Ain't no sunshine in Sunshine Village today. Yesterday the Palm Springs City Council voted unanimously to change the zoning at this trailer park off 10th Avenue North to commercial, thereby making way to clear the park for an incoming Wal-Mart.
Residents like Michael Garcia are wondering why.
"I don't know why they want this place," he says. "There's a big lot just down the street on Boutwell Road sitting empty, and it's for sale." Garcia and his 71-year-old mother have lived in their mobile home for 12 years. He says his mother paid $14,000 for her house and $12,000 to put on an addition. The city has told residents they have to be out by September.
Some residents, like Montreal native Camille L'Archeveque are snowbirds. L'Archeveque has been coming to Sunshine Village for three years, and since she lives in her mobile home -- and it's actually mobile -- she says she'll just find another park. "We're going to stay until they force us to move," she says resignedly. But with the recession she says she guesses most people won't have much trouble finding a new home cheaply.
Sunshine Village appears to be made up of a mix of French Canadians -- all mobile -- and long-time Latino homeowners who are dug in. The latter's trailers are on foundations and will need to be moved by truck. Garcia says the city has promised to assist in moving the houses.
The nearest existing Wal-Mart, on Belvedere Road, is a 12 minute drive from Sunshine Village.