Glenwood trailer park to close
Residents of Rock Gardens Mobile Home Park in No Name will need to find another place to live – but got a chance recently to express their concerns over giving up their homes. Garfield County commissioners unanimously approved a development plan proposed by Rock Gardens’ owners, Kevin and Kathleen Schneider. The plan eliminates the mobile home park, which contains 11 owner-occupied mobile homes, and enhances the campground on the property.The Schneiders must give residents six months notice prior to making their lots available to RVs and campers. The first phase of the development could be finished by November 2005, and the section phase, by 2009. More than 15 people attended a recent county commissioners hearing, many to voice their concerns about the development – but not Lori Hogan, director of tourism and marketing for the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association. “I’m here to support the increase in RV sites,” she said. “When I heard about the new proposed development, I was very excited. The campgrounds in and around the Glenwood Springs area are limited. These new sites will help us keep dollars within the county.” But residents and others weren’t so excited. At the top of their list of concerns was the loss of housing, the safety for children and bike path users if traffic increases, and a degradation of No Name’s quiet neighborhood charm.No Name resident Jack Real said he was most bothered over the affordable housing that would be lost to additional camping facilities.”We’re likely to lose 26 residents total,” he said. “Where are these people – these teachers, these police – going to live?”Tom Zieman of Catholic Charities echoed Real’s concerns.”This loss of units means that these people will no longer be able to live in the Glenwood Springs area,” he said. “These are working-class folks we are going to lose as our neighbors.”Lisa Hayes, a preschool teacher who volunteers for several nonprofit organizations, has lived in her mobile home at Rock Gardens for almost 20 years. “I know we need growth and tourism, but we also need to support the residents,” she said. Zieman suggested some type of compensation for residents who own their trailers, since mobile homes past a certain age cannot be relocated.County Commissioner Trési Houpt asked Zieman specifically what type of compensation he’d propose.”These residents own their mobile homes, which are worth nothing if they’re moved,” Zieman said. “So, if you want to put a $40,000 price tag on a home, that’s what it’s worth. Otherwise, their homes are a total loss.”The new development allows for tent, cabin and RV camping, and eliminates the existing mobile home rental and camper spaces. Two permanent residential buildings will be allowed, as well as an administrative office building, bathhouses, a retail shop, storage facilities and a 2,500-square-foot community building. Prior to voting to approve the development, commissioners Houpt, John Martin and Larry McCown said it was difficult to vote to displace homeowners – especially from affordable homes.”This has really raised a deeper discussion,” Houpt said. “It’s clear everybody needs to make a commitment to work on affordable housing together.”
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It’s fitting that Eagle County is proceeding through its reopening phases of COVID-19 in an analogy to ski run difficulties — green to blue to black. Monday marks the transition from the green beginner phase to the blue intermediate phase.