Archive for Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Another five mobile homes at the Riverview Trailer Park declared unfit to live in

Gerald Thomas, a maintenance worker at the River View Trailer Park wheels away old furniture and trash from a condemned property as city inspectors tape “condemned dwelling” notice to the front of a mobile home on Tuesday.

Gerald Thomas, a maintenance worker at the River View Trailer Park wheels away old furniture and trash from a condemned property as city inspectors tape “condemned dwelling” notice to the front of a mobile home on Tuesday.

April 10, 2012


Another five mobile homes at the Riverview Trailer Park in North Lawrence were declared Tuesday to be unfit for habitation, and city inspectors said the possibility exists the entire park may be closed.

“I think we will get to the point where we have to figure out whether this park stays open or not,” said Brian Jimenez, city code enforcement manager.

But on Tuesday city inspectors were focusing on individual units. Inspectors returned to the park, 827 Walnut St., at 9 a.m. Tuesday with warrants to search specific trailer homes for health and safety code violations.

On Tuesday, the city condemned five properties and had warrants to search three more residences. Over the last several days, the city has condemned 12 of the 23 trailers in the park. Six of the units were vacant.

Jimenez said inspections on Tuesday revealed daylight showing through parts of the walls and flooring on some units, others did not have functioning toilets and most did not have smoke alarms.

“The severity of the dilapidation is what has required us to take the action that we have,” Jimenez said.

Three of the five units declared unlivable on Tuesday were occupied, Jimenez said. He said the residents have been given four to five days to vacate the premises. Members of the city’s fire department were entering several of the units Tuesday afternoon to install smoke detectors. In total, six families have been ordered to vacate their trailers. Two already have left the premises while the others are in the process of doing so.

Several residents on Tuesday had trailers that passed the city’s inspection, but they said they still were nervous the city ultimately will close the entire park because it is operating without the necessary city mobile home park license.

Chad Sublet, assistant city attorney, said city officials will meet within the next week to determine a process for dealing with the expired license. Sublet said the mobile home park will have to show that it is meeting city codes before it can be issued a new five-year license.

If the property does not have a license, the city contends it can shut the park down and make it illegal for any mobile homes to be occupied, regardless of the condition of the individual units. But city officials said Tuesday that process would take many weeks rather than days.

Dealing with the condemned trailers will be part of the process for receiving a license, city officials said. The trailers — most of which are owned by George L. Warren, a California resident who also owns the park — will either need to be brought up to code or removed in a timely manner.

“They won’t be allowed to just sit here,” Sublet said.


deec 6 years, 1 month ago

I wonder which developer has his eyes on this property.

crazyredneckmomma4 6 years, 1 month ago

The city probably wants the property like they do the 12 & Haskell Recycling property. They take control of the property this way so it doesn't cost the city much money.....pretty devious of the City of Lawrence don't ya think????

John Hamm 6 years, 1 month ago

I can't remember name - don't forget the Mall and other niceties someone wants to put in on the North side of the river there. Sure glad you mentioned this. "Good-Ol'-Boy" strikes again!

pagan_idolator 6 years, 1 month ago

Actually they will be putting the niceties in the area where my shop and Johnny's is currently located. The city should have been all over this trailer court years ago. Take a drive by and check it out. My landlords were upfront with me when they bought our building about what their plans were for that space and have been very good about keeping us informed of the status. I will hate to lose that space but have known what they were planning for the last 4 years.

Jayhawk1958 6 years, 1 month ago

One less trailer court that a tornado will have to deal with.

Amy Heeter 6 years, 1 month ago

Farewell George. It's not Christian to be a slumlord.

kugrad 6 years, 1 month ago

Wasn't a lot of this court section 8 housing (if not now, in the fairly recent past)??? In other words, weren't taxpayers subsidizing this place as it was falling apart? I'm not certain, but I used to live very close by and I thought it was.

Amy Heeter 6 years, 1 month ago

I doubt it. Those trailers couldn't meet minimum housing standards. Check the his site.

pagan_idolator 6 years, 1 month ago

That is a scary thought. It has been a mess for years.

irvan moore 6 years, 1 month ago

was this rental property that had to be register with the city and inspected

LadyJ 6 years, 1 month ago

I doubt it. The city doesn't require the properties that really inspecting to be licensed and inspected.

pace 6 years, 1 month ago

Been there, the trailers and park were in very poor condition. My sympathies to the families and workers who have lost their home. Good luck to them.

pace 6 years, 1 month ago

I wonder if the Salvation Army has a fund to help displaced families. I will call them and find out. I know it is hard to get into a decent place suddenly.

Dar_of_the_Emerites 6 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

twinetowngirl 6 years, 1 month ago

I could be wrong, but wasn't there talk at one time of building something in that location? Like a retail mall or another motel that could overlook that nice dirty river?

Dar_of_the_Emerites 6 years, 1 month ago

thats the one behind johnnys which is no better

Hudson Luce 6 years, 1 month ago

It's not within sight of the river, despite the name, and it's about one block directly west of the Flamingo Club. Look it up on Google Maps...

Jayhawker07 6 years, 1 month ago

You must live in the north fortyseven bro. You are so far off. A privite development group has already been working this deal for a while. They just recieved some incentives the other day from the city. Good luck for them, should make a nice improvment. I bike the levy and trust me, it will only get better if they develop.

David Albertson 6 years, 1 month ago

Who would live in a mobile home right in the middle of tornado alley? The city is doing these people a favor.

Adrienne Sanders 6 years, 1 month ago

I would guess that the problem is not the amount paid per month, b/c I agree with you that there are much better places of a similar size for $800/month. But most landlords require you to pass a credit check. If your credit is bad you are stuck renting from a slumlord unless you have someone to cosign.

Amy Heeter 6 years, 1 month ago

No. He does take applications and references. I cosigned for a woman so she could live there.

Amy Heeter 6 years, 1 month ago

A lot of people have called the city on this park. Complaints go back years. One problem is water bills are so high. No way should water in a trailer cost between 2 and 3 hundred dollars. Either staff does not know how to read the meters it there are serious plumbing problems.

Dar_of_the_Emerites 6 years, 1 month ago

they dont read meters. The one BIG bill from the city is split between tenants. And theres leaks George has refused to fix making bill even higher.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 1 month ago

Big brother is watching you. Will you be next?

Danielle Brunin 6 years, 1 month ago

These poor people. Even with these living conditions as squalid, and quite frankly unacceptable as they are, it's still traumatic to lose your home, especially for children. Best wishes for them. I hope this landlord is held accountable to the full extent of the law.

pagan_idolator 6 years, 1 month ago

Anyone who thinks the city is picking on this landlord just needs to drive over there and look at this place. The city is at fault only for letting this landlord get away with this for so long. Some of those trailers are dangerous to live in. I think the reason people moved in there is because George would waive the deposit if they went in and cleaned the trailer they were going to move into. Believe me they earned every penny of their deposit. The city should fine George and make him repair any mobile homes that are able to be salvaged, get current licensing and pay for displaced tenants. Landlords need to be held accountable in this town. He will probably just walk away from it.

BiPolarWookie_w_PhD 6 years, 1 month ago

The City of Lawrence is liable for these families now. The person that declared them unfit is liable also. The definition of unfit is relative and must be proven. Someone should call in the feds on this one, several lawsuits are in order on this. If the owner is from Cali, he should be very familiar with lawsuits. HUD, FEMA, EPA, all must now be involved. I think it's federal prison for this Christian slumlord.He should feel right at home. Lawsuit! The City of Lawrence evicted them, now they are responsible for their care through no fault of their own.

pagan_idolator 6 years, 1 month ago

Somehow I don't see that happening although I would like to.

BiPolarWookie_w_PhD 6 years, 1 month ago

The fact that raw sewage is now flowing into the river also makes this an EPA problem. Coliform counts must be performed to check for environmental damage. Runoff from chemicals contained in abandoned cars, lead paint, formaldahyde in the cheap carpet, Round Up weed killer runoff in excess of EPA standards, etc. If this were in the Landlords state of California, he would have skipped town by now.

guppypunkhead 6 years, 1 month ago

Probably should just leave that chair in the condemned trailer...

itsalwayssunnyinlarry 6 years, 1 month ago

i hate to make light of this situation but from this picture the trailer homes look better taken care of than most homes in the student ghetto. I doubt most of those are "up to standard"

BiPolarWookie_w_PhD 6 years, 1 month ago

Hundreds of landlords have been fined and/or debarred from doing business with the federal government as a result of failing to provide safe and decent housing for the poor, while enriching themselves on taxpayer-funded subsidies.

Tenants have been forced to live in terrible housing, and neighborhoods have suffered from housing eyesores. HUD calls this a double crime--one against tenants as well as taxpayers.

To report a bad landlord to the Multifamily Housing Complaint Line call toll-free1-800-685-8470 / TTY 1-800-432-2209.

HootyWho 6 years, 1 month ago

Is there any city agency that looks for distressed property, or do they just wait for somebody to complain? and where do you complain,,,i have 3 empty houses in my neighborhood,,,one is in really bad shape and that trailercourt has been bad for years,,,i hope the city helps those people they really should,

pace 6 years, 1 month ago

The city has no responsibility to help the tenants or the landlord. Their responsibility is if the property is unsafe, they condemn it. They can work with the owners to guide into compliance, but no, the city has no responsibility to help the tenants. The Landlord should have a responsibility, if he failed to properly maintain the property, he/she is responsible to compensate the tenant for costs. That almost never happen.

BiPolarWookie_w_PhD 6 years, 1 month ago

If the codes were enforced in the first place, which is the city of Lawrence, then the city shows negligence in not enforcing the code, (the city is breaking it's own laws) then evicting without written warning or order to repair(Violation of fair and equal housing). I find the judgement for the plantiffs in this case (the tenants) In the amount of 20,000 dollars per dwelling. Just be glad there arent punitive damages in this case, such as unreasonable emotional stress placed on the families, the public eye, again, no fault of their own, Now to prove the city acted in a negligent manner, a timeline of events leading up to being thrown out of your own house and onto the street for simply paying your rent on time, must be established. I'm going to the Hoth-House for lunch before the next case.

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