Lawsuit over the Sale of Capitola’s Surf and Sand

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It seems that another greedy landowner is itching to sell his prime mobile home park, and that’s stirring up a storm of controversy

[From SantaCruzSentinel.com ]

They’re suing the city of Capitola, claiming in federal court in San Jose that the city has illegally taken the underlying value of their 4-acre property by not allowing them to subdivide it and sell off the parcels.

That’s a pretty long article, and I encourage you to read it…and also, read the comments that people have made about the article, too. Where do I come in on this?

It’s a really complicated issue. In principal, I’m against rent control. In practice, I can see how it’s necessary to add balance to the housing mix, that there are benefits to welcoming people from the broad social strata of life into a community. I don’t know that it makes the best sense to reserve prime real estate like the Surf and Sand for this purpose, though – I have to ask myself, is a rent-controlled mobile home park the “highest and best use” for this parcel of land?

For those of you from out of town, here’s a handy link that shows the location:

Google Maps Location of Surf and Sand Mobile Home Park

It seems to me like this land could be much better used as some kind of medium density, upscale condo complex, for example. But what to do with the existing residents, or what about ensuring that Capitola is a place for all kinds of people, not just those who can afford to pay market price to live here?

Until someone comes up with an answer to those questions, I suspect the Surf and Sand Mobile Home Park will stay much the same kind of place it is today, for better or worse.

What do you think?

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