LITTLE VICTORY: Lowry Grove mobile home park residents can stay, for now

- Residents of a mobile home park in St. Anthony have bought themselves more time in the fight to stay in their homes.

The St. Anthony City Council decided to continue a public hearing at a later, unspecified date. The decision was the result of uncertainty over the project, as the case goes to court.

It’s the latest in a fight that has pit residents of the Lowry Grove RV Park against the previous and current owners.

In April, residents of the mobile home park were notified of plans to close the park and sell it to a real estate developer.

“I like living in this house,” said Leticia Morales who like many of the residents, lives in a mobile home likely too old to be moved. “[If I go] to another place, the rent is too high.”

The new owners, The Village, LLC, say residents have until March to either move their mobile home to a different park, or move out and leave the home to be demolished.

“I sympathize with them, this is not easy. I’ve said from the very beginning it was going to be hard,” said Traci Tomas with The Village, LLC. “But we are working with them, and compensation is available.”

Opponents teamed up with Aeon, a non-profit owner and developer of low income homes, to put an offer for the park.

According to state statute, mobile home park residents get first right of refusal to purchase a park if it is slated to close.

Despite matching the offer by Tomas and her team, the previous owner sold to The Village, LLC anyway, prompting a lawsuit.

“The lawsuit is baseless and I think we’ll prevail,” said Tomas who claims Aeon needed 51 percent of residents to support the purchase and they didn’t get it. “They didn’t have the majority, period. Therefore the purchase offer they submitted could not be submitted.”

Alan Arthur, CEO of Aeon says that simply is not true.

Arthur and other opponents were pleased with the decision by the city council Thursday, as they say it means they don’t have to vacate anytime soon.

“I believe in justice,” said Antonia Alvarez who has spear headed the fight to keep the mobile home park open. “I believe we will get to stay.”

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