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Layton mobile home park residents get word they’ll all have to leave

By Tim Vandenack - | Sep 15, 2021

Photo supplied

Cedarwood Mobile Home Park in Layton, pictured Sept. 7, 2021.

LAYTON — Residents of the Cedarwood Mobile Home Park in Layton have now received word that everyone living in the facility will have to move out to make way for new development.

Operators of the mobile home park, Provo-based Boulder Ranch, had already advised 14 residents that they’d have to leave and others had suspected they’d eventually be forced to vacate. Around 70 mobile homes are occupied at the trailer park, located at 189 S. Main St., just west of Interstate 15 and east of the Layton FrontRunner station.

Now, Boulder Ranch is advising residents in a new letter they received this week that the whole park, measuring around 5.7 acres, will eventually be closing. Residents in the original group of units, which Boulder Ranch now says is 15, not 14, will have until March 1, 2022, to leave, two months later than the original Jan. 1 date.

“The closing of the rest of the mobile home park is imminent,” reads the letter, provided by Nikkole Malan, one of the Cedarwood residents. The departure of the 15 residents will allow the first phase of redevelopment work to proceed, and once that’s done — after about 18 months — “it is our intent to close the rest of the mobile home park.”

News of plans to close Cedarwood, formally conveyed last March when the first 14 residents received word they’d have to leave, has caused consternation and handwringing in the mobile home park. Many of the working-class residents at Cederwood say they won’t be able to bring their mobile homes with them and worry they won’t be able to find affordable housing, a growing issue all along the Wasatch Front.

Indeed, a developer is interested in potentially redeveloping Lesley’s Mobile Home Park in Riverdale, building an apartment building on the land, and residents there also worry they may be forced out. It’s a lingering issue that still has yet to be completely resolved.

Malan, studying to become a nurse, is a part of the first contingent that will have to leave Cedarwood and she suspects she may end up sleeping on couches at the homes of her kids.

Mara Hopper, also in the first group, doesn’t know where she’ll go. “I’m terrified I’ll be out in the snow this winter, especially with COVID,” she said.

The Boulder Ranch letter, dated Sept. 8 and received by Malan on Monday, says company reps are working on plans to develop a new mobile home park in Layton. “However, plans are still in the works and while this may be a possibility, it is not yet approved and we do not have assurance that it will be, but it is something we are working on,” reads the letter.

Reps from Boulder Park did not immediately respond to a Standard-Examiner query on Tuesday seeking additional comment. The mobile home park is owned by F.M. Winkel Family LLC, which, in turn, is controlled by McKay Winkel, according to online business records maintained by the state of Utah.

Malan, though, is skeptical about the proposed new mobile home park, potentially to be built on land near Hill Air Force Base. “Right now it’s not zoned for residential property. It’s not zoned for anything,” Malan said.

The redevelopment plans call for apartments on land north of Cedarwood and retail and commercial development along Main Street, according to the Boulder Ranch letter. It’s a potentially prime area for redevelopment, being so close to the FrontRunner station.

Many details, though, have yet to be publicly revealed.

Cedarwood residents have tried repeatedly to get hold of Winkel or other Boulder Park reps, without success. The letter, though, identifies a contact for residents.

“He will be reaching out (to) each of you individually in order to become familiar with your individual circumstances and needs,” reads the letter. “He will be a great resource to you and will identify many resources available to you as you plan to relocate.”

Likewise, the mobile home park residents are to meet with Layton Mayor Joy Petro and other city leaders on Wednesday to discuss the varied issues.

Petro told the Standard-Examiner earlier this month that the city is limited in what it can do in the matter since the land in question is in private hands. “Unfortunately, the city’s hands are tied. The whole situation falls on the developer,” she said.

That said, Petro indicated city officials would do what they can to press the land developers to aid mobile home park residents. Wednesday’s meeting is also meant as a show of support for residents. “We’re going to sit down with them and collectively try to help these folks,” Petro said.

Even so, Malan has her doubts. “I think the residents will have a lot of questions and I don’t anticipate they’ll get a lot of answers,” she said.

Several mobile home residents appeared at a Sept. 2 meeting of the Layton City Council to publicly air their concerns.

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