advertisement

Emotions run high as Regency Trailer Park tenants consider options

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 | 11:36 p.m. CDT; updated 3:41 p.m. CDT, Monday, April 9, 2012
Richard Nolte, a resident of Regency Mobile Home Park, speaks out at a meeting Tuesday held to educate park residents on their basic legal rights at The Crossing church off Nifong. Park residents listened to Michael T. Carney, a staff attorney with Mid-Missouri Legal Services about their rights as residents of the property that may be sold and renovated into new student housing within the next year.

COLUMBIA — Helplessness, anger and confusion were on display at a meeting Tuesday night between Mid-Missouri Legal Services and tenants of Regency Trailer Park who are likely facing the closure of the park.

Crockett Engineering Consultants, on behalf of Regency of Missouri Inc., owner of the trailer park, has requested that the Planning and Zoning Commission rezone the property, which would force tenants to move off the land.

Mid-Missouri Legal Services set up the meeting to discuss legal options with residents of the park. Roughly 50 people from the park attended the meeting.

“This is a tough thing,” Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe said before the meeting. While speaking to a small group of people after the meeting, she said she believes the rezoning will occur.

Hoppe said she isn’t sure whether she will oppose the rezoning, but she stressed she will try to help with the transition for those who live in the park.

During the meeting, questions were raised about Hoppe not responding during difficulties in the park last year, to which Hoppe said that at that time she contacted Neighborhood Services and did not call back every person who left her a message.

“I will get back to each and every person about this,” Hoppe said about the looming rezoning.

Michael Carney of Mid-Missouri Legal Services gave a brief run-through of the rights of tenants in light of the likely rezoning.

He was not able to provide legal advice during the meeting, but those who pass a screening process with Mid-Missouri Legal Services can receive free legal services through the corporation.

“Our qualifications are mainly financially based,” Carney said.

Some in the audience questioned the accuracy of the official methods for calculating financial need, due to the economy.

“If the park closes, most tenants will have to move,” Carney said, before he paused and reconsidered. “All tenants will have to move.”

If the park closes, Regency of Missouri must provide each tenant 120 days advance notice.

“That’s four months,” Carney said. “Not a lot of time. I can tell you tonight that notice has not been given. That clock has not started ticking.”

Before the rezoning can go through, it must be passed by the Planning and Zoning Commission and be approved by the City Council. Planning and Zoning is scheduled to hold a public hearing and take a vote on the issue Thursday. Hoppe said that this will most likely come before the City Council Oct. 17.

Four months after October is February. When that month was named as the probable deadline for people to move, it was met with dismay from those assembled. “Winter months!” many people called out disapprovingly. 

Angela Gay learned about the meeting by finding a note on her door. She has been living in her trailer for only a few months now, though she can’t remember if she moved in during June or July.

Gay is on a four-year rent-to-own plan, and she said she and her boyfriend wonder whether Regency was already planning to sell the park at that time they signed her up for that extended plan. She doesn’t own the trailer, so she can’t move it.

Carney said during the meeting that those making payments on their trailers will have to see if there is anything in their contracts on the matter.

After the meeting, Gay said she plans to look over her lease and see if it will give her any clarity on her options.

Carney said after the meeting that having a four-year plan to pay off her trailer does not mean that Gay has a four-year lease.

If Gay had a four-year lease, it would have to be honored. 

Carney said from what he understood, most of the leases in Regency Trailer Park are on a month-to-month basis. When he asked how many people had longer lease periods than that, five people raised their hands.

“I ain’t going nowhere until April 2012 because I have nowhere to go,” Michael Brown said from the back of the room. 

His lease extends through April 2012. He said each time the trailer park has changed management he has been threatened with eviction, but he has proof of his ownership of the trailer and his lease on the lot.

“Everyone knows my trailer is probably the worst there,” Brown said, adding that he hasn’t put money into the trailer due to the ongoing eviction struggles.

Carney said that a title will most likely be necessary to move trailers owned by tenants to other trailer parks, and that titles are hard to acquire without legal help. 

Hoppe was asked if the city could provide more time to tenants, and her answer was that she could try. She said that during a previous park closure the city gave the people six months instead of four, but she doesn’t know if such a mandate could pass now with new members of the City Council.

“They’re more conservative, I think; maybe less understanding on these issues,”  Hoppe said of the new City Council.

Hoppe’s attempts to bring up options for where people could move were met mostly with shaking heads.

Section 8 housing was said to not be an option for most, and when she said she had been told that adjacent trailer parks would take residents, people began to speak up.

“Rent in any of the apartments costs $500, ma’am. The only people that can pay that are people with jobs,” one man said.

“They’re gonna put us out on the street,” a woman yelled from the back. Many in front of her echoed the statement.

“You’re looking at the faces of the new homeless within a year,” one man said with resignation.

“We know corporate America is going to take over your home,” Robin Acree of Grass Roots Organizing yelled to the crowd, riling them up further.

Kandi Burchfild said after the meeting that she doesn’t believe local charities can absorb the need that is going to come from the sudden influx of those who won’t have options if the park closes. 

Burchfild and her boyfriend used to be homeless. 

“My boyfriend and I fought to get that trailer,” she said. 

Burchfild said she has options now to move the trailer, but some of her friends don’t.

