Fresno officials plan to take authority over mobile home parks following deadly fire

Local News

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — After one person died two weeks ago in a fire at a Fresno mobile home park that was operating with a suspended permit Fresno city officials proposed the city take over the authority of the parks from the state.

Councilmember Garry Bredefeld and Mayor Jerry Dyer brought forward an ordinance at the next council meeting that would move mobile home parks from the state’s jurisdiction to the city.

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“We met with our state, our city attorney, and talked about what we wrong as to why there wasn’t a follow-up,” Bredefeld.

Two weeks ago, Ronald Richardson lost his life in a two-trailer fire at the Trails End Mobile Home Park.

Fire investigators say the blaze started after a person poured gasoline into a generator.

In the last year and a half, Fresno Fire fought three fires at the park which hasn’t had an operating permit for months.

Councilmember Garry Bredefeld believes the best way to address the safety concerns is for Fresno to take authority of it from the state.

“Bottom line I think the city is going to want to take it over.”

The California Department of Housing and Community Development oversees nearly 3,600 mobile home parks across the state including the 36 in Fresno– Trails End is the only one with a suspended permit.

In July of 2020, the park owner was told to fix unsanitary conditions at one lot in the park but an HCD spokesperson said they never did.

In January of 2021, the operating permit was suspended indefinitely forbidding the landowner from charging rent.

But residents say the problems never got fixed and he continued to collect monthly payments.

An HCD spokesperson says the department did not revoke the permit or contact the city about the violations.

Mayor Jerry Dyer backs Bredefeld and believes it is time for the city to step in.

“The simple fact is, it is property in the city. These are residents that live in the City of Fresno and we should be the ones making sure that their standard of living is safe. That they have quality housing.”

The move would require the city to hire approximately five more code enforcement officers.

City officials are trying to figure out how much it would cost and hope to get financial assistance from the state.

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