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Pioneer Estates dispute close to resolution

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Kayla Bunge
February 14, 2008
— Residents of the Pioneer Estates Mobile Home Park are breathing easier.

Dale Thorpe, attorney for Dan Daniels of Milwaukee, who owns the mobile home park at W7955 Creek Road, on Wednesday night presented the town plan commission with a proposal to resolve more than a decade of zoning disputes with the county.


“If it’s not in this book, it can’t happen anymore,” Thorpe said, referring to a three-ring binder containing a revised conditional use permit application for the park. “We want to be clear five, 10, 20 years from now what’s permitted and what’s not permitted.”


The county zoning department argued that some mobile homes in the park were too close together, violating county setback rules.


The zoning department in August 2006 threatened to revoke Daniels’ conditional-use permit. That would have shut down the park and forced the residents to move their homes.


But the zoning agency in May tweaked its rules to forgive setbacks.


Thorpe has reapplied for the conditional use permit to end confusion and establish guidelines for the park’s future operation.


“I don’t ever want us to have to come back and do this again,” he said.


The plan includes “building envelopes” for each unit. Any new construction or additions to existing homes must fit within that defined space, preventing confusion about setback requirements.


The envelope concept would shrink the park from 167 units to 162. Five units from the original Rolling Meadows Mobile Home Park, developed in the late ’60s and early ’70s, would be eliminated through attrition.


“Over the course of time, as the homes come up for sale, we’ll purchase those homes and eventually redevelop that area,” Thorpe said.


Pioneer Estates already owns four of the homes.


The plan also calls for land west of the park to be rezoned for conservation with a permanent restriction on new home construction.


WHAT’S NEXT

The Town of Darien Plan Commission will review the Pioneer Estates proposal Feb. 26 and make a recommendation to the Darien Town Board, which could approve the proposal March 4.



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