After Fort Collins police responded to a call in which a family had fallen victim a scam, officers took matters into their own hands.
Saja Hindi, firstname.lastname@example.org
The owner of Timber Ridge and Skyline mobile home parks in Fort Collins is proposing a new manufactured home community in south Fort Collins.
While several parks have closed in and around Fort Collins, no new mobile home parks have opened in decades.
Representatives from Sun Communities of Southfield, Michigan, are meeting with city planners next week to review preliminary designs for a 211-unit mobile home park just south of College Avenue and Trilby Road.
It would be Sun’s third property in and around Fort Collins; Skyline park, 2211 W. Mulberry St., is age restricted to those 55 and over.
It’s unclear if the new proposal would be open to all ages. Sun Communities representatives did not return phone calls seeking comment.
A conceptual review does not mean the plan will go forward or be approved but coincides with state legislation that encourages cities and counties to talk to each other on the issue of mobile homes and manufactured communities, said Sue Beck-Ferkiss, social policy and housing program manager for the city’s Social Sustainability Department.
HOUSING: Affordable housing development in south Fort Collins takes next steps
Often considered the most affordable of all housing options, a landing spot for some of the community’s poorest residents, the number of parks in and around Fort Collins is shrinking.
Five parks have closed in the past 23 years, displacing 461 families, including Grape Street and Bender Mobile Home Park in the past 11 years. All of the parks were redeveloped into commercial or residential projects.
Grape Street’s seven-unit park closed in 2008 to make way for the King Soopers-anchored North College Marketplace that opened in 2011. The larger, 32-home Bender Mobile Home Park is being redeveloped as Pateros Creek, a higher-end single-family housing project at the end of Wood Street.
Some of Fort Collins’ mobile home parks, like Skyline, are age restricted; some are geared to lower-income residents. They run from small to large, tired to modern, those with perfectly manicured lawns and paved streets to those with dirt yards and rutted roads.
Most include rentals as well as owner-occupied units. All parks, however, require residents to rent the land beneath their mobile homes.
The city has acknowledged mobile home parks are an integral affordable housing option. The back-to-back closings of Grape and Bender led to a city study in 2013 to determine what place mobile homes have in the city’s affordable housing inventory and what responsibility the city and developers have to families displaced by redevelopment.
Fast forward six years and city staff is currently exploring several mobile home park-related reforms to city code, including resident rights regulations, a new mobile home park-specific zoning district, increased time requirements for notices of redevelopment and allowing park residents the right of first refusal if the park goes up for sale.
Earlier this month, City Council approved a one-year moratorium on park redevelopments to give staff time to research options. “We will not be looking at a one-size-fits-all solution,” Beck-Ferkiss said. “We have many strong, healthy parks that provide great housing options that we do want to preserve.”
The moratorium will not affect plans for Sun Communities’ new park, which would be built on vacant land.
According to preliminary documents, the mobile home park would include a nearly 2-acre park and a half-acre pocket park.
The site abuts Pleasant Grove mobile home park on the north and is southeast of the intersection of South College Avenue and East Trilby Road.
No formal plans have been filed.
Other plans for the 32-acre site have come and gone, including mobile home parks, but in the end, developers determined the projects were economically unfeasible, Beck-Ferkiss said.
Mobile homes are permitted in the area, city planner Meaghan Overton said, and because the project is larger than 30 acres, the developer would be required to include four different housing types.
Manufactured housing — the term most frequently used to refer to mobile homes manufactured after 1976 — is considered one housing type, Overton said.
Number of mobile homes
Based on 2013 data. While some parks in the county have changed hands, none have closed since 2012.
- Mobile home units in Fort Collins: 1,336
- Mobile home units contiguous to city limits: 935
- Mobile home units in growth management area and not contiguous to city limits: 510
Mobile home park closures since 1996
- Pioneer Mobile Home Park closed in 1996 for redevelopment of what is now Harmony Marketplace and Harmony Village. Families displaced: 200
- Johnson Mobile Home Park closed in 1997 after the Spring Creek Flood. After flood mitigation, it was redeveloped as The Summit student housing (now State) in 2013. Families displaced: 92
- Dry Creek Mobile Home Park closed in 2006. The property has been subdivided into single-family lots. Families displaced: 130 (park was permitted for 240)
- Grape Street closed in 2008 to make way for North College Marketplace and King Soopers. Families displaced: 7
- Bender Mobile Home Park closed in 2012 to make way for residential redevelopment. Families displaced: 32
Source: City of Fort Collins and Coloradoan research
Coloradoan reporter Jacy Marmaduke contributed to this report.
Pat Ferrier is a senior reporter covering business, health care and growth issues in Northern Colorado. Please support her work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by subscribing: See Coloradoan.com/subscribe to learn how.
Read or Share this story: https://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2019/08/23/fort-collins-first-new-mobile-home-park-decades-proposed/2083882001/