Photo credit: Wiki Commons
Photo credit: Wiki Commons

A 35-year legal dispute between the city of San Diego and residents of the De Anza Cove Mobile Home Park at Mission Bay ended Tuesday when the City Council approved a $32 million settlement.

Residents sued the city in 2003 when they were given eviction notices after a master lease expired for the park, which is owned by the city. City officials have been trying to close the mobile home park since discovering several decades ago that a trust, under which the city acquired the land, does not allow for residential uses.

Residents, who had asked for $48 million, will vacate the premises under the terms of the deal.

“They’re going to get their settlement; we’re going to get our property back,” Councilman Scott Sherman said. “It’s a long time coming. It’s been in the courts, up and down three ways from Sunday, and I think we’re finally at an end here.”

Discussion of what the city might do with the land will come in the future, Sherman said.

City officials in 1979 discovered that the trust did not allow residential use of the property. Two years later, legislation was passed that allowed a lease to continue until 2003 — when the city became the landlord.

Just before the lease expired, a judge ordered the city to hold off on evictions while legal proceedings continued.

Now that those proceedings are over, the settlement calls for the city to issue eviction notices within 90 days — giving residents one year to move.

The deal also specifies payments to be provided to homeowners and renters depending on their situation, including whether or not their homes are able to be moved to another location.

—City News Service