Janesville61.9°

Site owner asks residents to move

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ANN MARIE AMES
April 20, 2011
— The owner of Shady Hills Mobile Home Park has sent a letter to the owners of 30 mobile homes telling them they must move to make room for new mobile homes and new roads.

That was not the town of Bradford’s intent in 2008 when it filed a lawsuit against the site’s owner, David Merriam of Madison. The town wanted Merriam to move a mobile home near the entrance to the park, which is on Creek Road near the intersection of Highway 140.


The park is three miles north of Clinton.


The town also wanted Merriam to come up with a plan to improve the park’s layout and replace aging mobile homes through attrition, town board Chairman Ron Duffy said.


Rock County Judge Ken Forbeck in September 2009 in a summary judgment ruled that the mobile home near the park entrance did not encroach on the town’s right-of-way and the town could not demand it be moved. Forbeck also ruled that the mobile home park was a nonconforming use and was not under the authority of the town’s mobile home ordinance, according to court documents.


The town appealed Forbeck’s decisions. The last of the legal documents were filed earlier this month in the state court of appeals and the case awaits a decision, according to online documents.


The town and other officials have had concerns about the development’s safety for several years, Duffy said.


Clinton Fire District Chief John Rindfleisch has said the roads toward the back third are too narrow for fire equipment, Duffy said Tuesday during a town board meeting.


“They have to stop and physically take hoses down to the individual units,” Duffy said.


The town in June asked Merriam to come up with a plan to reconfigure the mobile home units as owners move out as he agreed to do in a June meeting, according to an April 7 letter to Merriam from town attorney David Moore.


But as of this time, Merriam hasn’t responded to the letter or come up with a plan, Duffy said.


Many of the site’s residents are not native English speakers and are low-income earners, Duffy wrote in a letter to Clinton Community School District Administrator Randy Refsland.


“The town board wants you to know that it has no desire to cause any residents of the mobile home park to lose their homes,” Duffy wrote in the letter.


In an undated letter obtained by the Gazette, Merriam listed 30 mobile homes that are to be removed. The owners can remove the mobile homes or abandon them, according to the letter. Merriam will not buy any mobile homes.


“Most of you have been good tenants, and we will be glad to consider your offers on the new trailers when they come in,” according to the letter.



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