Last Stand for Manufactured Home Community Residents?
In a story the Daily Business News covered back in December, residents of the St. Jones Landing community in Lebanon, Delaware, have taken additional steps to try and stay put.
According to Delaware State News, residents George Makdad and Breanna Waltz filed a Chancery Court lawsuit against St. Jones Landing, LLC in February to halt construction of housing that they believe would illegally improve the land at their expense.
The story begins back in August 2016, when Makdad received an eviction letter from K-4 Management. The letter stated that the company intended to build apartment style housing, and that he would need to relocate by August 31, 2017.
Then, Makdad says the second page of the letter noted a March 31st date to leave his residence in the community.
St. Jones Landing residents claim that the departure date, while an issue, is just one of many. They claim that K-4 is planning to actually replace their homes with newer manufactured homes, which violates Delaware state code with change of use for the land involved.
The proof, residents say, is in the fact that the Delaware Manufactured Home Relocation Authority (DMHRA) has already authorized some moving expense payments to residents vacating the community. This, residents allege, is a state code violation based on knowledge of the replacement homes not altering land use.
In the lawsuit, residents note that St. Jones Landing owner Andy Strine was a board member of the DMHRA that “continued to authorize thousands of dollars in payments for moving expenses,” and voted to “authorize payments for moving expenses knowing that there was no change of land use for St. Jones Landing.”
A “Better Use of Land?”
K-4 Management sent a letter to residents on March 4, 2016 that said, in part, “with the new rent justification law and increasing regulatory burden placed on mobile home parks [sic], we must find a better use for this land. The intended future use is an apartment style lease project.”
K-4 also offered to facilitate the entire move if a resident relocated to one of its other communities.
“The expense of moving your home will be at no cost to you through the Delaware Relocation Trust Fund,” said the letter.
“If your home is non-relocatable, and you purchase a home from us in another one of our communities, we will give you a credit of 50 percent of your down payment up to a maximum of $2,500.”
According to the community owner, the letter was intended as a one-year written notice of lease termination to meet Delaware Code.
The Daily Business News will continue to follow this story and provide updates as they become available.
(Image credits are as shown above.)
Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews