Contempo Marin fights ruling on rent control

Dick Heine of San Rafael, president of the Contempo Marin Homeowners Association, says people are getting very worried that the park s owner could raise rents to nearly $2,000 a month, two to three times what ... Full Story
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Marinite

San Rafael, CA

#1 Feb 14, 2008
The article doesn't mention that Sam Zell (aka "The Grave Dancer")is co-founder and Chairman of Equity Group Investments, a private investment firm, which owns Contempo Marin. With an estimated net worth of US$6 BILLION, he is ranked as the 52nd richest American by Forbes. Equity Group sold its Equity Office Properties Division a year or so ago to Blackstone for $39 BILLION. It's unconsionable what the greedy will do to the less unfortunate...
Jane Doe Contempo Marin

Alameda, CA

#2 Feb 14, 2008
I've lived in Marin for 30 years. I raised my children here and worked in children's education.
I moved to Contempo after an illness that made me unable to continue working in my field. I bought my house outright with the little money I had. I am on a fixed income which makes the 700.00 rent high for me as it is. All of my assets are in my home. What am I to do? I stand to lose everything, my home, my health insurance, my health. Please help us. I am your neighbor, your sister, your friends mother, your mother, I'm the woman you put on the emergency list when your kids get sick at school. I know I am not alone. Marin needs people like me and others who live in Contempo. I hope for the best. It isn't right. Thank you Marinite in Novato. Contempo residents need you. Jane Doe
Jane Doe Contempo Marin

Alameda, CA

#3 Feb 14, 2008
Thank you Marin IJ and City of San Rafael and the lawyers who are working on our behalf. Thank you to all for your support. Jane
roberto soriano

Chino, CA

#4 Feb 14, 2008
I AM SCARED!!! I have lived in Contempo Marin for 30 years. As past Pres. of the HOA, I had to deal with park owners on the rent, before rent control. The thought of losing my home, with nothing, so a RUTHLESS billionaire from Chicago, can prey upon the elderly, disable, low income families, makes my sick. Thousands of homeowners will lose,and hundreds of home abandoned. When Dave Bradford, attorney for MHC stated, "it will benefit a handful of people". He is right. Sam Zell, owner of MHC and his henchmen.
Great-Grandma

United States

#5 Feb 14, 2008
My grandmother is now bedridden and needs to live out her final years here, with her disabled son. We can't afford to buy them a new home and pay for home care. Maybe this is the "affordable housing" the City has been trying to obtain for so many years. Can the City/County step in and buy the land? Emminent domain?
roberto soriano

Chino, CA

#6 Feb 14, 2008
I hope our elected representatives are reading these comments and the article. WE NEED YOUR HELP!! My thanks to our attorneys, fighting this JUST CAUSE. To Judge Walker, do you realize that hundreds of home will go abandoned because of you. With millions of foreclosures throught out the United States, enough is enough. Have you NO COMPANSION for the elderly, disable, mothers with young kids. Are YOU going to care for them, when they lose their homes. WELL ARE YOU???
The Average Joe

San Francisco, CA

#7 Feb 14, 2008
I’m a hard working, tax paying member of this community. I pay my rent on time, and take pride in my residence. This Million-dollar name with out a heart or possible a conscience needs to look at what he’s doing. He wants to displace families, with children, and elderly who have work all their lives to barely afford to live in the town in which they were born. Despite popular belief, just because you live in California or the Bay Area does not mean you are rich?
I have looked at their web site where they portray a whole host of family values and community appeal. I am here to tell you there is nothing wholesome or community minded about displacing 400 plus families to make a million dollar man a billionaire. My question to him would be would your mother be proud of your actions?
Sleepless in Contempo

San Rafael, CA

#8 Feb 14, 2008
We are a community that this area relies on. We are grocery clecks, house keepers, teachers, daycare providers, city workers, retail clerks and many, many more hard working, low paid, tax payers that this city cannot afford to lose. I only hope Judge Walker is sleeping well with his decision. I know we are not!
Revolution NOW

San Rafael, CA

#9 Feb 14, 2008
We need a revolution, and we need to start it now! Memo to Sam Zell and his posse, you're going down ese!
CaptainCove Neighbor

San Francisco, CA

#10 Feb 14, 2008
Wow! We cannot believe that they are doing this to you guys! We have friends, a nice family, that lives up the street there in Contempo and they are in jeopordy of losing their home that they worked so hard for. This is just horrible. Hang in there guys!
Bob

AOL

#11 Feb 14, 2008
I think the judge was right!

What we have in San Rafael are laws that just transfer the wealth from the park owners to the residents.

What we need is the city to be willing to invest in workforce housing and not have that not in my backyard elitist attitude.

Vote for inclusionary zoning!

CITY OFFICALS DO WHAT'S RIGHT, NOT WHAT'S EASY!!!!
Concerned Resident

San Francisco, CA

#12 Feb 14, 2008
Average Joe, I went to their website too and was in total disbelief of the sham they portray. Their mission statement is as follows:

"Our mission is to operate high quality site-set housing communities responsibly and ethically.
To share an absolute passion for excellence and resident satisfaction at every level.
To empower every employee to take initiative and be a creative agent of change.
To set and meet aggressive goals that benefit our residents, employees and shareholders."

