Woman Lives In Mobile Home Yards From Construction For City of Anaheim's $66 M Project, Calls Construction 'Horrible'

Categories: Politics
geneautry.png
geneautrywayproject.com
Three miles away, a ratcheting sound and slight tremors bring smiles. They're signs of the thrill of a ride on Space Mountain. But here, at the Del Ray Mobile Home Park on South Manchester Avenue in Anaheim, the loud clanks and shakes bring more than just frowns.

As Emma Perez walks through her mobile home on a recent afternoon, the repeated thumps of a jackhammer outside drown out her already-muted voice. She lost her voice recently, Perez says, adding that the heaping piles of loose dust near her open window don't help her throat any.

"My life changed. It changed completely," Perez says of her situation since the city's $66 million construction project began a few yards from her home. "I'm 63 years old and I want to be tranquil." 

The city broke ground on the Gene Autry Way Project in October. The plan extends the road over Interstate 5 and connects the Platinum Triangle to the city's resort district, making for easier access to popular destinations like Angels Stadium and Disneyland.

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OCWeekly/ Marisa Gerber
Emma Perez stands outside her mobile home a few yards away from construction for the city of Anaheim's Gene Autry Way Project.
Santa Ana-based attorney Elena Torres, who represents Perez and several other tenants in the mobile home park, says she took the case because she wants justice. "I mean, what options do the tenants really have?" Torres says. "The city is just telling them, 'This is what we're gonna be doing.' And, the tenants are low-income. Some of these homes are so old they can't be moved and the cost to move a mobile home is about $10,000." 

Another attorney recently settled a client's case with the city for $700, she says. Personally, Torres has reached a frustrating point in her cases. Neither her clients nor her firm have the financial resources to fund the experts needed to defend the case. A construction expert could testify about the damage to the mobile homes, Torres says, and a toxicologist, perhaps, could say whether the construction is stirring up any harmful toxins into the air. "Without any experts, [the city is] not going to be volunteering to compensate these people."

Torres says she feels especially bad for the tenants who are trying to take on the city on their own. "They're hopeful. I spoke with one gentleman and he said, 'They can't force us to sign.' And I said, 'No, they can't force you, so you won't sign, you won't accept and you won't get the $700 and then what are you going to do?' And he said, 'It's going to go to trail.' There's no attorney who is going to come into the case on the eve of trial. To do what? And he said, 'We'll go forward on our own.' And I said, 'Do you have experts?' He didn't say anything." 

Vanessa Barrientos is the liaison between the city and the tenants. She hand delivers notifications of the construction schedule and fields tenant complaints about the project via email and at a telephone hotline. "I've been working with the residents for over a year, they know me by name," Barrientos says. The city is currently in the process of looking into issues of damages and compensation, she says, adding that there's currently "more than one attorney and different agreements." 
 
"What am I going to do?" tenant Perez wonders. "Bear it? I'm going to try. This is going to be for two years, two years. It's horrible." Then Perez stops talking, sits down and shakes her head as the pounding noise, which had relented for a bit, reverberated through her home again.

Here, at the Del Ray Mobile Home Park, the booms and shakes are free, you just can't decide when you want to ride.
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10 comments
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Guest
Guest

What did the city have to say about any of this? Did you bother asking them? Nice one sided reporting, as usual. And I am sure there weren't any public planning meetings where the residents could have voiced there concerns. These people had an opportunity to be heard, didn't use it, and are bitching about it now. TFB.

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

I think you know full well that the city/developer doesn't give a damn about inconveniencing/endangering the residents of low-income neighborhoods. I doubt it matters if there WAS a public planning meeting about the potential impact of the ongoing construction...profit almost always seems to over-ride the genuine concerns of (poor) residents in many places.

Guest
Guest

So, why don't you do something about it? That's what I thought.

Next.

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

Istill stand by what I said. I believe the “system” is BROKEN, skewed towardsatisfying the wants and desires of the wealthy at the cost of the lessfortunate…but I think we can agree to disagree.  And I’ll refrain from getting in the middle of your feud with Mr.Arellano. You two will have to work that out for yourselves.

My apologies to Ms. Gerber for not acknowledging her as the writer of this article.

Guest
Guest

I never said your observations have no merit. Although, I don't operate using emotions like I see in most of your posts. And I don't plan on doing anything about any of it. You know why? Because there is already a system in place that works. These people had an opportunity to be heard, and they choose not to use their voice. When that happens it is too friggin' bad. You dismiss the process almost completely by saying it wouldn't matter what they said because "profit almost always seems to over-ride the genuine concerns of (poor) residents in many places. "

The fact is that the reporting of this story sucked a lot more than usual, even for the OCW. And by the way, Gustavo didn't post this story, Marisa Gerber did. Instead of even trying to address my points, Gustavo did what he always resorts to, name calling. You see, he hasn't developed past the third grade and gets frustrated when you don't agree with him. Because that is what little boys do. You seem mature enough to understand that.

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

So because I don't have some great cure-all in mind to solve the problem, my observations have no merit then? What do YOU plan to do about it, besides dismissing the concerns of the people affected by the construction and taking (bigoted) pot shots at Mr. Arellano for posting the story in the first place?

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Gracias, coward troll!

Guest
Guest

Oh, you are very welcome. Of course, you didn't comment on the point I made. Probably because there wasn't anything you could actually say against what I said.

It must really piss you off knowing that I don't have to sign in, or do what you want me to do. That is because you have no power, no authority to do anything about it. None. And you never will. Just accept it, deal with it, and move on.

Guest
Guest

You got that right. Pennies. LMFAO at you. You'd probably make more money collecting cans. But you're too stupid to even do that. On a serious note, I'm more than happy to help support you with hits because I surely wouldn't want you to end up on welfare like all of the other Mexicans.

Time for me to go to work now. I've got a real job. Later loser.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Oh, I don't mind. Every bitchy comment you leave here shows the world how little of a life you have, and just adds web hits that get us writers more pennies haha

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