One of those friends is Jessica Schaffer, who was with her at the meeting. Schaffer owns a 1974 trailer that she fears will fall apart if it is moved. Schaffer said she may stop paying rent in order to save up to move.

Carney said during the meeting that if tenants stop paying their rent, they can be evicted before the park closes.


Like what you see here? Become a member.


Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Comments

robert link September 21, 2011 | 5:57 a.m.

Hoppe Changey Dolittle

(Report Comment)
John Schultz September 21, 2011 | 9:22 a.m.

Way to go, GRO. Conflate the issue to something that meets your agenda.

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin September 21, 2011 | 10:10 a.m.

It's too late to adopt an advocacy stance on behalf of these tenants. That should have been done years ago, long before Regency fell into such deplorable condition.

The Missourian reported on this way back in January. First, click through the slide show.

Then, read the ultra-long list of legal violations that were never corrected, and how long Regency has been falling apart:

"In 2010, from Jan. 1 to Nov. 10, Neighborhood Services issued more than 250 health code violations to Columbia Regency, citing abandoned and unlicensed vehicles, accumulated trash and debris, and grass more than 12 inches tall."

"In the same period, the office also served park owners with more than 180 property maintenance violations, which included dented and torn walls, torn skirting and, most important, fire-safety violations."

"Columbia Fire Marshal Steven Sapp compared older manufactured homes made before 1974, like many of those at Regency, to tinderboxes."

"A great number of the trailers that are being rented in Regency aren't registered in our office, which makes them illegal," Cantin said. "We're still working on that."

"Historically, (Regency is) looking a little better than it did five years ago," Cantin said. "A lot of that coincides with the scrutiny the city has been putting on them about code compliance."

http://www.columbiamissourian.com/storie...

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield September 21, 2011 | 10:36 a.m.

John, maybe the GRO folks will invite the displaced to move into their homes or to move their trailers to their properties.

(Report Comment)
Sally Willis September 21, 2011 | 12:13 p.m.

So what should the city do? Who is responsible for the conditions of the homes and yards of this park? This has been going on for years with little change. The conditions of this park are unreal! So really who is to blame, last I knew it was your job to take care of your property, so why is everyone so quick to pass the buck and blame the park? And the GRO needs to stop they offer no help just stirring the pot again why blame the government for what they didn't do?

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 21, 2011 | 12:14 p.m.

Hmm...

It seems to me that the park does have some sort of legal obligation to those who opted to be a part of their four year rent to own program. I think that a good lawyer should be able to force the park to either pay to move those particular trailers to another park and forgive a portion of the remaining payments or refund the entire sum of the rent that the people paid since opting in to the program. After all, who would continue to pay rent on a trailer that they couldn't live in and, since the lot rent was part of the total rent, why would someone continue to make the same payment if they then had to pay lot rent somewhere else? And if I was one of those people I would find the papers pertaining to that agreement and put them in a safe deposit box.

I like grass roots organizing, but it does sound like that comment was a little out of line.

Jimmy Bearfield sometimes has intelligent things to say but just not today. He should have known better than to advocate someone doing something that violates a city zoning ordinance.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield September 21, 2011 | 12:25 p.m.

Paul, I'm sure that at least some of the GRO folks live outside of the city in areas where they're free to drop a trailer anywhere on their property. Those who don't could do so anyway and just chalk it up as another way to stick it to the man. As for taking them into their home, as long as they stay under the limit for unrelated residents, they'll be fine.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 21, 2011 | 12:43 p.m.

We (not you and I specifically) were through this just recently. Until someone shows me otherwise, you need five acres to have a single wide in Boone County. You need three acres PER DWELLING and a sanitary septic system for each. The only development that is currently allowed with a density higher than that is that which is connected to a sewer system.

But really, sarcastically asking everyone who makes a statement advocating for the rights or the well being of the poor, disabled, or disenfranchised to take them personally into their own homes is childish at best. Your tactics are not any better than those of Robin Acree, who you just criticized.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 21, 2011 | 12:45 p.m.

And correct me if I am wrong about the zoning requirements, PLEASE.

And you know the amount of criticism directed, by the users of these forums, at the few individuals who actually DO what you are saying.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield September 21, 2011 | 1:01 p.m.

I wasn't being sarcastic, Paul. I was just hoping they would put their money where their mouths are. Of course, doing so would mean they'd have to face up to the fact that a lot of poverty is due to bad choices, such as dropping out of high school, or spending money on cigarettes and sleeve tattoos instead of saving up so they can live where they prefer.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 21, 2011 | 1:15 p.m.

United Way, CMCA and our local churches should be helping these folks.
Perhaps they can partner together to rehab the concrete slabs behind the long-closed, blighted Everett's Restaurant property.
The city has a moral responsibility to wait on this rezoning until there's a plan to relocate these low-income/disabled Columbia residents.
It's not like there's a thousand homeless MU students looking for a place to live.
Just another developer to attract future, incoming transient students to choose the newest housing complex as the older ones get taken over by renters from East St. Louis and the Paseo.
When will this town realize that we are overdeveloped in the housing market?
If MU wants, let them build high rise dorms on some of their property.
How about student housing on the old Sinclair Farm, near the Cascades?
There's plenty of vacant land in this area.
Why displace our most vulnerable to lure future students from living in other, all ready existing areas of our city?
Are students prettier than these Trailer Park folk?
Have our churches been helping these people?
Are they lepers or what?
We were quick to help our Joplin neighbors.
What about our own?
http://www.showmeaction.org/

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 21, 2011 | 1:16 p.m.

