Posted: Jun 23, 2012 6:28 PM by Hope Hanselman. KSBY News
Eight tenants in Port San Luis Trailer Park may soon be facing eviction.
The San Luis Harbor District will decide Thursday whether or not to move residents from the park.
They plan to convert the space to public use- making more room for overnight visitors, some retail spaces and the district's maintenance department.
The Harbor District took over the trailer park almost thirty years ago. They weren't legally allowed to keep up the park, but they made an an agreement to keep tenants until the area was ready for development.
Each of those tenants have since moved away or died. Their lots were not eligible to be passed on or sold.
Now, there are only eight residents left. The Harbor Commission says only one of them is living there full-time.
So, this is the time, they say, to start the process.
But for Gary McCumber, who says he's also a full-time resident, the move isn't necessary.
"I love the ocean, I call this my ocean. I've claimed it. And it's where my soul is."
Gary settled into Harbor Terrace 30 years ago for the million-dollar view.
Each tenant in the park pays less than $200 a month for this ocean-front property, according to the San Luis Harbor District.
But, when Gary suffered a stroke about ten years ago, those views became more important.
"Knowing I could come back here was my incentive to make it back; because this is my home," he said.
His paradise, however, is only temporary.
"I think that the closure of the park was anticipated when the tenants signed their agreements in 1984," Steve McGrath, Harbor Manager, said.
That's when the Harbor District took over the park. They say tenants have had since then to prepare for a move.
"I'm going to be homeless," Thomas McAlexander, a full-time resident, said.
Thomas will turn 80 this year. He's afraid he won't have much reason to celebrate.
But the Harbor District says they will take care of him.
"We will help that tenant find a good, safe, affordable place to live and we'll subsidize the rent for a number of years, so it's not an undue hardship," McGrath said.
Thomas and Gary called their piece of land home for decades. Now, it could be gone in months.
"I can't be oblivious to the fact that change is hard," McGrath said.
So for now, Gary is appreciating what could be his last moments there.
"I get up in the morning, and look out, and smile, and thank God for another day," he said.
McGrath says the commission has about $150,000 set aside to move tenants and clean the site up. He says the money will be allotted depending on the needs of each tenant. But, the money will eventually run out. Thomas says his share will last about three years.
The commission meets Thursday with those residents to decide the fate of the park.
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