Residents of a trailer park in an unincorporated area east of Pasadena will try again Friday to have rent increases that were implemented Aug. 1 overturned by a Superior Court judge. Attorney Howard Rotter will seek a preliminary injunction against owners of the Ashley Trailer Park on Colorado Boulevard, alleging that they are trying to "economically evict" the park's residents by raising rents 70% to 423%. Rents for most residents, which previously ranged from $130 to $220, were raised to $350 a month. In one case, a resident's rent was raised from $43 to $225 a month.
Residents contend that the owners are using rent increases to get around a state law requiring trailer park owners to give residents a one-year notice before selling a park or changing its use. Earlier this month, Superior Court Judge Melvin B. Grover refused to grant Rotter a temporary restraining order nullifying the increases.
In a statement filed in Superior Court, Richard Coffin--a co-owner of the park with his wife, Mary, and partner Jack McCaskill--denied that the rent hikes were an eviction ploy. Coffin said the owners have been losing money since they bought the park in 1979 and that, even with the rent increases, the park will show only a 10% profit.