Federal judge won't close reservation trailer park

A federal judge on Monday gave the operator of a trailer park on the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Reservation in California 90 days to make improvements at the troubled facility.

Judge Stephen G. Larson said he was "not interested" in taking over the Desert Mobile Home Park. But he said he would shut it down if owner Harvey Duro Sr., a tribal council member, did not improve conditions there.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs sought the immediate closure of the park. Larson said he was concerned about displacing up to 6,000 residents -- mostly migrant Hispanic and Indian workers from Mexico and Central America.

Duro said he was pleased with the decision. He said it respected tribal sovereignty, which Larson discussed during a hearing on Monday, according to news reports.

It could cost anywhere from $4 million to $14 million to clean up the facility. Duro is negotiating a $6 million loan from the Clearinghouse Community Development Financial Institution to fund improvement projects.

According to prior news reports, Duro makes at least $150,000 a month in trailer park fees.

Get the Story:
Park gets 90-day timetable (The Riverside Press-Enterprise 4/29)
Duroville trailer park allowed to stay open (The Los Angeles Times 4/29)
Indian enclave at risk if Duroville closes (The Los Angeles Times 4/28)

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