This story originally published on fresnobee.com on November 18, 2021.
A deadly fire at the Trails End Mobile Home Park in April spurred Fresno government leaders into taking over code enforcement responsibilities at all mobile home parks in the city.
Here’s a timeline of the Trails End Mobile Home Park case and what will happen next:
January 2021: The California Housing and Community Development Department — which oversees code enforcement responsibilities at mobile home parks in California unless local jurisdictions seek local control — suspended the park’s permit to operate. The suspension came after multiple complaints about habitability issues dating back to February 2019 and months of the owner refusing to resolve issues. The suspended permit meant people could still live at the mobile home park but the property owner could no longer charge rent until safety standards were met. The city was not notified by the state that the park’s permit was suspended; however, Fresno County officials did receive notice that the permit was suspended. Read more here.April 29 : A fatal fire broke out at the Trails End Mobile Home Park April 29, killing 56-year-old Ron Richardson and injuring another person. The fire burned two homes, as well. The Fresno Fire Department determined that a generator that was being fueled while running was the cause of the fire. A GoFundMe page for Richardson’s family said Richardson ran into the fire to help people escape. Read more here.May 27: City Councilmember Garry Bredefeld and Mayor Jerry Dyer co-sponsored an ordinance to have the city take control of enforcement at local mobile home parks. The city would still follow HCD laws, however local code enforcement officers would be responsible for enforcing those regulations. Read more here. June 9: A second fire broke out the night of June 10, destroying three mobile homes and damaging another. The second fire was likely a result of electrical issues, Fresno Fire Chief Kerri Donis said at a news conference the day after the fire. Read more here.June 24: The city of Fresno received state approval to assume responsibility for enforcing health and safety codes at local mobile home parks, weeks after the city passed the Mobile Home Park Act, co-sponsored by Bredefeld and Dyer. Read more here.July 1: The city began trash abatement at the Trails End Mobile Home Park, while still awaiting final approval from the state to assume code enforcement responsibilities. In the agreement with the property owner, city officials said they would not seek reimbursement for any abatement action done between July 1 and Aug. 31. Read more here.Sept. 20:: The city filed an order to petition for the appointment of a receiver, citing the property owner’s negligence after months of HCD requesting action to abate safety hazards at the park. Nov. 1: The property owners issued seven-day notices to 16 mobile homes, stating that if the residents at those units did not clean their spaces to comply with city standards, they would be evicted. A letter informing all mobile home park residents about the eviction notices was posted on a bulletin board at the center of the park. All 16 eviction notices have since been rescinded.Nov. 2: Days before the receivership court hearing and weeks after the deadline to file an opposition, property owner Joan Kevorkian and co-trustees George and Sarah Wallet filed an opposition to the city’s petition for a receivership. The property owners said despite a late start, they had made improvements to the park in the past month, including clearing the sites of the destroyed homes.
Nov. 10: The Fresno County Superior Court appointed the California Receivership Group as the receiver of Trails End. They are now responsible for abating unsafe conditions and bringing the property up to health and safety standards.Nov. 16: California Receivership Group representatives and Fresno City Code Enforcement officers inspected the property to develop a plan for abatement. Mark Adams, the CEO of the receivership group confirmed that he rescinded all 16 eviction notices that the property owners had sent to residents. Read more here. Nov. 29: A court hearing is scheduled for Nov. 29 to update the court on the status of the property.