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Plans for Costa Mesa trailer park would unmoor dozens

January 22, 2013 |  7:09 am

Mike Libby has lived at Anchor Trailer Port in Costa Mesa for 16 years and must find a new place to live. Credit: Kevin Chang/ Daily Pilot.

A 1940s-era trailer park in Costa Mesa is expected to be converted into condos, leaving residents wondering where they will end up.

Plans are in the works at the Anchor Trailer Port in Costa Mesa to convert the residential park, but as decisions and approvals for Anchor Trailer Port make their way through administrative channels, some residents say they feel confused, cheated and adrift. Others know the change was inevitable but just want their fair share of moving costs and per diems, the Daily Pilot reported.

The tentative move-out date is Aug. 24.

The developers say they hear residents' concerns and are being generous. City staff has chipped in more than 100 hours toward the task of helping them move. But that has done little to allay the apprehensions and uncertainty of some residents. Anchor Trailer Port has been their home for years, and they don't know where their next home will be once it closes.

The park is at 1527 Newport Blvd., but to find the nearly 1.9-acre space near the Newport Beach border, a visitor would have to look hard. Its tucked-away nature belies its position on a major thoroughfare. It's a home hidden in plain sight, just as the residents like it.

They think of their 43-space slice of Costa Mesa as a secret, affordable jewel. They know their neighbors, their neighbors know them, and sometimes they don't even feel the need to lock their doors. As of earlier this month, 20 spaces had resident-owned homes, nine had park-owned homes and one was occupied by the on-site manager, the city said. Thirteen spaces are vacant.

IntraCorp, a privately held company, is the proposed buyer of the property. With recent approvals from the City Council and Planning Commission, 40 live-work condominiums are to replace the mobile homes, RVs and trailers. Prices have not yet been released.

Mike Libby is one of the Anchor residents who are uncertain about their future. For 16 years, he has lived in a single-wide mobile home there. He owns his house and leases the plot, which is close to his job at the marina.

He likes having his own small carport and yard. Neighbors say he has the best lemon tree around. But he knows his 1960s-era home is too old and decrepit to be moved when the time comes to leave. City staff has acknowledged that spaces for mobile homes and similar dwellings are in short supply in Costa Mesa and environs.

"Dude, I've been to a bunch of parks," Libby said. "There's just nothin' out there, ya know? I looked at a house for rent over here, called it. It was a little small, one-bedroom thing. Perfect. But they said it was rented out."

According to the latest closure impact report available, IntraCorp's relocation options for renters and homeowners include moving, salvaging or buying the structures. Licensed businesses will do the moving.

Residents who meet certain requirements will also get $5,500, the others $2,000.

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-- Bradley Zint, Times Community News

Photo: Mike Libby has lived at Anchor Trailer Port in Costa Mesa for 16 years and must find a new place to live. Credit: Kevin Chang/ Daily Pilot.

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