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Changes to Mobile Home Regs Heads to Final Vote

November 14, 2018

Anastasia Weatherford, shown in April 2018 in front of her home in the Front Range Manufactured Home Community, was among residents who asked city council for help with what they see as unreasonable and arbitrary actions by the community's management. Here, she holds part of a pre-existing park fence that she was told to remove or face a fine.

Mobile home residents tearfully thanked Broomfield City Council members Tuesday for listening to their grievances concerning park management, and applauded a unanimous vote to clarify and amend local regulations.

On Dec. 4, council will hold a public hearing and second vote to adopt amendments to its municipal code and publish a handbook for mobile home park tenants.

Housing Program Manager Cheryl St. Clair went over the ordinance and explained how it came about — residents approaching officials last year with stories about illegal towing, requiring homeowners to remove fencing (which they previously were required to install) and charging exorbitant rents and rent increases along with suspicious and unexplained utility charges.

Three residents in attendance hugged St. Clair after her presentation before thanking council for being “the first ones to listen” and for its willingness to help.

“This has been such a long fight,” Anastasia Weatherford said, “and I can’t thank you enough.”

Front Range Mobile Home Park residents came forward with concerns regarding the park’s manger, Kinglsey Management, whom they say has been treating residents poorly for years.

They told council about vehicles getting towed from driveways for allegedly expired registration tags or for hanging over the sidewalk.

“Residents feel this was suspicious because the towing agents did not tow the car if they were paid cash at the time the tow was to occur,” staff said in its report. “Reported towings in the past few months are down substantially.”

Mobile home residents also reported “speeding violations” issued by management staff and substantial rent increases.

Broomfield officials said the new ordinance adheres to the Colorado Mobile Home Park Landlord-Tenant Act, which governs the rights and responsibilities of the homeowners and the park owners, while still addressing resident concerns.

The current municipal code on mobile home communities generally addresses development, zoning and building requirements for mobile homes and mobile home parks.

The new ordinance clarifies several issues, such as the limitation of prohibiting sales of mobile homes, the limitation on required upgrades to existing mobile homes, right to privacy and management’s right of entry.

It also prohibits retaliation from management, requires mediation before actions are taken to evict a tenant, and places restrictions that require residents to maintain large trees and other park-owned property.

The ordinance also will include park owners to annually post utility rates and formula for how those will be computed, which will give tenants a way to see if a billed amount is being fairly charged.

Council applauded the bravery of residents willing to speak out, especially under the threat of retaliation, and thanked them for being part of the Broomfield community.

Ward 4 Councilman Kevin Kreeger stressed how this was indicative of government of the people. He thanked residents for coming to their locally elected officials.

He clarified with staff that the amendments would apply to both renters and home owners at Broomfield mobile home parks. Kreeger also asked staff to continue to look at possible upcharging of residents’ utilities and, if that was happening, outline corrective steps.

Ward 5 Councilwoman Guyleen Castriotta thanked residents for being engaged, for reaching out and staying organized as neighbors.

“You have clear rights that you can make sure are enforced,” she said, “and you have us. I am so grateful to everyone on this dais.”

City and County Attorney Shaun Sullivan, at council’s request, said he would look into adding private righ-of-action for residents.

Deputy City and County Manager Kevin Standbridge said Broomfield officials will reach out to park managers to inform them of the amendments and the handbook before the Dec. 4 meeting.

In late October, Broomfield officials agreed to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with Adams County, Westminster, Aurora, Thornton, Federal Heights, Brighton and Commerce City to support the creation of a legal office in the north metro area. It will be staffed by attorneys and Colorado Legal Services staff to provide mobile home park residents and other tenants with legal advice and representation relating to landlord-tenant issues.

Broomfield agreed to pay $15,000 a year for two years to start the program. That money will come from the Community Development Block Grant program.

Jennifer Rios: 303-473-1361, riosj@broomfieldenterprise.com or Twitter.com/Jennifer_Rios

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