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.