And there you go again with a rash of stereotypes and then you lash out at the imaginary characters you have just painted. I'm of the opinion that someone volunteering or working for that organization IS putting their money where there mouth is. They could be doing a lot of other things with their time.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 21, 2011 | 1:23 p.m.

@Jimmy:
I see downtrodden, poor old people, depressed women and innocent children.
Use your sixth sense, man.

(Report Comment)
Sally Willis September 21, 2011 | 1:54 p.m.

I as a woman lived in a trailer when I was pregnant, I knew I didn't want my child to live in that environment so during my pregnancy I worked hard at two jobs saved every penny I could, and when I had my baby I bought a house! It CAN be done. As a parent I knew my child deserved better than a rotting hole so I got out. I don't accept that it can't be done, because it can. The first thing I had to do is stop thinking about what I didn't have, and start working for what I wanted, and yes you do have to work hard doing whatever you can to make a living, it might not be a great desk job but there are jobs out there. To many people are okay with being at the bottom, they have four months start saving work two jobs or whatever odd jobs you can, stop complaining about what you can't control and do something about what you can!

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 21, 2011 | 2:25 p.m.

Sally, I see four people who appear to be past retirement age in the front row. Congratulations on buying your house. However, I can't imagine things being much different for the child if they had to grow up in a household run by someone prone to rash generalizations and who could barely spell or form a complete sentence.

You obviously have a prejudice against those dwellings, since you refer to the occupants as "being at the bottom", but I see your separation from the above as largely superficial.

(Report Comment)
David Sautner September 21, 2011 | 2:45 p.m.

"She said that during a previous park closure the city gave the people six months instead of four, but she doesn’t know if such a mandate could pass now with new members of the City Council."
What? Why? Six months establishes a precedent. If it weren't for the fact that Regency needs the City Council's zoning approval before it can terminate the tenant's leases (in Missouri (the worst) a landlord is only required to give you 30 days to vacate the premises) Regency could have them off the land in 30 days. But the city established a precedent, so I think it should honor it and give the tenants six months. It sounds rotten and cruel to evict tenants during the coldest time of year, two more months and they could do it during the end of May/beginning of June.
But it all sounds rotten just the same.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield September 21, 2011 | 3:39 p.m.

Paul and Ray, I don't need a sixth sense because I knew several people who lived there and I know a few who still do. Like other neighborhoods, some of them were willing to work and save, while others chose instead to whine.

(Report Comment)
Sally Willis September 21, 2011 | 3:57 p.m.

@Paul Allaire you really don't see a difference in a child growing up in a house or a trailer that has trash and debris, and grass more than 12 inches tall, manufactured homes made before 1974, like many of those at Regency, or tinderboxes as they were previously referred to, really no difference at all? And what was misspelled in my last comment? I'm sorry if I have insulted you trailer court but again it's nasty take a drive through it it's not a safe environment for kids to be in! And I didn't say the people there were happy at the bottom, I said to many people are happy at the bottom, Genius!

(Report Comment)
Charles leverett September 21, 2011 | 4:20 p.m.

Sally,
you prove a good point, ignore Paul and his sad insults. You are proof that if a person tries they can better their own life.
Up until a few months ago I lived in Montgomery City, I've helped at the local food pantry there (my in-laws run it) so I have a bit of personal experience when it comes to lower income people. The fact is there are many people who need it (senior citizens, the truly disabled, those who recently lost a job etc) and who are very thankful for the help they receive. But on the flip side there are many who choose to live the way they do, who have an attitude of entitlement (like complaining that the food pantry isn't giving them the type of food they want or that the thrift store that supports the store is too high). I personally know many, many low income people who do not work and live off the government who has the ability to work, to better themselves but chose not to. When my wife and I had to rent our house we own so we could move closer to our job, we had potential renters tell us we should lower the price (so the government could help cover the rent) because we both had good jobs.
So yes there are a lot of people out there that needs help, but there are also a lot of people out there who use the system and chose to be on the bottom economically, happily living off the people in society who do work.
And Paul don't you dare call this a stereotype or a generalization or that I'm prejudiced. There is nothing more encouraging then a story of someone in poverty who fought and escaped that culture to make themselves successful. But there is also nothing more frustrating to know people who use the government and those around them, while others work hard to earn a living.

(Report Comment)
Charles leverett September 21, 2011 | 4:21 p.m.

Sally,
Those who resort to insults do so because they've lost the debate and have nothing more to say.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz September 21, 2011 | 4:22 p.m.

Paul, here is what I got back from the county regarding trailers:

Doublewide homes (1976 or newer) are treated the same as a stick-built home, therefore they can go anywhere as long as they meet all the zoning requirements.
Singlewide homes (also 1976 or newer) can be placed where stick-built homes are allowed with the exception that they cannot be placed in a platted subdivision. If someone divided property in to two or more lots it is usually done by a survey and therefore becomes a subdivision. Singlewides can still be placed on this property as long as all the lots in the subdivision are at least five acres. The minimum acreage would depend on the zoning of the property (ie: A-2 zoning minimum lot size is 2.5 acres).

