Ready-to-move homes and trailers are not wanted in Rapid City, according to some residents.
A small group presented a petition to councillors during a public hearing last night. As of yesterday afternoon, they had 30 signatures, but were hoping to see more before the 7 p.m. meeting began.
"We’re asking the councillors to have higher standards for what properties are built here," Elly Enns said. "We’re the people who elected them and now they’re doing whatever they want."
A neighbourhood filled with trailers and RTMs is not the place Enns imagined raising her two children. When Enns and her husband built their home on one of eight new developments five years ago, there was an agreement that no RTMs or trailers would be able to purchase surrounding property.
"Some of the properties have been conditionally sold to RTM home builders in Brandon that will bring modular homes next to our houses," she said.
Mobile and modular RTM homes look like traditional homes, but do not have basements or a solid foundation, so they could be moved in the future.
When going house to house to ask people to sign the petition, Enns said that a lot of residents were unaware that RTM or trailer owners would be allowed to purchase property within the town.
"There was nothing sent to anybody, just a sign on the property saying it was conditionally sold," she said.
None of the properties on the development Enns lives have been purchased yet, but she believes that it will be if the other properties are allowed to be sold. She said a man has bought four properties for trailers on another development.
"If he’s already bought four, for sure he will try to get more," she said.
There had been discussion about a trailer park being built outside the town, which Enns said residents were OK with. But there is a problem with having these types of homes mixed between traditional homes.
"We’re disappointed. We pay a lot of taxes for our property. If trailer homes move in, they’ll be using the same services, the same amount of water but pay a lot less in taxes," she said, also noting that it makes the neighbourhood less esthetically pleasing.
Aside from the petition, Enns said the group is in the process of speaking with lawyers and other government officials to see how it can prevent the properties from being sold to RTMs and trailers.
Town councillors declined comment before the meeting.
"It’s about mobile homes coming to Rapid City, that’s all I can say for now," Coun. Lloyd Evans said.
Council members would be making a decision on the conditional use of the properties after last night’s meeting.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 20, 2013