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Uncertainty at Layton mobile home park worries some, has spurred others to leave

By Tim Vandenack - | Feb 21, 2023
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Gina Stone peers out the window of her unit at Cedarwood Mobile Home Park in Layton on Monday, Feb. 13, 2023.
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Melissa Ibarra stands outside her unit at Park Village Manufactured Home Community in Layton on Monday, Feb. 13, 2023. She and her family used to live at Cedarwood Mobile Home Park.
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An abandoned and partially destroyed mobile home unit at Cedarwood Mobile Home Park in Layton, photographed Monday, Feb. 13, 2023.
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Cedarwood Mobile Home Park in Layton, photographed Monday, Feb. 13, 2023.

LAYTON — As jitters linger about the future of Cedarwood Mobile Home Park, some have left in search of a more stable place to live while others stay put, acknowledging their uncertain future.

“I want to take every last drop of my home,” said Gina Stone, one of those who has remained, even after the forced departure of residents living in 15 spaces last year to accommodate redevelopment plans.

She’s lived at the Layton mobile home park for 15 years, owned the unit she occupies since 2015 and suspects she’d have a hard time finding a replacement home, somewhere as cheap as Cedarwood, anyway. She pays $525 a month for the site where her mobile home sits, though that bumps up to $565 on April 1.

Even so, the uncertainty — the specter of receiving notice at any moment that she may have to leave, like those who lived in the 15 now-unoccupied spaces before her — gnaws at her. The future of Cedarwood, located at 189 Main St. in Layton, has been the focus of public debate since the summer of 2021, when news emerged that Provo-based owner Boulder Ranch wanted to vacate the park, which contains around 70 trailer spaces in all, and redevelop the site.

“I’m in limbo. I don’t know if I have a year, three years,” Stone said. “I cry. I have anxiety. I’m scared. I try not to think about it. I go day by day.”

For now, the development plans at Cedarwood — which have never been publicly detailed — seem to be indefinitely on hold. Reps from Boulder Ranch offices in Provo didn’t respond to a query seeking comment, but the manager of Cedarwood, Jeff Roberts, is aware of no imminent redevelopment plans. The site sits east across Main Street from the Layton FrontRunner station, and Boulder Ranch and affiliated companies own some 15 acres of land, including Cedarwood and other adjacent parcels, according to online Davis County property records.

“We just don’t have no idea when they’re going to continue it,” said Roberts. “We don’t have a timeframe at all. … I think we’re OK for a while longer.”

Layton planning officials didn’t immediately respond to a query seeking comment.

Whatever the case, a Sept. 8, 2021, letter remains posted outside on the door to the office at Cedarwood, advising residents that the site is to be redeveloped and that they’ll all eventually have to leave. It underscores the development pressures all along the Wasatch Front, where seemingly every scrap of land is potential fodder for a new housing subdivision, apartment complex or row of townhomes.

The Cedarwood plans, however vague they area, were enough to spur Melissa Ibarra and her family, among others, to clear out. Ibarra, her husband and their five kids are among the contingent of former Cedarwood residents who have left since last July, most of them now just a few blocks north on Main Street at the Park Village Manufactured Home Community.

“There’s calm. You feel more at ease. You aren’t as worried,” Ibarra said from her new space at Park Village, describing her change in demeanor since leaving Boulder Ranch. “More than anything it’s the stability and tranquility.”

The Ibarra family, one of the few former Cedarwood residents with newer mobile homes that could be transferred, moved their unit to Park Village. For others like Stone, living in an older unit, hauling her mobile home from Cedarwood is not an option.

Louise Brown, a sympathetic Layton resident, has helped the Cedarwood residents, reaching out to other mobile home parks that might have space, trying to pressure city officials and more. During a recent visit to Cedarwood, she noted the results of those efforts, pointing out vacant spaces representing former residents who have found new places to live, about five in all since last summer.

“We moved that trailer and we moved that trailer and we moved that trailer,” said Brown.

She helped Ibarra and her family and noted the change in demeanor for some residents when they have been able to find a new home, an escape from the uncertainty of Cedarwood. “It’s like a new world, a new life,” she said.

It’s been an uphill battle, though, and very few mobile home parks have space to accept the older units that are the norm at Cedarwood. What’s more, Brown said, others have had to abandon their mobile homes, unable to find parks that will accept them.

“Most of these people are desperate families, to be honest with you. They’re good people,” she said.

Stone relies on Social Security Disability Insurance and other housing options, for her, are limited. As such, she plans to stick it out at Cedarwood as long as she can, no matter the squatters that sometimes lurk around abandoned trailers, no matter the diminishing sense of community in the trailer park.

Indeed, she’s grown accustomed to the space, whatever its shortcomings, and shudders at being forced out. “This is my home,” she said.


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