Mobile Homes in Laguna Beach

by August 13, 2007 • 1 comment

An issue growing warmer every day is the ever decaying presence of mobile homes in Laguna Beach. The half sized lots from blocks 2 and up have been attractive for mobile homes for years, even decades and many of the residents want that to change. I will be the first to agree that not all residents of mobile homes are trash, contrary to what many believe, however, they do have a tendency to attract those of a certain socioeconomic status that often participate in illegal activities and lack the financial capabilities for proper and regular maintenance and upkeep.

With that said, actually, the typical resident in this particular situation, I believe, is a renter, with the owner/landlord actually holding the responsibility to keep these “homes” in good order. A new ordinance proposed by Bay County Commissioners will require newly arrived mobile homes to look more permanent, covering the wheels and axles and kept up to code. In addition, local code enforcement needs to visit the area more frequently.

Personally, I think Laguna Beach is a very charming area, but I think many owners have let their properties become dilapidated over the years in an attempt to minimize cost. I can respect not wanting to spend money, but I think the owners should be expected to keep their properties up.

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1 Tom Bubb August 12, 2009 at 11:49 am

Hello Jason,
I had to look at the date of this article to see how old it was. Over a year ago the county commissions virtually eliminated any new mobile homes from entering Laguna Beach. They now require the homes to be positioned parallel to the road. A 70′ foot mobile home can no longer be place on a 50′ lot. Today a mobile home can not be longer than 40 ‘ unless place on two ajoining lots. This law was to prevent land flippers stuck in a declining market from buying cheap fema trailers to help with cash flow.
That said, from the beginning, Laguna Beach’s appeal was to middle class (school teachers, future doctors in medical school, dentists, policeman & fire chiefs) who’s love of the beach enabled them to sacrificed buying a new car or a fishing boats and maybe living in less than adequate home to better afford a beach getaway. The mobile home was a practical inexpensive solution. These buyers were never related to the trailer trash stereotyped in the movies. They all had the same vision, the love of the beach.
For years the mobile homes were summer homes for weekenders and you look forward to their arrivals because of their enthusiasm for the beach was contagious. Bar B Q every night, and plenty of beer for the horses.
Pride of ownership was never a top priority. They had pride of ownership in Birmingham or Atlanta and the fact the street was not paved allowed more money to be spent on beach toys and a tan. The ruts in the sand and the dirt on the windshield are a weekend inconvenient. An extreme make over meant buying some plywood and nails and building an extra room onto the mobile home to make room for more beach lovers, aka partiers. No permits were required if you build on a weekend.
A lot of them were sold off in the speculation that land prices would continue to increase and today these properties are no longer available to the middle class, the intended market. Not many in the middle class will buy a vacation mobile home worth more than their homestead. As one should expect the land flipper turned the mobile homes into lemonade by renting them out to lower income transients, more related to the trailer trash stereotyped in the movies but still have the love of the beach as the primary vision. The pride of ownership took a huge declined from an area that did not have one to begin with. Today the only repairs preformed are mandated by code or the health department. Contrary to popular believe these living condition have nothing to do with the renters, this is strictly property owner malfunction.
We are in no mans land. Too expensive for the middle class and not pristine enough for the upper class. The land flippers, the middle class and the transients all still have the same vision in common, the love of the beach. I can not wait to find out how it turns out.

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