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Archive for Friday, April 6, 2012

6 mobile homes condemned, some families displaced for safety risks

April 6, 2012

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City inspectors have declared a half-dozen trailers in a North Lawrence mobile home park unfit for habitation, leaving several families scrambling to find a place to stay.

An assistant city attorney said inspectors found raw sewage being discharged onto the ground at several trailers at Riverview Trailer Park, 827 Walnut St.

“The conditions at the park pose a significant health and safety risk not only to the people who live there but also to people who are just visiting the properties,” said Chad Sublet, an assistant city attorney.

The city also found large amounts of trash, tires, metal, appliances and other items dangerously stored on the properties.

Sublet said he anticipated other trailers may be declared unfit for habitation in the future. On Friday, the city was in the process of obtaining administrative search warrants to enter several trailers to search for code violations related to health and safety issues.

Sublet did not have exact totals on how many people had been displaced by the enforcement action. He said about six of the park’s 22 mobile homes had been declared unfit for habitation, although he said a couple of the units were vacant. He estimated about four families, some with children, had been displaced.

“We have been working with them to find alternative housing,” Sublet said. “The last thing we want to do is displace families with children.”

A spokeswoman with the local chapter of the Red Cross said her organization had not been able to provide much assistance because the residents weren’t a victim of a fire, natural disaster or other such event.

Sublet said the city had been working to connect several of the residents with the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, which does offer some housing assistance.

“Everybody is doing everything they can, but it has been difficult,” Sublet said.

Several residents at the trailer park said they were worried about possibly losing their homes.

“We’re all thinking we’re going to end up in tents out at the lake or, even worse, out at the shelter,” said an eight-year resident of the mobile home park who declined to give her name.

The property is owned by California resident George L. Warren. A woman who identified herself as the manager of the park said she had only taken over management of the facility in late March, and said there were significant problems at the park.

“I took over a mess,” said the manager, who declined to give her name.

Attempts to reach Warren were unsuccessful.

Sublet said city inspectors have attempted to work with Warren on several issues at the park during the last three years. But when inspectors were at the property earlier this week they found raw sewage being discharged on the ground.

“We really had to take immediate action at that point,” Sublet said.

Several residents of the park said they expected city inspectors to be back at the property Monday morning with warrants to do interior searches of trailers whose owners did not consent to searches earlier in the week.

Some residents on Friday were arranging to have electricians and other contractors come to the units in hopes of repairing them to the point of passing a health and safety code inspection.

The manager of the park said she didn’t know what the future will hold for the park.

“The owner said he would be willing to fix what the city says needs to be fixed, as long as they are reasonable,” the manager said.

— City reporter Chad Lawhorn can be reached at 832-6362. Follow him at Twitter.com/clawhorn_ljw.

Comments

Orwell 2 years, 8 months ago

But what about the free market? Shouldn't people be allowed to dump s**t on the ground in Lawrence?

somebodynew 2 years, 8 months ago

Well, the one guy living near South Park uses a bucket at the back of his "RV". Of course, we don't quite know what he does with the contents of that bucket do we ??

Liberty275 2 years, 8 months ago

The neighbors could have complained and filed civil lawsuits. That's, if the offender was a resident with a broken or intentionally open sewage system. If the management knew and allowed the violation, any adjacent land owner could have sued for groundwater contamination or a nuisance smell. The free market could have dealt with this problem very well.

The real travesty is that humans have just had their lives upended. At least it isn't a school night. While the management can't be compelled to assist those forced out, I think it's in their best interest to do so. It's a cheap way to cut off any more of the malice they are already generating.

deec 2 years, 8 months ago

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Liberty275 2 years, 8 months ago

Can't be. There have been no reports of predator drones over Lawrence, nor any unusual explosions in the area since the last meth fire.

RoeDapple 2 years, 8 months ago

Is there room for them in front of South Park?

Heather Terry 2 years, 8 months ago

obamas fault??????? Clearly its George Warrens fault!!

Jayhawk1958 2 years, 8 months ago

Did you read the article? Raw Sewage. Mr. Warren should be PAYING the residents displaced so they can have housing.

uncleandyt 2 years, 8 months ago

Sounds like a job for some plumbers, not the sheriff.

Heather Terry 2 years, 8 months ago

really? Mr Warren robbed blind HAHAHAHAHA right

Jeff Kilgore 2 years, 8 months ago

If you don't mind human feces as a new way to promote Lawrence, then you're right. Tell me, would you rather Lawrence look and smell like a third world country?

