RV resort in Santa Clarita in danger of closing; Families fear they have nowhere to go

Time is running out for the Cali Lake RV Resort residents in Santa Clarita

June 19 looms as a crucial deadline, meaning 20 families may have to find a new place to live.

"I'm totally ticked off at the way this has been handled," said resident Judy Santiago. 

She, along with many other residents, is on a limited income. Some were homeless before they moved into Cali Lake RV Resort.

"I'm frightened because I don't know where we are going to go," Santiago said.

None of the residents knew what they were getting into when they moved in. 

Cali Lake RV Resort is legally permitted to have 47 lots, but when inspectors paid a visit, they discovered 103 occupied lots. 

Kyle Kraus is the Deputy Director of the Department of Housing and Community Development Division of Codes and Standards.

"Our inspectors did identify that they had installed electrical infrastructure, water piping, sewer piping, and all that work was done without approval by the county and without any construction permits or inspections from HCD," he said.

Park Managers Pauli Rockwell and Michele Savino, also residents at this campsite, allege owner Stewart Silver hired a contractor who led him to believe he was obtaining the required permits. They also say that in December 2021, Cali Lake RV Resort received a permit for 103 recreational vehicle lots. 

"That's why we started taking people in. A couple months later, got a notice saying, 'Oh, sorry, we made a mistake. You weren't supposed to have those spots; you need to take them out now," Savino said.

LA County is not allowing the expansion of the land for environmental reasons, and the RV park is also located in a high-severity fire zone. 

"It's Mr. Silver's responsibility and duty to ensure these residents have a safe place to relocate, and if there are any expenses, the park owner should bear the responsibility to relocate those residents," Krause said. 

Supervisor Kathryn Barger issued the following statement: 

"This is a difficult situation that I have been working on for several months. At my direction, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority outreach workers have been onsite at the RV park since February to identify residents' needs and match them to housing options and services. That work takes time and will continue. In the meantime, the RV park owner has a responsibility to work with the state's Housing and Community Development department so that he can show progress towards making his property a safe place to live. 

To be clear — eviction notices are not required by the County or any government entity at this time. I successfully appealed to Governor Newsom directly on this matter several months ago, asking for the state to work with the RV park's owner to allow for an extended timeline. I am prepared to continue doing what I can do to help."

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) issued the following statement: 

"At Supervisor Barger's direction, in early 2023 outreach staff from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority began working with residents at Cali Lake RV Park. LAHSA outreach staff have consistently been offering services, including interim housing. LAHSA is committed to meeting the developing needs of those living at the park."