Save the Buena Vista Effort
2015 – 2017
- On January 27th, 2015, at the request of County SupervisorJoe Simitian, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously sets aside $8 million in developer fees to prevent the eviction of the residents and preserve the site for affordable housing.
- On February 20th, 2015, Palo Alto’s City Manager sets aside $8 million in developer fees to match the County’s commitment (contingent on subsequent approval by the Palo Alto City Council).
- In January and February of 2015, the editorial pages of the Mercury News, the Palo Alto Weekly, the Daily News, and the Daily Post express support for the effort to “Save the Buena Vista.”
- In February and March of 2015, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, State Senator Jerry Hill, and State Assesmblymember Rich Gordon weigh in supporting the Buena Vista, including letters to appropriate federal and state agencies in an effort to secure additional funding.
- On March 9th, 2015, over 500 members of the community, representing every walk-of-life and all of the City’s neighborhoods, gather at Palo Alto City Hall to thank the City for its tentative $8 million match and to urge continued support.
- In the first few months of the effort to Save the Buena Vista, a number of non-profits – including the Asian Law Alliance, Neighborhood Housing Services, Housing Trust Silicon Valley, Working Partnerships, TransForm, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the Council of Palo Alto PTAs and the regional 6 th District PTA expressed support for the effort. Palo Alto Forward and Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning (two local political/policy groups who often have competing land use visions) both express support for efforts to save the Bunea Vista.
- On May 6th, 2015, Supervisor Joe Simitian announces a County partnership with Caritas, a California non-profit dedicated to the preservation and operation of affordable mobile home parks, a key step in determining possibilities for the Park’s future.
- In June of 2015, all five members of the Palo Alto School Board and 13 former school board members write a letter urging the Palo Alto City Council to take steps to preserve the Park.
- On June 23rd, 2015, at the request of Supervisor Joe Simitian, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously approves setting aside additional developer fees for the effort to save the Buena Vista, increasing the County’s contribution commitment to $14.5 million.
- On June 29th , 2015, the Palo Alto City Council unanimously approves setting aside additional developer fees for the effort to save the Buena Vista, increasing the City’s commitment to $14.5 million.
- During the second half of 2015 (July – December) negotiations for a non-profit and/or public acquisition get underway. An offer is made by Caritas, but is ultimately rejected by the owner (who expresses concern about the multitude of lawsuits involving the City, the Park owner, and the Park residents).
- In the fall and winter of 2015, the situation at the Buena Vista earns national attention, including coverage on the front page of the Wall Street Journal and in the Guardian.
- In January of 2016 County Supervisor Joe Simitian meets with representatives of the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara to discuss the possibility of the Housing Authority playing a role in the effort to Save the Buena Vista. From January through June of 2016, the conversation continues as the Housing Authority conducts its initial due diligence.
- In June of 2016 the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, the Palo Alto City Council, and a new partner – the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara – all vote unanimously to form a three-way partnership to acquire and improve the park.
- Again local editorial boards express support for the new plan, and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, State Senator Jerry Hill, and State Assemblyperson Rich Gordon write a letter in support of the effort.
- On December 20th, 2016 the board of the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara unanimously agrees to make an offer to purchase the park.
- On May 18, 2017, the owner of the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park and the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara announce that they have reached agreement for the Housing Authority to purchase the Park, using funds committed by the County of Santa Clara, the City of Palo Alto, and the Housing Authority.
Closure and Litigation
2012 – 2017
- In September of 2012, more than 400 Buena Vista Mobile Home Park residents in 117 units are told about plans to close the Park. Buena Vista began organizing, eventually forming the Buena Vista Residents Association. Shortly thereafter, neighbors of the Park form Friends of Buena Vista, to see how they could support Buena Vista residents.
- In November of 2012, the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park owners file an application with the City of Palo Alto to close the mobile home park.
- From November 2012 through May 2015, the multi-year closure process continues through a series of hearings, many of which were packed with Buena Vista residents and interested community members.
- On May 26th, 2015, the Palo Alto City Council approves the closure of the park.
- On August 24th, 2015, the Buena Vista Residents Association (represented by the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley) file a lawsuit against the City of Palo Alto over the closure process and conditions of approval.
- On November 19th, 2015, the owners of the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park sue the City of Palo Alto over the conditions associated with the closure approval.
- On June 24th, 2016, a federal court judge dismisses the owner’s lawsuit against the City of Palo Alto.
- On December 21st , 2016, a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge rules in favor of the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park Residents Association, reversing the City Council’s closure approval.