(Report Comment)
Kevin Gamble September 21, 2011 | 4:27 p.m.

This is what happens when we base our entire culture on amoral commerce. Our ultimate value becomes purely economic, and it's only not being in the wrong place at the wrong time that keeps any us from having our price tag stamped firmly on us, as is happening to these residents.

Also, it's interesting to see so much knee-jerk bitterness here toward GRO. John Schultz's initial comment is inane - like GRO or not, this is obviously an issue that is at the core of what GRO is about (as even cursory research would tell you). I have no affiliation whatsoever with GRO, but it's always interesting to see how much defensiveness, sarcasm, and general mean-spiritedness gets directed at organizations designed to defend individual people against large-scale corporate interests. As though economic interests are more valuable than actual human beings!

Sadly, this seems to be a hallmark of today's libertarianism, which borders on the sociopathic in its fervent undermining of basic concepts of communal compassion. Everyone's free to believe what they will, but be honest about it - don't hide behind passive-agressive sarcasm and ridicule. Be honest, and tell us how differently you value these people and the moneyed powers which are pushing them out. Share your real beliefs.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 21, 2011 | 4:37 p.m.

@Paul Allaire [Y]ou really don't see a difference [between] a child growing up in a house or a trailer that has trash[,] [sic] debris, [sic] grass more than 12 inches tall, [and] manufactured homes made before 1974, like many of those at Regency, or tinderboxes[,] as they were previously referred to[?] [R]eally[?] [N]o difference at all? And what was misspelled in my last comment? I'm sorry if I have insulted you[r] trailer court[,] but again it's nasty[.] [T]ake a drive through it[.] [I]t's not a safe environment for kids to be in! And I didn't say the people there were happy at the bottom[.] I said to[o] many people are happy at the bottom, Genius!

Thanks for correcting me on that last point. Did it look that way when you lived there? And what gave you the impression that it was my trailer court?

(Report Comment)
John Schultz September 21, 2011 | 4:57 p.m.

So Kevin, do you approve of this comment from Robin Acree?

“We know corporate America is going to take over your home,” Robin Acree of Grass Roots Organizing yelled to the crowd, riling them up further.

I'm sorry, but just what bit of good did that do in the meeting? Does the owner of the land own it or the residents? It doesn't matter if he has incorporated or owns it personally - he can decide, within some zoning regulations and such, what he wishes to do with the land. Her comment offered no assistance whatsoever and comes across as typical progressive yakety-yak, you all are victims of the corporation pablum.

I'm sorry these folks may be losing their homes and are going to have to leave Columbia Regency, but you take certain risks by living in a trailer at a mobile home park. Putting your trailer on land you own or renting a house or an apartment lessens the chances of being in an upheaval like this. The woman in the story with a four year lease would still be paying lot rent in perpetuity once her trailer was paid for. How is that stability?

As for you thinking I'm sneering at the folks in the story, you're dead wrong. I've known several people who have lived in various trailer parks around Columbia and the county. Most of them were good folk (just as most of the other people in Columbia are good folk) and I never judged them on how much money they made or their possessions. I do believe that you and GRO think of the residents as foot soldiers in a progressive revolution though, or maybe pawns to further their beliefs...

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 21, 2011 | 5:00 p.m.

Most people who live in squalor either are too unskilled, poor, mentally or emotionally impaired, old and depressed, substance abusers, (a form of self-medicating), or lack self esteem.
It was quite glamorous to help KOMU-TV, United Way, MU Athletics and other leaders in our community as they spearheaded emotional, physical and financial responses to Joplin Tornado victims. I guess Trailer Park citizens on the outskirts of town are a scourge to be expelled at our earliest convenience and opportunity.
Be proud, Columbia.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 21, 2011 | 5:04 p.m.

And John, the mobile home that I eventually quit trying to relocate was built in 1975. When I bought it in 1982 it was only seven years old. I would think that as a libertarian you would recognize an arbitrary rule when you saw one. The reason that 1976 is used is because that is when manufacturers started certifying them with HUD stickers.
Essentially, governments all across the nation gave the shaft to people who bought mobile homes made prior to that date rather than expend the effort to inspect them to see if they complied with any new regulations or allow the owners to bring then into compliance. It did not matter how well the homes were actually built.

I read your take on the zoning. It sounds like I was half an acre off. (2.5 vs 3) It also appears that if someone can find a piece of land that was subdivided smaller than that before some other arbitrary point in time that they may be allowed to place their home on it. I would guess that such pieces are in short supply and would be priced at quite a premium if available. I believe that, on top of the purchase price, someone would probably need to spend at least ten thousand to get a water meter, run the plumbing, connect to the grid, install a septic system, pour a pad, and set up the home.

Again, most of this wouldn't really be a problem if it were possible for someone to develop a new mobile home park somewhere in the county.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 21, 2011 | 5:11 p.m.

Does anyone have police crime reports involving Regency residents?
Demaret Drive and Whitegate areas?
Those living North of Smiley?
I'm just wondering if there are some other places in Columbia more deserving to be cleaned up.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 21, 2011 | 5:15 p.m.

At this point I should clarify several things.

I never lived at the park in question.

I don't currently live in a mobile home.

