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Parks Rezoned to Commercial: Prelude to Change of Use?

Adam R.'s picture

Posted August 23, 2007

The land on which two mobile home parks in Columbia, Missouri sit was rezoned on Tuesday night.  Sunset and Ed's Mobile Home Park had both been located just outside of the city limits of this Midwestern college town.  Upon annexation, though, City Council gave the parks a new zoning use.

This sets up the possibility that residents may lose their homes in the near


Although this incident will influence just two parks, the action is part of a common trend.  Local zoning can make a big difference in the long-term viability of manufactured housing as a resource for low-income residents.

The rezoning sets up two possible outcomes.  One is good and the other is decidely problematic.  In the ideal result, the rezoning and annexation will occur without a change of use.  The residents will get the benefit of access to city infrastructure like sewers and water, along with maintenance.  Emergency calls will be handled by the City and not by Boone County.

Alternatively, the rezoning could compel a mass eviction.

Now that the land is zoned commercial, it qualifies for a set of "higher and better" uses.  The significant difference is that most of the new uses would bring in more dollars.

The decision rests largely with park owner Ron Netemeyer.   He could keep the parks at their present status, or seek to redevelop the property in another form.

If Netemeyer opts to redevelop, existing law would require that park residents get six months notice before a mass eviction.

The two parks are both located on the same side of Lenoir Street in Southern Columbia.  Another large mobile home park is located just across the street.  Otherwise, the area is on the outskirts of the city.