Anchor Trailer Port, 1527 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa, opened in the 1940s as a recreational vehicle park. Now it houses about 43 spaces for mobile homes, RVs and trailers. Plans are in the works to convert the area to condos. (KEVIN CHANG, Daily Pilot / January 16, 2013)

"It is what it is, and that's our process," Naghavi said. "We can't really force the developer for more than what the state asks."

The City Council or Planning Commission could again try to formulate an ordinance for increased local control for mobile home park closures, but such an action, if it did happen, is very unlikely to affect Anchor Trailer Port.

The memories of the park and its history may remain, however.

Lauener said IntraCorp is planning to "relive the flavor" of the site's history into the condo project. They want to keep with the anchor theme and incorporate historic photographs of the park somehow throughout it.

Among the pictures of IntraCorp's projects in its Newport office, there's a rendering of Anchor Trailer Port's sign in its better days, with all the neon letters intact.


More residents speak

Jill Chase — "no relation to the bank" — has rented a trailer at the park since 2010. It comes with an add-on and fenced-in yard. The setup is perfect for Chase and her cat, Simone.

Chase, a Newport Harbor High School alumna, class of 1978, is living about a mile from where she was born: Hoag Hospital.

Mouse recruited her to live there. She too works in Newport Harbor, where she has her own interior detail service and is a first mate on a 65-foot wooden classic yacht.

Knowing the likely future of Anchor Trailer Port, she's been looking around for apartments, but thinks the low-income housing she needs will be in a less-than-desirable area, especially compared to what she's got now.

"There might be something, but I'm staying optimistic," Chase said. "I'm being realistic as well. I know the area. I was born and raised here."

The park's vicinity to Hoag is very important for Patricia Henderson, a 22-year resident of Anchor Trailer Port. Her doctor is at Hoag, where she's getting cancer treatments.

She said she doesn't want to move unless she has to. "It's my home. It's like anybody with a home," she said.

Susie Ellison, an Estancia High School alumna, has lived at Anchor for 10 years. She's another resident recruited by Mouse to join their community, which, back then, had space rental that was "the best-kept secret around." She paid $375 a month.

When she first moved in, she expressed an interest in making the park's sign glow again, but nothing came of it. Among her possessions is a postcard of the park; it's a black-and-white photo taken in the 1940s, when the Anchor Trailer Port was new.

Ellison just wants to be treated fairly in the move process. She bought her quaint trailer with a "California room" add-on for $12,000. Ellison calls it her "Barbie house." She makes the small spaces work for her.

"I feel you have a better connection with your neighbors here … everybody knows what's going on around here," she said. "If there's a stranger around here, people are alerted."

Not far from Ellison is Michael Quigley. He's a former surfer and retired custodian for Newport-Mesa Unified. He's unmistakable with his surfer style, long gray hair and goatee.

"I keep saying I'm gonna get a haircut, but I don't," he said with a laugh.