I don't even like mobile homes.

I feel that the owner of the park should be free to redevelop as he or she sees fit.

I own more land than you do.

I hope this clears things up. Have a nice day.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 21, 2011 | 5:21 p.m.

("Residents of Austin's 'Pecan' paradise revel in their disappearing lifestyle
Affordable housing in a tiny part of town")
http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/...

(Report Comment)
John Schultz September 21, 2011 | 5:56 p.m.

I agree that the arbitrary date is just that.

As for the acreage, keep in mind that the 2.5 acres in the email I posted is for A-2 zoning. Most of the county outside of actual cities is zoned agricultural, but most towns are ringed with various residential (R-) zoning and the lot size there is much smaller, the 7500 square feet I mentioned previously. I can't figure out the county's mapping utility well enough, or it doesn't like my browser, but I would suspect there are some parcels that are available for a mobile home to be placed.

I don't think a pad is required, or at least I don't recall my brother pouring one when he moved his trailer to the family farm. He also went with a lagoon instead of septic, but that might be based on the acreage we had available. I tried digging around the city/county health department website a bit to figure out the requirements for one versus another and couldn't figure it out in the short amount of time I had. He also used the existing well water instead of having a water line run as I don't think the farm has ever used district water.

I'll be at a county meeting tomorrow night and can ask the staff more trailer related questions if you have some.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 21, 2011 | 7:22 p.m.

Well, I was going to just leave it at that, but since you seem genuinely interested...

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess. My guess is that a lagoon was fine so many years ago and that an existing lagoon would probably be grandfathered but frowned upon. So I am guessing that you need a septic system to build on unbroken ground. The 2.5 acres minimum is so that you don't have too many septic systems too close to one another, fouling up the groundwater. That is your county complying with the EPA.
I believe that no pad is required, but I don't recommend not having one. The best method that I have seen is to use the largest post hole digger you can find and dig some holes several feet deep and than fill them with concrete up to ground level or an inch or two above. The idea is to put the base of the "foundation" well below the frost line to eliminate the movement that comes from the soil shrinking and swelling during the various seasons of the year. Of course, there is still potential for side to side movement. You also would want to carefully measure the frame so that each individual concrete pad is centered where it needs to be. This also gives you a good place to anchor your tie downs.
I doubt that many pieces of land are available with an existing well, and wells cost money. They also run dry periodically. Running a pump on a dry well can destroy it. It costs less to buy a meter and have it installed than to dig a new well. Most people prefer having county water due to the reasons I just outlined.
Since most of the units in the park are single wides, the 2.5 acres becomes almost irrelevant. You clearly state that not only does the lot need to be five acres but that EVERY other lot in the subdivision also needs to be at least five acres. Since the county is that restrictive against single wide homes in it's more rural areas, I don't envision the rules being easier in the direct proximity of municipalities. My guess is that single wide homes are not allowed on anything designated R. Maybe not even double wides.
My question is if one would need five acres to use a mobile home on a lot that was not subdivided. I am guessing that, while a person may be allowed to build on an existing smaller lot, they probably aren't allowed to have a single wide mobile home. My guess is that the r zoning is due to the immediate proximity of a sewer district as much as it is the proximity of a municipality.

So why don't you find out how much of this I got wrong tomorrow and let me know. I still believe that you need five acres.

One other thing I need to throw out there is that much of the land that has been subdivided contains deed restrictions that prohibit the use of mobile homes, some of it prohibiting mobile homes of any type. Most of the smaller pieces (ten acres and less)that I have seen advertised locally have been subdivided.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz September 21, 2011 | 9:38 p.m.

Ah, I missed the bit in the email I quoted (was not me typing there) about all lots in a subdivision needing to be at least five acres in size as I keyed on the 2.5 acres for the specific A-2 zoning, but then the comments about 2.5 acres doesn't make sense in that context. I'll see if the county has a handout that explains it all in one place.

(Report Comment)
Sally Willis September 22, 2011 | 10:27 a.m.

Paul Allaire I think it's funny, anyone who doesn't share your opinion you insult and try to belittle. Some how I still don't think your as smart as you do :)

(Report Comment)
mike mentor September 22, 2011 | 10:55 a.m.

Sall, Sally, Sally...
Paul knows better than all of us... He constantly proves this by making childish remarks about everyones posts on every article ever published. If he spent more time trying to fill his life with new hobbies that might make him happy instead of monitering the papers comment section 24/7 to berate everyone that tries to have a discussion via these boards he might not be so upset about a mobile home deal gone bad that happened many years ago and obviously didn't financially destroy him as he owns more land than all the rest of us. How's that for run on my man ???

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 22, 2011 | 11:09 a.m.

What? You mean comments like this?

"Who would have thought? I was under the impression this was a classy night club run by upstanding people."

"Glad to see Chris could take a break from all his "running around" to do some actual police work"

"I was wondering what kind of moron would go out in a hurricane? I couldn't figure out why the govenment kept pleeding with people to saty put...guess now we know!"

"Well she can use the stolen $500 to post her 10% of $5000 bond that works out nicely!"

"I think she should have stayed in St. Louis!"

"If he can't pay his attorneys fees than just fighting and take your punishment."