50YearResident 2 years, 8 months ago

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Heather Terry 2 years, 8 months ago

George Warren should pay the displaced residents but OBVIOUSLY if he wont even care for the property or answer calls he wont pay.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 8 months ago

Drive by the trailer park and within a moment you will fully understand.

Liberty275 2 years, 8 months ago

"Raw Sewage."

Now we know why the weeds grow so well in the ditch down around the wannabe-swamp.

Eugehne Normandin 2 years, 8 months ago

maybe they could get sewer upgrades etc. like the give to big time developers it may be time to help someone who really needs it.

kclark802000 2 years, 8 months ago

Most of this article is a lie. And the ones of u who making these mean comments obviously don't know what ur talking about. As far as for George's behalf the city has never tried to reach him. Yes part of this is his fault but most of it is the managers fault for not doing there job. This not a bad place to live. All of us in the community have helped to clean up the park.

RoeDapple 2 years, 8 months ago

Um . . . you missed a spot. Just sayin' . . .

auntmimi210 2 years, 8 months ago

I don't think I'd be making fun of people in this situation. I've heard most Americans are just 2 lost paychecks away from being homeless. I've teetered on that edge before myself, with a child. So this is nothing to make light of. I hope you never find yourself in a bad situation. You know what they say about karma.

Loretta James 2 years, 8 months ago

my daughter and grandson lived there IT'S NOT A LIE NONE OF IT. a lot is the maintence man he only does things sloppy. if he would get straight he might be able to get things fixed. Manager fell down on her job also.

Tara Painter 2 years, 8 months ago

your really sad, because alot of its true, I live in the other trailer park they own. There always telling us how bad the North Lawrence park is, and so been putting more money into ours. They can't even keep a manger over there. Tell the truth, how many mangers has it been this year alone. They can't keep no one there because no cares to deal with the mess. Then they charge you lots of money to do nothing.

Heather Terry 2 years, 8 months ago

Its Georges fault all the way! He should have hired good managers to begin with. He should have provided money for supplies for repairs. So it is completely George Warrens fault!!

rukidingme 2 years, 8 months ago

I would think the managers hands are tied. If the park owner is not paying for repairs, are you saying the manager should. On the other hand the manager could be enforcing the rules of the park. As far as search warrants to inspect the homes there is children involved and the city has a duty to protect the children. Bottom line the park owner should be footing the bill for misplaced familys.

Heather Terry 2 years, 8 months ago

Really?????? George was actually paying for something? Im sure thats a load of BS probably straight from Georges mouth

Rick Aldrich 2 years, 8 months ago

Hey I know what, they could park their mobile homes on Mass street in front of South Park.

Daniel Dicks 2 years, 8 months ago

Is it George Warren of Tranqil Properties LLC. ? http://tranquilpropertiesonline.com/?page_id=4

If you are looking to sell… Please note that we are NOT Realtors and we do not want to “list” your house. We will buy your house for cash or terms. We coordinate with a network of Real Estate Investors who buy houses from people in difficult situations. Don’t make the assumption that your problem is impossible to solve!

jackpot 2 years, 8 months ago

Not the same one. Owner lives in SoCal and may be a "slum loard" in SoCal. Might be worth checking out the SoCal housing people.

Heather Terry 2 years, 8 months ago

Yes he does own property in California as well.

speed05 2 years, 8 months ago

If the problem is with the underground sewage system then it is the park owners responsibility,if it's the connection from the mobile home to the sewer system then it's the homeowners problem and the manager should have made them aware of corrections needed.

pagan_idolator 2 years, 8 months ago

I do believe Mr. Warren is the owner of all the mobile homes there. He should be hit with some heavy duty fines. It is not that hard of a fix if the problem is with the sewer line under the mobile home.

Heather Terry 2 years, 8 months ago

there are 3 mobile home owners in that park none of which have been condemned yet! However the titles for the rest of those trailers are not in George Warrens name. They are still in the name of the previous owner, which means he is not paying taxes on them. And he does not have license to have the trailer court!!

auntmimi210 2 years, 8 months ago

And the plot thickens. I just feel so bad for the displaced people & families. I'm sure most are working folks who can't afford better housing & are doing the best they can. Been there, done that. I really hope SRS or maybe Salvation Army can help them find decent housing quickly. And shame on the owner, whoever it really is. He should definitely step up & pay the deposit & first couple month's rent for these folks. I bet if he was a Lawrence resident he would, to avoid the negative publicity if nothing else. Sad, Lawrence is better than this.

