Click here to send MH news, tips, links, documents, facts
or factory-built housing related news story suggestions.

Home > Affordable Housing, Analysis and Commentary, Legal, Manufactured Home Communities, Manufactured Housing Industry, News, regulation > Lawsuit By Manufactured Home Community Owner Claims City “Intent” on Putting it Out of Business

Lawsuit By Manufactured Home Community Owner Claims City “Intent” on Putting it Out of Business

May 28th, 2019

 

BastropEstatesLawsuitByManufacturedHomeCommunityOwnerClaimsCityIntentPuttingitOutofBusinessMHProNews

As longtime readers of the Daily Business News on MHProNews May recall, the story that follows may well sound reminiscent of others in cities and towns across the U.S.

 

In Minnesota, Wisconsin, and other states, municipalities and local jurisdictions in recent years have often been accused of targeting manufactured home communities for elimination, sometimes hoping for possible redevelopment for another purpose.

Some of those city efforts to close a manufactured home community appear to be successful, while others meet with resistance.

Earlier this month, a long running dispute between the City of Bastrop, near the capitol city of Austin, TX  and a manufactured home community over alleged code violations has culminated in a lawsuit filed that accuses the municipality of seeking to push it out of business.

It appears that, despite plaintiff’s best efforts to avoid litigation, the city is intent on putting plaintiff out of business by making it financially unviable for plaintiff to operate and by prohibiting new permits without valid legal grounds to do so,” the lawsuit reads, says the Austin Statesman.

 

BastropEstatesGoogleMapsGoogleEarthManufacturedHomeCommunityIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The legal action is the latest development in the city’s ongoing disagreement with the Bastrop Estates over concerns over drainage infrastructure, exposed sewer, water pipes, and fire safety issues.  

Since 2017, the disagreements have caused the city to not issue permits to new tenants wanting to move manufactured homes into Bastrop Estates.

Attorneys representing the community’s owners said in their lawsuit’s pleadings that the city’s action has caused five home sites to remain vacant, which decreased the business’ revenue by $25,000 per year.

The Statesman’s account also says that the suit emphasized the affordable housing options the community brings to the area. It is a necessary one for people with a lower income.

In light of the city’s actions, it appears the city prefers to limit the availability of such affordable housing,” the suit submitted by attorney Karl Seelbach of the Doyle and Seelbach law firm stated.  It was filed May 3 in U.S. District Court, and names both the city and City Manager Lynda Humble as defendants.

City Attorney Alan Bojorquez said the city was served with the suit and said at that time that city officials have not yet had the opportunity to confer with legal counsel and thus could not answer questions posed by the media.

But in an emailed statement to the Advertiser, Bojorquez said that the city has no intention of closing the community.

The city has repeatedly declared its support for affordable housing and recognizes this mobile home park as a source of affordable housing,” Bojorquez wrote in the emailed statement. “However, property owners who offer such housing options cannot do so in a way that exploits their residents and tenants, many of which are families with children, by failing to provide minimally safe and sanitary living conditions.”

 

BastropEstatesManufacturedHomeCommunityGoogleRating

 

The city official claim that the community has been cited with various code violations since the late 1980s but has never fully rectified those shortcomings. The 5.1-acre property, previously known as the Piney Crossing Mobile Home Park, has gone through several owners, and the property’s history of code violations date back decades.

The community includes 38 home sites. It was purchased in May 2016 by Clinton and Cammy Burns.

The suit claims that the city began withholding permits for potential new residents in October 2017 “without any prior violations or warnings” presented to the owners during a time when the park “had no malfunctions, unsanitary conditions or imminent or safety risks to its residents.”

 

BastropEstatesTestimonialsBastropTexasManufacturedHomeIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Testimonials from the property’s website are provided under fair use guidelines, and along with the Google rating further above, provide some added context and texture to the cross claims.

 

The suit also claims that the city ignored the property’s grandfathered status which exempted Bastrop Estates from the codes the city was trying to enforce, and that the city confirmed to the Burnses that the property was a “nonconforming use,” or exempted from current ordinances, before they purchased it.

The city’s illegal attempts to enforce inapplicable ordinances against plaintiff have a disparate and adverse impact on lower-income individuals who live in mobile home parks, many of whom are also minorities,” the suit states. “The city does not have any rational basis for its actions and it appears the city opposes this development because it does not fit the city’s vision.”

I feel that there is a perception that my clients are not serious about addressing the city’s concerns and allegations,” McLean stated. “I can assure you that they are, and I can assure you that as long as I’m involved that I will encourage them to do what they can to address the situation.”

City Attorney Bojorquez said the city had repeatedly communicated concerns over the various code violations, “but those concerns just keep continuing.” He also opined that the city would rather the Bastrop Estate owners invest money on improvements than on litigation.

Things like water contamination and fire danger are important not just to the residents of that park, but everyone in Bastrop,” Bojorquez said last May. “We’ve been trying to engage the property owners so they will put forth a plan to upgrade and fix the property.”

This is but one of numerous such cases, as recent and prior reports on MHProNews reflects. We plan to monitor this legal action.  

That’s another Tuesday edition of “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP or Comments or Letter to Editor in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers do.

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Related Reports:

You can click on the image/text boxes to learn more about that topic.

Manufactured Home Community Case Study, UMH Properties, Lessons for Independent Community Owners, Investors

Declining Manufactured Home Shipments More Serious Than Retailers, Communities Being Told

Manufactured Housing – White Hats, Black Hats, Investing, Consumers, MH Independents

 

Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance – Investor Lessons Learned

“Game On” – “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning” “Moral Obligation” Fix “Worsening Nightmare” – State Associations Entering Spotlight

George Allen’s “Peace Offensive,” Saul Alinsky, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, and Manufactured Housing’s War

MHARR Launches “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning Mandates” Manufactured Housing Project

“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Matthew Silver - Reporter at Large
Soheyla Kovach - Support Services
L.A. 'Tony' Kovach - Publisher, Editor and Marketing Director. To submit a news tip, please click here: iReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM.com
Comments are closed.