Every single statement appears to be an outright lie when you are a resident at one of their properties and the recipient of their actual mission of ousting you from the community so they can build a "resort community".

I was also taken back by the photographs that they have on the site and the "lilly white-ness". I wonder if this is generated by a racial agenda of some sort? We are a diversified community and that is probably not desired by the good-ole-boys of back east.

Shame on them.
Native Marinite

Mill Valley, CA

#13 Feb 14, 2008
Bob wrote:
I think the judge was right!
What we have in San Rafael are laws that just transfer the wealth from the park owners to the residents.
What we need is the city to be willing to invest in workforce housing and not have that not in my backyard elitist attitude.
Vote for inclusionary zoning!
CITY OFFICALS DO WHAT'S RIGHT, NOT WHAT'S EASY!!!!
Wealth from the park owner to the home owners? I hope you more adept in common math than you are in common sense. Current average rent is $700.00 X 389 lots =$272,300.00 per month or $3,267,600.00 per year.“Claim of victory” proposed rent would be $1928.00 X 389 lots =$749,992.00 per month or $8,999,904.00. An 8 million dollar a year return or 42% return on a 19 million dollar investment. To say that my current statutory $9400.00 in rent per year somehow transfers the wealth from the park owner to me, is like saying a Little League team has a chance to win against the San Francisco Giants. You seem to be as much of an ideologue as the Judge is. Blind adherence to ideology denies or ignores whatever information might conflict with it. I will welcome your return to reality whenever you decide to make the long journey.
Concerned Resident

San Francisco, CA

#14 Feb 15, 2008
Bob forgot to put the disclaimer at the bottom of his post that reads "Paid for by MHC Financing Ltd., aka Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc."
BluesCruise

San Rafael, CA

#15 Feb 15, 2008
"Transfer of wealth from the park owners to the residents"?

I live in a funky coach with leaking windows! What wealth? Please sign me up for this wealth package that is apparently available!

This phrase is obviously a legal term or catch-phrase that is used in order to deceive. Granted, there are probably a handful of those that have taken advantage from the rent control - the former manager John (employee of MHC) actually set up a real estate office in the clubhouse to reap the rewards of selectively ousting tenants so that he could profit from brining in new homes and then selling them at a premium. The majority of us owners do not have the capitol to do such things - we just want a place to live.

No, the only transfer of wealth is from the rich to the richer.

10 year resident
Marin girl

San Rafael, CA

#16 Feb 15, 2008
I have lived in Marin County for the past 40 years, twelve years ago I moved to the Contempo Marin community when the rent was about $450.00 Where does the rent money go to? I rarely see improvements. How many times are they going to change the flowers in the median? The Clubhouse carpet is trashed, if you are going to paint the outside, paint the inside too. Two years ago I replaced my old trailer with a modular home so that my family and I could enjoy something new. I will never be able to pay the rent increase and mortgage. I make a decent salary, but we're talking about $3,500, I should be living in Kent Woodlands! They can not raise the rent in two weeks, WHERE IS THE 90 day notice?
Ela

San Anselmo, CA

#17 Feb 15, 2008
I was thinking of moving to this nice community but will put it on hold. Possibly thousands of dollars per month for renting a space. This sounds like a mortgage payment and you don't own the land. I felt the monthly space rent was already high considering ALL utilities, insurance and property taxes are NOT included. I asked the real estate agent what the monthly payment was supporting (or whom in this case) and she stated it was to maintain the roads, grounds and clubhouse. I feel for the residents and hope the outcome will be permently in their favor.
Resident

San Rafael, CA

#18 Feb 19, 2008
We know that the City of San Rafael has been fighting this with us and thank them profoundly. However, we can't help but feel like we are about to be ousted from our community. Perhaps Marin County 'is' only for the rich? We live here, work here and spend our money here in San Rafael and neighboring towns. With the cost of housing in San Rafael, there are no options. "Hello County of Sonoma - we were just kicked out of Marin"
Resident of Contempo

San Jose, CA

#19 Feb 20, 2008
I have Googled Sam Zell and find that it appears it is not about the money. Other wise why would he have parks that are nearly empty due to rent increases that are above the fair market value. Santa Cruz property is asking $5000.00 a month for space rental. Hello. Anyone who can afford $2000.00 to $5000.00 a month for a space can afford to purchase their own lot and home. In my opinion Sam Zell gets some pleasure out of the power he has to cause people to loose their homes, to win a ruling to raise rents 150%. If it was about the money and business sense he would continue to charge a reasonable rent and keep his parks full. Sam Zell has already made his money now he just wants to mess with the less the fortunate. We appreciate all the City and their attorneys as well as our attorneys have done in our plight to win some control over our rent. Anything that anyone can do to help us in our plight, please do so. Speak out make calls, be heard.
woof-woof

San Francisco, CA

#20 Feb 20, 2008
You can also go to YOUTUBE and see Sam Zell on a few other issues....he does NOT seem very likeable and I think he likes it that way! I asked my agent about selling our home here in Contempo and she recommends everybody take a deep breath, hold positive thoughts and wait until the end of the month before making any decisions. By that time we should know something more about the "stay" and the appeal of the lawsuit. Right now she says it would be next to impossible to find buyers for our homes. We will also have more info when we get our rent statements from Contempo. This is a rotten situation to be in.

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