The fact that you choose to insult and belittle mainly people who aren't on here to defend themselves speaks volumes about your personality. I suppose I shouldn't comment about your writing ability. You would think I was picking on you. :0

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield September 22, 2011 | 11:27 a.m.

"today's libertarianism, which borders on the sociopathic in its fervent undermining of basic concepts of communal compassion"

The problem with today's communal compassion is that it doesn't do an effective job of distinguishing between those who are in a tough position through no fault of their own and those who are there due to to poor choices, laziness and irresponsibility. A lot of people fall into the latter camp. It's tough to calculate the exact amount, but we can get a good sense of the scale from statistics such as:

1) 40% of welfare recipients didn't graduate high school (www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/data-report...)
2) nearly half of all infants and about one-quarter of all children 1-4 years are on WIC (www.ers.usda.gov/publications/fanrr27/fa...)
3) 38.9% of CPS students qualify for free or reduced lunch (www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2011/...)

Sure, some kids are poor because a parent died or lost a job. But when that many kids qualify for WIC and free/reduced lunches, it's clear that there also are a lot of parents choosing to have kids even when they know they won't be able to support them. That's selfish and irresponsible.

So when I wonder aloud whether the GRO folks will invite the displaced to move into their homes or to move their trailers to their properties, it's because I'd be interested in seeing how far they're willing to take communal compassion. For example, suppose one of them took in a single mother, and a few months later, she becomes pregnant. Would they say: "You can't provide a home for yourself and your current children. Why are you having another?" Or would they say: "That's okay. I'll buy you a crib and give you some more money. Maybe you and your kids should move into the master bedroom, and I'll take the couch from now on"?

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 22, 2011 | 11:32 a.m.

"He constantly proves this by making childish remarks about everyone[']s posts on every article ever published. If he spent more time trying to fill his life with new hobbies that might make him happy instead of monit[o]ring the papers comment section 24/7 to berate everyone that tries to have a discussion via these boards[,] he might not be so upset about a mobile home deal gone bad that happened many years ago and obviously didn't financially destroy him as he owns more land than all the rest of us. How's that for run on my man ???"

It's fairly good. So by your comment it's alright to steal from someone as long as they still have something left afterwards or if they can spend a few years working to replace that which was taken. Right? And when I grow up I want to make really mature comments like YOU do...

"Ummmmmmm let me get this straight. I have a responsibility to make someone have insurance so they don't die? I guess that means I have to make them go see the doctor in the first place as well. Heck, I better make sure they drink something every day so they don't die. We better force feed them broccoli so they don't die. Darn, I better make sure they exercise so they don't die. Gee whiz. Some scumbag I have been. I didn't know I had all this responsiblity for others I have been failing in."

(Report Comment)
Sally Willis September 22, 2011 | 11:46 a.m.

Paul Allaire: Do you ever stop? You just can't stand the fact that everyone doesn't see through your eyes. Type A if there ever was one... that's me waiting for your rebuttal! Ha ha ha and that's me laughing at you having nothing better to do. Annnnd I'm done. Thank you Mike and Charles for making me feel like I'm allowed to have my own opinion, whether you agree with it or not you should not be personally attacked for having your own thoughts.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor September 22, 2011 | 11:54 a.m.

@Paul
What the heck??? It took you over 30 minutes to see and respond to post. I will start questioning your control of these boards if you keep slacking like this.
BTW, my childish post was about the article and the opinions expressed in it and not a personal attack on a poster. I think that is the way it is suppoesed to be around here for everyone except you. Also, I am sorry if something was actually stolen from you. I have no idea what happened with your mobile home 20 years ago and don't really care enough to investigate. I was simply trying to make a point, albeit in a round about way, that if you harp on something over and over again that happened so long ago, people will think your a little obsessed and maybe a little unbalanced. I don't know you, just sayin...

(Report Comment)
mike mentor September 22, 2011 | 11:58 a.m.

@Sally
Keep it up!!! Don't let the bully run you off...

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 22, 2011 | 12:41 p.m.

"BTW, my childish post was about the article and the opinions expressed in it and not a personal attack on a poster. I think that is the way it is [supposed] to be around here for everyone except you."
That would then explain why you just expended the effort to launch that personal attack on me. And if the other meaning of that sentence is what you intended, then I believe you have a persecution complex. I center my attacks on the stupid, malicious, erroneous, or irresponsible statements that people make or advocate, regardless of whether they are written by the author of an article or someone from the peon gallery and regardless of whether I agree with the individual on any other subject. That's my take on how it is supposed to be. If you don't like it you might try to get a new hobby that might make you happy instead of monitoring the comment section 24/7.

"I have no idea what happened with your mobile home 20 years ago and don't really care enough to investigate. I was simply trying to make a point, albeit in a round about way, that if you harp on something over and over again that happened so long ago, people will think [you're] a little obsessed and maybe a little unbalanced. I don't know you, just sayin..."

You don't care about what happened and that is obvious by the fact that you also don't care about what is happenING to at least a couple hundred other individuals and their families in this one single instance. Nor do you care that it will continue to happen to countless others in the near future. You only care to launch a personal attack and to try to hint that someone might be unbalanced, most likely because you don't like that I've been rebutting your comments for the reasons I just outlined above. You obviously read my statements so I shouldn't need to remind you that this isn't about me. This is about people being denied the ability to provide for their own basic shelter.

