Opinion & Editorial

Letter, contract given to Patrician Mobile Home Park residents

Dear Editor,

On Oct. 2, all of the park residents except for those in RVs and a couple who rent, received a letter with a contract (proposed addendum to our rental agreements) attached from Mr. Boyles, the owner/developer of the Patrician Mobile Home Park.
In the cover letter, he states that Urban Transitions has submitted their final rebuttal to the City Council and then states, “In that rebuttal we extended a conditional offer to assure that the Patrician Mobile Home Park would operate through at least Jan. 31, 2023. With this letter we are working to make the offer a reality for park residents.”
I’ve spoken with several residents and they are confused as to why they need to sign a contract with the park owner if it is already mentioned in the rebuttal that if the rezoning is approved, they will keep the park open until Jan. 31, 2023. Why should we enlist the services of a lawyer or sign anything? To me, it seems like a veiled threat and intimidating. Especially this line: “I would like to be clear that if the rezoning request is not approved, the addendum is not valid and a park closure notice may be issued at any time.”
My read on this is that if he doesn’t get his way, he will issue a park closure immediately which would give approximately 130 residents only 365 days to leave their investments with only $8,000 in two separate payments to find another affordable home in a dismal housing climate. Why dangle this carrot in front of elders who have no control over the outcome of the City Council vote? And why give them only two small windows before Friday, Oct. 4 at noon to sign? Very stressful.
From the rebuttal: “The Applicant is prepared to enter into negotiations with the City of Springfield to operate and maintain the park (through) at least Jan. 31, 2023. The Applicant suggests that the negotiations on the details of the agreement occur outside of the land use process and conclude by Oct. 31, 2019. The Applicant offers this proposal not as a condition of approval on the land use decisions but to provide a greater level of certainty to the tenants.”
There is no level of certainty here. There is no guarantee that we will have more time to get our collective lives in order and struggle to find new housing. We’ve asked for fair market value for our homes, more time to find housing, to stop raising lot rents and for him to consider selling the park so we could remain in our homes.
Some residents have been here for more than 40 years. Is he willing to work with the residents to help them transition slowly into the next and most likely last phase of their lives? Surely he has compassion and can understand the hardship this inflicts on elder residents.

Eileen J. Manning



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