MAIZE, Kansas – Residents of two mobile home parks and the park owners themselves gave city leaders an earful Monday night, before the City Council ultimately decided to send an ordinance requiring the owners to upgrade the facilities back to a committee.
“Who’s going to pay to relocate us?” Belinda Loving asked. “Who can afford to live somewhere else? That’s the most reasonable lot rent in this whole area.”
The proposed ordinance, which city officials said was in the works for several years, would require mobile home parks to pave roads and driveways, provide better lighting and make storm shelters accessible for the disabled, among other code changes.
For Justin Westhoff, who owns the Sunflower Village mobile home park on 53rd North just west of Maize Road, he estimates the total cost of upgrades at $180,000. He purchased the property two years ago, and says he has no way of affording that cost. He says he is relieved the council decided to send back the ordinance for changes.
“It is a good idea and it is the right decision; hopefully they’ll work with us this time,” he said. “We do have an attorney hired and he will be reviewing the documents every time.”
The city says the ordinance would help bring the city’s mobile home parks to a higher standard.
Instead, it will go back to a committee for revisions.
“Our mobile home parks are way out of code, in terms of roads, in terms of proper shelters, lighting, things of that nature,” city administrator Richard LaMunyon said. “So they do need to be brought up to date.”
Some of the council members did express support for having some of the residents or the park owners themselves as part of the committee that shapes this ordinance going forward. There is no telling on when this issue could be back before the Maize City Council again.