I suppose we could use another example. How about I go burn your house down? It shouldn't be a big deal because you will still probably have some money in your bank account to rent an apartment with or maybe you can stay with your relatives. You know that it was just going to get run down at some point anyway. In about twenty years you might have more real estate than most of the people posting on here, so it obviously won't make or break you. After all, it's not nearly as serious as if someone were to raise the marginal tax rate on your employer's employer a couple of points...

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 22, 2011 | 12:56 p.m.

@Jimmy:
No "handout/handup" assistance program is perfect. Whether it's administered by the government, churches, nonprofits, foundations or wealthy Moms & Dads.
The terms "entitlement" and "enabling" have been vilified, and to some degree rightfully so, but perhaps for the wrong reasons.
"Poor Cope With Negative Attitudes"
http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2010...
With regards to "entitlement programs." It seems that the government inadvertently set up the people these programs were designed to help in the same way the Tea Party inadvertently set themselves up to be called a slur.
The term "entitlement" in the government bureaucracy is more of a legal term to describe "people meeting the required criteria of the program to receive specific benefits from the program." Unfortunately it has become the word to describe perceived attitudes and behaviors of the person applying and truly in need & to some extent vilifies the administrators of the program as enablers, instead of helpers, social workers or just plain program administrators.
I agree that the larger programs do need some tweaking, so that limited resources are maximized to help those most in need.
The details of how that is done are hopefully being worked on by the people in charge.
Looking at the photograph for this article, however, I'd venture to say that to help these people would be more of the right thing to do than to just turn a blind eye and abandon them because of any poor choices they might have made in their lifetime.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 22, 2011 | 1:06 p.m.

"The problem with today's communal compassion is that it doesn't do an effective job of distinguishing between those who are in a tough position through no fault of their own and those who are there due to to poor choices, laziness and irresponsibility."

Jimmy, that you continually inject statements like this into any article you can makes it that much more amazing that you can't see the large problem in the overall picture.

By purchasing their own homes each individual who is being slighted has tried to do exactly what you would have them do to the best of their ability. Someone taking it upon themselves to purchase and maintain their own housing unit is not being lazy or irresponsible. They are not occupying a government housing project. They are not living housing that is in any way subsidized by the government. This is a meaningful statement because many of this nation's private rental units have been heavily subsidized by the government. Such is not the case in your local trailer parks.
For taking the initiative to provide their own basic shelter the individuals owning the homes in question have been denied the right to use them in an effective manner by your county's planning and zoning commission while those who chose to rely on the government to provide their housing expect and get their housing maintained to comparatively high standards for nothing.
The primarily reason you fail to see the unfairness is because you assume that those who chose this path towards independence make less money than you.

(Report Comment)
Sally Willis September 22, 2011 | 1:21 p.m.

Paul Allaire

"that you continually inject statements like this into any article you can makes it that much more amazing that you can't see the large problem in the overall picture." Run on.

"They are not living housing that is in any way subsidized by the government" what?

"For taking the initiative to provide their own basic shelter the individuals owning the homes in question have been denied the right to use them in an effective manner by your county's planning and zoning commission while those who chose to rely on the government to provide their housing expect and get their housing maintained to comparatively high standards for nothing" Run on

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield September 22, 2011 | 1:27 p.m.

"Looking at the photograph for this article, however, I'd venture to say that to help these people would be more of the right thing to do than to just turn a blind eye and abandon them because of any poor choices they might have made in their lifetime."

And that should be your choice. In fact, it is. If the government won't help them, people can always choose to take them into their homes, give them rent money, etc. In the process, those people are free to decide whether to cut off the people they take in because they continue to make poor choices.

"By purchasing their own homes each individual who is being slighted has tried to do exactly what you would have them do to the best of their ability."

The best of one's ability means saving as much as possible for rainy days such as this. You aren't doing that if you're tatted up, smoking and drinking. When I was making $8/hour, I watched every penny. I practiced -- and still do -- what I preach.

It's time for the government to make the distinctions I discussed earlier. Judging by the posts on here, there are plenty of people to support those whom a reformed safety net rejects.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking September 22, 2011 | 1:38 p.m.

Paul Allaire wrote:

"They are not living housing that is in any way subsidized by the government."

Right. They are living on land that belongs to someone else. That someone else has decided to sell the property. The tenants have rights according to their leases, but once their leases are up, then they have to move. Hopefully some arrangement can be worked out to make it as painless for them as possible. That's all that's really relevant here.

DK

(Report Comment)
mike mentor September 22, 2011 | 2:12 p.m.

@Paul
1. You are correct. I was mistaken. You are still harping about something that legally happened to you 30 years ago not 20. My mistake. However, don't expect me to start reading your posts more carefully as most contribute nothing to any conversation that might be taking place and are simply mean spirited personal attacks against other posters.

2. I was actually defending someone else in the hopes that more people will feel free to post and have a civil conversation without having to wade through the constant stream of personal attacks from you on every single thread in this comment section. I'm a big boy and your words do not hurt me...

3. Review the comments section for any period of time and you will find a few posts from me here and there and maybe once in a while one that is a little fractious. I don't think we could find a single thread with more than 2 comments on it that doesn't contain an obstinate attack courtesy of you. You just might have more influence on peoples thoughts and opinions if you shared some of your solutions instead of personally attacking everyone...

