Hello everyone! This is a friendly reminder that any of these fun places we may visit, we are a guest at. Please treat both businesses and trails with the utmost respect. We here at Hidden San Diego follow the 'Leave no Trace' mantra, meaning whatever you bring with you comes back with you. If you see trash on a trail, please do your part to help remove it. Remember, we are not picking up trash from another person but instead cleaning up for Mother Nature. Happy adventures!

This spot is part of our members section

Note: The homes are no trespassing but the perimeter is open to the public

Kid & Dog Friendly: On the outside on the sidewalk, yes

As of this writing, this abandoned mobile home park could be destroyed at any moment.  It put up a grand fight, but the very slow death is most likely nearing the end.

One would probably wonder how a run-down mobile home park like this even lasted this long in an area that is highly sought after as prime real estate. The answer is lengthy, complicated and of course, involves the greed and corruption of our city.

The story actually begins in the 1930's when the state of California gave this land to the City of San Diego “to be held in trust for the use of all citizens of the state.” Unfortunately, the city defied the trust and instead used it for private, commercial use by creating this 680-unit trailer park instead. By turning the land over to private developers, the city would get kicked back a percentage.

With that said, the park had a lovely 80 year run. Many of the owners lived for 30-40 years here and into their ripe years.  Eventually that became part of the problem though. In 1980, the State Lands Commission did a survey of the land and were shocked to find that it wasn't being used for what it was intended for.

In 1982 a bill was passed to specifically target this issue called the Kapiloff Bill.  This bill essentially said that the mobile home parks were never supposed to be there and must be removed, but it is also acknowledged that most of the residents living there are now in their elder years.  Therefore, the bill gave the city 20 years to save up the money and transition the residences to other places.

Maintaining their corruption, the city continued to defy the ordinances and instead took it to the residents, blaming them for building permanent structures on pubic land. This was clearly not the residences fault and guarantee they had no clue this was intended as public land.

Literally the day that the Kapiloff Bill was passed, the city quadrupled their take away from the mobile home management.  They would now be taking 20% of the mobile home's profits. Behind the scenes, the city was plotting how to turn the land into a fancy, beach-front hotel and this fee hike would help pay for it.

This plan would guarantee the city to make roughly $50 million dollars over the next 20 years, helping to save up the necessary funds to build the hotel. The obvious outcome of hike was that the property management would have to quadruple the tenant's rent overnight.

This caused a huge outrage amongst the people. Fortunately for the residents, they were protected under the Mobile Home Residency Law which meant that the city would have to help relocate them when the time came. But making shady things even shadier, when the time came, the money was all gone.  This is in part because business deals fell through on the hotel, but where did the money go instead??  The city claims it doesn't know.

Fast-forward to present day.  From what I was told, the residents sued the city, which helped delay their move-out day.  But sometime around 2015, all residents were given between a week to a month to move out, leaving everyone in a scramble. And the homes show it.  It looks like people were forced by gun-point to move out looking at how the homes are in shambles.

Books, clothing, personal memorabilia is thrown about everywhere.  Pieces of these people's lives still sits in almost every home like a shattered time capsule.  It's eerie to see. From what I read, the city of San Diego announced that it will be paying the residents a sum of around $22 million for the hell they put the residents through. A feat for the people!

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    One thing I wish you would add to all articles is the date of the visit and publication date. For all I know your visit and this articles’ writing was done this year, 2021, or several years back.

    Thank you for this article and the photographs! You showed some of the more unusual structures that are there. A significant number of the homes there were what I call ‘wobbly boxes’. (The whole place wobbles when your washing machine is on it’s spin cycle) They are the older models that have aluminum sides and walls that are very thin and frankly looked awful, even when brand new.

    When I first moved to San Diego in 1977, my husband and I tried to move to De Anza Cove. Being a mixed couple, the management of this place made it VERY clear that we would NOT be welcome there. Needless to say that racist attitude made us change our minds in a hurry!

    I didn’t find out that this land was supposed to be for public use until they were ready to kick the residents out. That made me angry. It seems I spent my whole 43 years in San Diego angry at this place and the people who ran it, and the city of San Diego.

    November 25, 2021

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