Neighbors of a 48-unit mobile home park off 45th Avenue in Kennewick are protesting a change of zoning that could bring 14 more trailers to a neighborhood of single-family homes west of Olympia Street.
Chinook Mobile Community park owner Ronald Hurst of Port Orchard wants zoning for the 11.7 acres switched from low-density residential to residential trailer park, as it was prior to 2002. The park currently is a nonconforming use, and no more units can be added without the zoning change.
The Kennewick Planning Commission decided in a 3-2 vote this week against recommending approval for the change after considering objections from three property owners at the meeting. Commissioners Bob Spaulding, Dave Hirai and Ed Frost opposed the zoning change, while Commissioners Candice Bluechel and Beau Ruff supported it.
The Kennewick City Council will consider the issue March 20.
Brian George of 4021 S. Quincy Place said the park has not been well cared for and that adding more units only would bring problems closer to his property.
George and his uncle, Ken George, who lives next door, told commissioners that Kennewick police had responded to 450 calls in the past six years at the mobile home park.
"Just look at how many police reports have been generated from the area already. It is a major eyesore and they can't take care of the place the way it is," Brian George told the Herald.
George said his uncle helped the park owner put in a grassy buffer strip in the park, and even helped maintain and mow it. A zoning change would allow the park to add more mobile homes, eliminating that buffer strip.
"They will be able to get within 10 feet of my property, and I have kids coming across my yard right now on their way to school," Brian George said.
He said he especially is concerned because he completed building his new home on one-quarter acre in November.
Caleb Romack of Moxee, speaking on behalf of the property owner, said improvements have been made at the park.
"We've never had issues before, and we've done major improvements since we bought the property in 2005," he said. "We've put in sewers, remodeled and sold trailers, and we plan to pave it."
Romack said low-density residential allows only four homes per acre, while the residential trailer park zoning allows up to 13 units per acre.
"I don't think it is maintenance in the park. It's not a bad looking park, compared to others," he said.
The number of police calls surprised Romack.
The Herald reviewed the police data provided by George, noting that 64 incidents were for noise and disturbance complaints, while 30 were civil issues, 46 were follow-up calls and 128 were to assist. There were 31 incidents over the six years at the 48 mobile homes involving threats, assaults, sex offenses, narcotics, weapons, burglaries, prowlers, trespassing and serving warrants.
Nineteen calls were for information and 21 calls were for suspicious circumstances.
"I don't believe it's the number of police calls. It is the placement of mobile homes," Romack said.