4. These people did not have someone come and burn their house down. No one stole their trailers. I don't see the connections you do. Then again, you're you and I'm me and I'm thankful of that...

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 22, 2011 | 2:25 p.m.

Sally, the length of a sentence does not indicate whether or not it is a "run on." The definition has more to do with continuity of thought. If you can't understand that or the sentence the second sentence that you listed I don't know how to help you. I would suggest that you go to the library and start reading books and publications that are geared towards young adults and then continue by reading material that is more difficult as your ability allows. You might enroll at MACC and take the most basic writing class or remedial English. I would be more helpful if English weren't my least favorite subject. That aside, you won't find any errors in the sentences you quoted.

Mark, I firmly believe that these people are not being given a real option to live on anything other than land that belongs to someone else. The problem has been manufactured by the interactions of the various layers of your governments, mostly at the local level.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 22, 2011 | 2:27 p.m.

Oh and lookey there. I made an error! I bet even you can find that one!

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 22, 2011 | 2:30 p.m.

"I don't see the connections you do."

That much is apparent.

(Report Comment)
Sally Willis September 22, 2011 | 2:38 p.m.

Paul, Read it again. And you should be able to take a breath in your reading.

"They are not living housing that is in any way subsidized by the government"

(Report Comment)
John Schultz September 22, 2011 | 2:47 p.m.

Paul, here's a response I got from a person at the county this morning:

The zoning regulations are online. Section 11 indicates minimum acreage requirements. We have no requirements for water except with regard to creating new subdivisions (subdivision regulations section 4). Sewer/wastewater is regulated by the sewer district and the environmental health department (for creating new subdivisions - under subdivision regulations section 3).
Zoning regulations, section 4.A.9 a-g gives requirements for manufactured/mobile homes.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 22, 2011 | 2:49 p.m.

Oh, and I believe that it was around fifteen or sixteen years ago. The mobile home was a 1975 that I bought in 1982. I purchased the lots that I intended to move it to in 1990 or 1991. I'm guessing the zoning was changed in 1995 and I believe that it was in 1996 that I needed to use them and learned of the problem while on emergency leave in the middle of winter. It's been a long time. But since then I have contemplated using mobile homes in various ways and have been prevented from doing so more often than not. It is an ongoing problem.
There are many similar problems when a developer friendly group of people occupies a county government. One thing I see repeatedly is a county fixing the number of water meters that can come available while the city allows extensive development, but with rules that effectively raise the minimum cost for a basic new construction beyond the ability of most people to afford.
In older cities a common problem is down zoning. A person has a building in a high density area that becomes damaged by a fire and is then not allowed to rebuild because the rules for the lot have been changed effectively making the property worthless. Of course, at this point, I don't expect you to see a problem with any of that.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 22, 2011 | 3:07 p.m.

Oh, my. I left out the word "in". Minus one point for me!

It's good that you can find that, particularly after writing this gem...

"If he can't pay his attorneys fees than just fighting and take your punishment."

How many errors are in your one sentence post?

@ John...
Thanks for the information. Have you attempted to glean anything from it yet? I wish you had posted a direct link or pasted the actual language, but I suppose I will try to dig it up when I have more time. I'm not very motivated because at this point I have absolutely no intention of buying more property that is located in Boone County or anywhere near it.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 22, 2011 | 4:00 p.m.

This is all too much for me to singularly handle.
I put the outcome in the hands of the zoning commission and eventually our city council.
I hope that the councilwoman who represents these Columbia citizens backs them up to the fullest and hope she is proved wrong with her statement that her newer Chamber of Commerce endorsed council reps and the two newest reps don't care enough to delay the rezoning of this property or at least ensure that these folks are not discarded in the name of College Student Housing Progress which will only hurt the quality of life in other neighborhoods, having housing rental units, and other parts of Hoppe's ward.
This demonstrates how poorly "they" have planned this town by approving every developers request, no matter which residents "they" hurt as more and more homes become vacant in our neighborhoods, up for Section 8 grabbing, as college students flock to the newest built facilities, thanks to their parents' money and spoiling.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 22, 2011 | 4:31 p.m.

At first it sounds ok...

From Section 4.A.(9)
"A manufactured home containing a minimum of 650 square feet of floor space shall be permitted in all districts where single family dwellings are permitted."

I need to note that the word "manufactured home" has quite a different definition than "mobile home" in the working glossary that is provided in the zoning ordinances.

And then in the next sentence the ordinance directly contradicts itself, making things even worse...

"No manufactured home OR MOBILE HOME (capitalization added) shall be permitted in a recorded subdivision except as a conditional use."

That effectively lays most everyone at the mercy of the county because, as far as I can tell from reading through this, anything divided smaller than twenty acres is considered to be subdivided. So, after reading for quite a while I still have no better answer than I did yesterday.

I suppose that anything is possible if the county approves a conditional use, but that seems to me to leave people in a very precarious position, the same as it ever was when someone can't seem to write enough rules.

It appears that you can negate much of this by having more than twenty acres, but if you have that you probably aren't living in a mobile home. I'm a bit more cynical now than I was when I started trying to read through all the regulations. Someone please feel free to correct me wherever I'm wrong.

(Report Comment)

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.

advertisements