Christine Anderson 2 years, 8 months ago

This is a sad situation for those who suddenly have no place to live. I think some of us commenting could show a little compassion toward the displaced residents.

flyin_squirrel 2 years, 8 months ago

Wonder how many Oread properties the city would shut down if they started getting warrants to look in houses there....

auntmimi210 2 years, 8 months ago

Ya mean like the apartment I had on Kentucky where water came out of the electrical outlets & the recessed lights ?!?

nmdude 2 years, 8 months ago

I swear those building inspectors look just like cops.

Amy Heeter 2 years, 8 months ago

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pagan_idolator 2 years, 8 months ago

Good info - maybe we should start an email blitz.

Amy Heeter 2 years, 8 months ago

I also have his phone number if you want it.

Tara Painter 2 years, 8 months ago

heres the truth someone else who knows how the mangers come and go

greenworld 2 years, 8 months ago

Whats funny is 20,000.00 crazy ku fans can piss all over downtown two weekends in a row and that contaminates nothing I guess and is no violation but the cops said they were more worried about making sure all the underage drinkers poured their beers into a cup instead of a bottle. Basically here let me help you continue to sin and separate right from wrong....btw how many Ku football tickets can I get for next year. ha

Armored_One 2 years, 8 months ago

You have evidence of the public urination? I thought as much.

As to the open container and underage comments, it is now, just as it was on game days, the legal requirement of the establishment to identify the age of the consumer.

Granted, considering that downtown actually has gasp drainage, as opposed to the trailer park in North Lawrence... I am sure you can follow the general drift of where I was going with that.

Amy Heeter 2 years, 8 months ago

The park behind jonnys is just as bad. When will the city condemn those trailers?

Keith 2 years, 8 months ago

Until I looked it up on the map, I thought this article was about that place behind Johnny's. I am surprised it hasn't been looked at, it's as big if not bigger mess.

pagan_idolator 2 years, 8 months ago

The trailer court behind Johnnys has been purchased by the developers who are doing the project that involves the new retail/hotel/boardwalk project in North Lawrence. At least that is what I was told so it will be torn out of there at some point.

auntmimi210 2 years, 8 months ago

Wow, so did I. Guess I better check the map too. Last time I saw it, the one behind Johnny's was pretty bad.

tdiddy 2 years, 8 months ago

I'm sure that's Bob's next task... Him and Rick R. have big plans for that trailer court property behind Johnny's. Something about extending downtown North? You watch and see if these words don't come true!! It's a shame that landlords can't do better by these people paying them lot rent. Property owner's have responsibilities towards their tenants and that's where the attention should be focused..

pagan_idolator 2 years, 8 months ago

Yep and Mr Warren charges top dollar for those crappy trailers. He has been know to let his tenants work off their deposit and also doesn't look too close at rental history, credit, etc. so he gets folk who are desperate for a place to live that may have trouble renting elsewhere due to bad rental or criminal records.

Amy Heeter 2 years, 8 months ago

Yeah I knew someone that rented there. Her trailer was so bad. She had no rental history. She paid 500.00 a month for a trailer with parts of floor missing. If not for the carpet she would have fallen through.

LadyJ 2 years, 8 months ago

Just remember, if you live in a single family zoned area and have more than two family members in your house, you cannot let even one of these displaced people stay with you unless they are related. So if one of the children is a friend's kid, they cannot stay with you. You've been friends with one of them since childhood, too bad, they can't stay with you.

ksprincess 2 years, 8 months ago

George Warren is a JOKE!! He hires actual hard working people to fix things and then wants them to use very little parts and time to fix..My husband answered an post on Craigslist for some electrical work that needed to be done on several trailers in that park. My husband gave the mannger a bid it was approved by George once the work was started he didn't want to pay. The work still has not been finished that I know of and that was last summer. They need to just shut the whole park down and help the ones that have actually been paying rent. I know there are a few trailers in that park that do pay their rent but for the majority of the trailers that are owned by George and rented out to people they do not pay rent at all. You can work it off by "cleaning" around the park. REALLY?? Can it be cleaned up. I wonder if George has ever Google Earthed the property here in Lawrence that he is so proud of!!

Loretta James 2 years, 8 months ago

problem some tenants quit paying to get them to fix my daughter and grandson had moved once because the first trailer was condemed and so was the second on. matience man couldnt get anything done on cloud 9 George would flip if he saw the condition of the matience man.

