

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