During the public comment period at the Monday, Nov. 1 meeting, the City Council heard from a number of residents of the Jamison Mobile Home Park and their supporters.

Jamison Mobile Home Park is on Hiatt Street, which runs parallel to Spring Garden Street and is between Spring Garden and the railroad tracks.  Jamison Mobile Home Park is about a block from Hops Burger Bar at 2419 Spring Garden St.

Many of the residents of the mobile home park own their mobile homes but rent the land.  The property has been rezoned for multifamily use and is under a sales contract to close in January 2022.

Residents of the mobile home park have been protesting since the summer and brought their issues to the City Council Monday night.

According to the speakers, the small mobile home park with 18 homes is largely Hispanic.  Several of the speakers used translators.  Mayor Nancy Vaughan allowed speakers more than the three-minute time limit to make allowance for the translator.

Several speakers in support of the residents talked about the children in this community that attend Lindley Elementary School and how important they were to the Lindley school community.

Speakers also asked that the city use some of the American Rescue Plan funds to help the residents buy the land, noting that many of the mobile homes cannot be moved.

After the speakers, former City Councilmember and current Neighborhood Development Department Director Michelle Kennedy noted that the property went under contract in December 2020 and the closing was extended for 180 days to give sufficient notification to the residents.

Kennedy said that providing funds to purchase the property wasn’t a viable option because the property was not for sale and the developer who has the property under contract had no intention of backing away from that contract.

Kennedy said that in this case, because the property had been properly rezoned and there was a purchase contract in place, that there was “no viable option” other than relocation of the residents.

Vaughan said, “We need to look at what our options are and how we can best assist the people of Hiatt Street.”

Kennedy added to prevent situations like this in the future, city staff was recommending that renters be given the first right of refusal when property they were renting was put up for sale.