RV Park Starts Complying With State Orders. Residents Still Face Hardships.
Months after residents complained about a dilapidated RV park outside of Mendota, the owner is starting to clean up his act.
But residents at Jack’s RV Resort Park say they continue to face hardships.
Despite orders from a state agency to fix numerous problems, the park’s owners failed to make improvements. Instead, they responded by issuing notices for residents to leave. Many residents did, but a handful stayed. The state stripped the park of its ability to collect rent on what were deemed to be illegally rented spaces.
The living conditions at Jack’s came to GV Wire’s attention earlier this year while the website was reporting about life in Mendota. Residents complained about unsanitary conditions, especially in the spaces rented on the south end of the park.
The reporting caught the attention of a state agency in charge of RV park housing conditions. The California Housing and Community Development Department initially inspected the park in April, with a re-inspection in June. It found 161 health and safety violations.
Multiple residents tell GV Wire that the park’s management removed the offending sewer tanks. But they also say nothing has replaced them.
“We didn’t get a notice saying they were going to remove them. I can’t find a place to park my trailer anywhere,” one woman told GV Wire.
She is concerned about finding another place to live for herself and children.
State Tells Owner to Remove Sewer, Electrical Work
After months of non-compliance by the park, HCD issued an Order to Abate on July 11, requiring the owner to remove sewer and electrical systems.
[Read Order to Abate here]
Normally, HCD would issue a “Notice of Intent to Suspend” before the abatement order.
“However, due to the repeated warnings along with the severity and egregious nature of the violations, HCD decided to disallow the 30-day grace period (which is required as part of due process of Notice of Intent to Suspend),” HCD spokesperson Evan Gerberding said.
While HCD said owner Saeed Mohammed (whose name has also been reported as Mohamed Saeed) is “attempting to comply,” he still faces up to $80,500 in state fines. HCD could also pursue misdemeanor charges that carry up to 30 days in jail and a $400 fine.
HCD’s order mandated Mohammed to fulfill seven requirements with varying timelines.
The state agency gave him 24 hours (completed by July 12) to remove raw sewage and human waste that leaked from broken tanks, pipes and other RVs stored on the property. HCD also ordered Mohamed to treat the contaminated ground.
“We have asked for County Environmental Health to send someone to the site and provide guidance on proper methods to control the soil contamination, holding tanks, etc.” HCD spokesperson Alicia Murillo wrote GV Wire in an email.
Mohamed has ten days (to be finished by July 21), according to the order to:
— Remove all unpermitted an unapproved sewage disposal system, sewage holding tanks and drain lines.
— Remove all unpermitted an unapproved electrical distribution systems.
— Remove all unpermitted and unapproved potable water distribution systems.
— Remove all abandoned substandard recreational vehicles.
— Remove all accumulation of rubbish, waster material and combustibles.
HCD also ordered Mohammed, within 60 days (completed by Sept. 8), to remove all construction and cease use of all unpermitted RV lots.
The order also mandates Mohammed to provide all residents of the RV park, even those in the illegally rented spaces, temporary access to potable water, electricity, and portable toilets.
The order once again warned Mohammed that he could face “administrative and/or civil remedies with judicial enforcement measures, including local district attorney and the California Attorney General’s office.”
“The Department will refer this matter for a civil abatement action to the Fresno County District Attorney but no action will be taken unless you fail to comply,” the notice read.
“No, we have not yet pursued collection of civil penalties/fines. We will reassess those once we obtain compliance,” Murillo said. “The owner has paid his RV park permit to operate fees, but not our complaint inspection fees.”
HCD said Mohammed owes them $556 for inspection fees.