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El Morro home moved on again

Couple given 120 days to move mobile home from Eastside Costa Mesa neighborhood.

August 10, 2006

The Costa Mesa City Council has given the owners of an aging but renovated mobile home 120 days to move it from an Eastside property.

The council voted 4-1 Tuesday to reverse a June 26 Planning Commission decision to allow the owners, Jim and Susan Bollinger, to legalize the installation of the mobile home at 2333 Elden Ave. Councilwoman Katrina Foley was the dissenting vote.

The 36-year-old mobile home was moved from El Morro Village to the present site in March. The couple moved their home out of El Morro as a result of the state's plans to turn the historic village into a public campground.

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"We're pretty devastated. It was like someone punched you in the solar plexus," Jim Bollinger said. "It has been such a disappointing process since we had to move from El Morro."

The property where the home sits now is owned by Susan Bollinger's family.

The couple first applied to the city in January to keep their home on Elden Avenue. In March, their request was denied, but by that time they had already moved the home to the property.

The city allowed the couple to reapply in May to keep the home where it is, this time with plans that show improvements to be made. When it reached the commission, its approval included asking the Bollingers to submit plans showing upgrades and explaining how they would make the home appear permanent.

Neighbors who live near the mobile home have expressed concern that the appearance of the home will lower their property values.

But Jim Bollinger said he has not only renovated the home but also spent thousands of dollars on landscaping and a fence.

On July 3, Councilman Gary Monahan asked for the council to review the owners' application at the Tuesday meeting.

Because the home meets zoning requirements, Foley thought there was no justification for denying the Bollingers' request.

"The council's decision was a violation of their property rights," Foley said. "It was a very unfair decision, I thought."

She said they have some options; they can request a reconsideration, or they can file a writ with the court.

Jim Bollinger said he and his wife are considering their options and are upset about the council's decision.

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