Mobile home park residents worried about future as developer eyes land

Posted at 5:19 PM, Dec 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-15 19:15:22-05

HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- People living in the Candlelight Mobile Home Park can breathe a sigh of relief for now.

Residents of the park thought they might have to spend the holidays finding new housing, but the company that's going to redevelop the land said it's going to be at several years before the residents have to leave.

Sandy Hauck has lived in her mobile home at Candlelight for 12 years. It's where she brings her children and grandchildren.

"It's a nice, quiet neighborhood, and I just love it," Hauck said. "It's a perfect place for me to live."

But a letter taped to Hauck's door last month took the wind out of her sails. It hinted she might have just 120 days to leave the park on Dry Fork Road.

"I was shocked -- really shocked -- because I planned on living here for the rest of my life," she said.

That was the same sentiment for 14-year resident Pat Horan, just a few doors down.

"How am I going to move when I am up in the 80s? This is where I wanted to stay for the rest of my life: right here," Horan said.

Unlock Ohio wants to build manufacturing and office facilities on land adjacent to Candlelight. The first phase wouldn't need park land, but the second phase would -- possible in seven years.

Residents would get a two-year notice to move. That's why they packed a bus Thursday and headed to the Hamilton County Rural Zoning Commission, which was considering a zone change for the project.

The residents wanted their voices heard, and Unlock Ohio General Manager Glen Wiley responded.

"We're not in the business of making people homeless," Wiley said. "We're not in the business of kicking people out of their homes. So, when it came time for that we would be looking at compensating all the owners for leaving that facility."

The homeowners wanted more details on compensation, especially since most of the 34 homes are more than 10 years old.

"There's no park that's going to take us," Candlelight resident Jeff McAninch said. "OK. They're nice homes, but no park takes anything that's seven-to-10-years-old. So, we would lose all our equity. Our homes are worth something there. Anyplace out in the open, no."

The commission continued the case for 30 days to give the developer more time to talk with residents.