United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS
J. DAVILA United States District Judge.
Toufic and Eva Jisser and the Toufic and Eva Jisser Revocable
Trust (collectively "Plaintiffs") bring this action
seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against the City of
Palo Alto ("City"). Plaintiffs allege that the
City's Mobilehome Park Conversion Ordinance ("the
Ordinance") is unconstitutional as applied to them.
Specifically, Plaintiffs contend that the Ordinance (1)
imposes an unconstitutional condition on the their property
rights; (2) violates the Public Use Clause of the Fifth
Amendment; and (3) violates California's Mobilehome
Residency Law. Pl. Opp. to Def. Mot. to Dismiss
("Opp.") at 1, Docket Item No. 26.
before the Court is the City's Motion to Dismiss under
rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. Def. Mot. to Dismiss ("Mot"), Dkt. No.
20. After carefully considering the parties' pleadings,
the Court finds that Plaintiffs claims are not ripe for
adjudication. Accordingly, the City's motion to dismiss
California's Mobilehome Residency Law
Mobilehome Residency Law limits the circumstances under which
a mobilehome park owner may terminate tenancies. See Cal.
Civ. Code § 798.56. If a park owner seeks to close or
convert the property for another use, he or she must meet
certain conditions set forth under the Residency Law,
including submitting a report that addresses the impact of
the proposed closure on the displaced residents. Cal.
Gov't Code § 65863.7. A local legislative body, or
its delegated agency, may also require the park owner
"to take steps to mitigate any adverse impact of the
conversion" on the displaced residents. §
65863.7(e). Any mitigating steps imposed by the local entity
"shall not exceed the reasonable costs of
Palo Alto's Mobilehome Park Conversion Ordinance
City of Palo Alto adopted its Mobilehome Park Conversion
Ordinance in 2001, codified at Chapter 9.76 of the Palo Alto
Municipal Code ("PAMC"). In accordance with
California's Mobilehome Residency Law, the Ordinance sets
forth the procedures through which a mobilehome park owner
may seek approval to close the park. Specifically, the
Ordinance requires a park owner to submit an application to
convert the park, supported by a "Relocation Impact
Report." PAMC § 9.76.030. The Impact Report must
include, inter alia, a proposal of measures to be
taken by the park owner to mitigate adverse impacts of the
park closure on residents. Id. Once the required
application documents are submitted, the City holds a hearing
to determine whether the proposed measures are sufficient.
PAMC 9.76.040(g). "The hearing officer shall approve the
application on the condition that the mitigation measures
proposed by the park owner are adequate to mitigate the
adverse impacts on the displaced residents and may condition
the approval on additional conditions, " as set forth in
the Ordinance, provided that the conditions do not exceed the
reasonable costs of relocation. PAMC § 9.76.040(g).
City approves the closure of the park, the property owner is
then required to return a "Certificate of
Acceptance" form, finalizing the City's decision.
PAMC 9.76.050. Alternatively, if the property owner is
dissatisfied with the City's decision or otherwise
disputes the outcome of the hearing, he or she may appeal the
ruling to the city council. PAMC § 9.76.060. ("Any
aggrieved person may appeal the hearing officer's
decision to the city council" pursuant to procedures set
forth in the PAMC).
Buena Vista Mobilehome Park and the Jisser Family
Buena Vista Mobilehome Park ("Buena Vista") has
been in operation since the 1950s and is presently the only
mobilehome park in the City of Palo Alto. Compl. ¶¶
20, 21. The Jisser Family has owned Buena Vista since 1986.
Compl. ¶ 9. In November 2012, Plaintiffs applied to
close Buena Vista, and submitted five Relocation Impact
Reports between May 2013 and February 2014 pursuant to the
Ordinance. Compl. ¶¶ 45, 46. The City accepted
Plaintiffs' final Impact Report on February 20, 2014.
Compl. ¶ 47.
City then held hearings on Plaintiffs' application in May
2014 and issued a decision provisionally approving the
closure of Buena Vista on September 30, 2014. Compl.
¶¶ 49-50. The decision conditioned the closure on
the Jissers' paying "enhanced relocation assistance
benefits, " which include: (a) the purchase of each
mobilehome in the park for an amount equal to 100% of the
on-site value of the mobilehome; (b) rent subsidies and
start-up costs in the form of a lump sum payment equal to
100% of the difference between average rents for apartments
in Palo Alto and surrounding cities and the average rents for
spaces in Buena Vista, for a period of 12 months; and (c)
reasonable moving costs, including first and last months'
rent plus a security deposit. Compl. ¶ 50. Plaintiffs
estimate that compliance with these conditions will cost
approximately $8 million. Compl. ¶ 54.
did not file an administrative appeal of the City's
decision with the city council. See Opp. at 8-11;
Mot. at 7; Compl. ¶¶ 51-53. However, the Buena
Vista residents did, arguing that the compensation provided
for by the decision was insufficient to mitigate the impact
of the displacement. Compl. ¶ 51. The city council
denied the residents' administrative appeal and issued a
final decision approving the closure of Buena Vista pursuant
to aforementioned conditions on May 26, 2015. Compl.
¶¶ 51, 53. The Jissers then ...