NORTH LIBERTY– Residents of Golfview Mobile Home Park in North Liberty approached North Liberty’s city council last Tuesday with one very grave concern.
“There are rumors going around about Golfview association selling the land that we lease, and I’m kind of worried,” said Mollie Oakes of Golfview Drive. “The state of Iowa tells us if we get an eviction notice, we have 60 days to move our mobile homes.”
Oakes and a neighbor, Dean Wade, both told the council rumors are “flying” that the current owners of Golfview Mobile Home Park plan to sell or re-zone the land for commercial development.
“If there is a mass eviction, I don’t know where people are going to go,” Oakes said. “I heard from a reputable source that this is going to happen eventually.”
Mayor Tom Salm wondered why Oakes appealed to the city.
“What are you wanting from the council, at this point?” he asked.
Oakes told him she wanted the concern to become a matter of public record. Wade was even more pointed in his request.
“If it is true, I hope the city can step in and have something to say, and not just tell us we have to (move out) in 60 days” said Wade.
According to public records, the mobile home park was purchased from previous owner in May, 2008, by Golfview Investors, L.C., a privately-owned corporation.
Karla Davis of North Liberty is one of four shareholders of that corporation, which is also managing the park, and she served as spokesperson for the group in a telephone interview with the Leader.
“The only thing going on in Golfview right now concerns the Highway 965 project,” said Davis, referring to the planned alignment of Golfview Drive with Fairview Lane. “If the city chooses to go that route, we would lose two or three manufactured homes. If that indeed happens, we would work with those homeowners, if they wish, to move to the southern part of the park.”
There are 275 total lots on the 60-acre property, with approximately 37 currently vacant, said Davis. At this point in time, she stressed, there are no other plans for selling or re-developing the park.
However, since the park is private property, no law would prevent members of the corporation from selling any or all of the land. Iowa law states rental agreements must be canceled by at least 60 days’ written notice, and a landlord should only terminate a lease for “good cause.”
The City of North Liberty would have some say in whether or not the property– zoned as RFB Residential Factory Built– could be re-zoned for a different type of development. In order for that to happen, a rezoning application must first be submitted to the city’s Planning & Zoning Commission for approval.
“After that, they would have to hold a good neighbor meeting to inform everyone of their intentions,” said City Administrator Ryan Heiar, “ and then it would move on to the council, with three public readings there.”
Heiar indicated such would be a “fairly lengthy process.”
Unless a rezoning application is brought before the city, Salm indicated the council’s collective hands were tied.
“At this point, this information I’m sure is new to virtually everybody here on the council. We appreciate you bringing us the information, but there is nothing we can actually do at this point,” he told Oakes at the meeting.
Council member Chris Hoffman noted Golfview residents could contact Heiar with their concerns if they wished to be placed on a future council agenda.
As her time for public comment ran out, Oakes’ left the council with a few final words about the Golfview community in which she lives.
“It may not be very pretty to people who own real estate, but I love it there,” said Oakes. “I know that these people own the land. I know that you folks could rezone it. I know that mobile homes are sometimes an eyesore for people who drive by. But that’s my home. That’s where I lay my head at night.”