Tlynn80 2 years, 8 months ago

First off let me clerify that my FAMILY WAS THE ONLY ones who was forced from there condemmed home!!! & we did not get any resourses...numbers to call or let alone help! I cryed to them...for help and all I got was a ticket to appear in court for being there packing and a removal later that day by two officers to the street! No my family didnt want to bed there but with 4d days to bed gone and packed is impossible for a family our size! The other were vacant and for the others no one would allow city in!!! Mr. Warren as well as park employees new of this problem for over a month! Mr. warren would not fixed the issue as he did with all issues tenants had!!! I moved back to town to work for Mr. Warren who after 9 mths of no pay and having to handle his dirty work....I quite!! Her then turned dirty on me.as well!! I only planned to stay in park long enough for my children to finish school but unfortunately that was not possible due to none compliance of fixing my sewage issue for over a month and city condemmed the unit! Now my family of five children is homeless and have recieved NO help or even resources from Mr. Warren...city... Mr. Sublet....or anyone! We have jobs and paid rent and now are loosing everything we own...employees of park damaged our family vehicle in revenge....maybe loose our jobs.. And no one cares!!!

Tlynn80 2 years, 8 months ago

Sorry for my typos crying and typing dont mix!! Just so upset this article was saying they were trying to help....so wrong...but guess it made them looks better

Tlynn80 2 years, 8 months ago

First off let me clerify that my FAMILY WAS THE ONLY ones who was forced from there condemmed home!!! & we did not get any resourses...numbers to call or let alone help! I cryed to them...for help and all I got was a ticket to appear in court for being there packing and a removal later that day by two officers to the street! No my family didnt want to bed there but with 4d days to bed gone and packed is impossible for a family our size! The other were vacant and for the others no one would allow city in!!! Mr. Warren as well as park employees new of this problem for over a month! Mr. warren would not fixed the issue as he did with all issues tenants had!!! I moved back to town to work for Mr. Warren who after 9 mths of no pay and having to handle his dirty work....I quite!! Her then turned dirty on me.as well!! I only planned to stay in park long enough for my children to finish school but unfortunately that was not possible due to none compliance of fixing my sewage issue for over a month and city condemmed the unit! Now my family of five children is homeless and have recieved NO help or even resources from Mr. Warren...city... Mr. Sublet....or anyone! We have jobs and paid rent and now are loosing everything we own...employees of park damaged our family vehicle in revenge....maybe loose our jobs.. And no one cares!!!

Tara Painter 2 years, 8 months ago

can you move your trailer to one of the other trailer parks, I'm sure the court will make him pay the expenise

muddfoot55 2 years, 8 months ago

The city of Lawrence has a real issue with Mobile Home parks anyway. I live in one of the nicer parks but the city codes have changed so much our manager is unable to move in any new units to replace the rundown units that have been moved out. There is a bid by a contractor on this property to build, you guessed it, more apartments.

There are some of us who cannot afford a mortgage on traditional housing and a mobile home was the next option. Times are getting harder, people cannot afford houses, and rents in Lawrence are outrageous.

The park in North Lawrence is neglected, part of the issue is an out of town owner.

I sincerly hope that the displaced families can find the help they need so they can get their children settled so they can continue in their current schools with minimal disruption.

pagan_idolator 2 years, 8 months ago

The issue with mobile homes is they need almost constant maintenance - especially if they are older homes. It helps if you can learn how to do some of the things - like fixing a window before the leak in it eats the floor. Never have understood why they build the floor with the material they do - must have something to do with controlling the weight of the unit or maybe just being cheap.

pagan_idolator 2 years, 8 months ago

To some people those who live in mobile homes are just trash and they seem to think it is okay to talk to/about them as if they are crap on their shoe. They need to watch out - the universe has a way of making you eat your words. I remember when I lived in North Lawrence and having some people just assume I was trash because I lived in North Lawrence. I even had a person tell me that they had been instructed not to be in North Lawrence at night because they would get their throat cut. East Lawrence suffers the same stigma. I love both areas because of their unique homes rather than the beige McMansions found elsewhere. Loved living in North Lawrence in the spring/summer when folks would leave produce on your doorstep all the time.

Tara Painter 2 years, 8 months ago

Thank you, I live in the east lawrence mobile home, and I'm sick of people saying were trash, or our mobile home park is ugly, not all of us was born with a silver spoon in our mouth, and actually have to work hard for what little we have.

Heather Terry 2 years, 8 months ago

George aint innocent in none of this no matter what any of his managers might have done hes been slum lord for a long time.

Heather Terry 2 years, 8 months ago

Who the heck hires someone without references? Or experience? And does not pay his managers or anyone who does any kind of work for him? I do feel sorry for the ones in the park BUT George deserves this. He should have done right by his tenants. He should have done the things the city asked him and has been asking him to do for months. He should have hired capable people to work. NOW there are good people who might be put out of their homes.

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