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Green belt for Brownsville Mobile Home Park?

Fri, Oct 11th, 2013
Posted in Preston Government

Kerry and Nancy Soiney who have a home across the street from this mobile home park want the owner of the park to establish a green zone between the trailers and the street.

Kerry and Nancy Soiney aired their complaint at the Preston City Council’s October 7 meeting insisting that a “green belt” should be established along the Brownsville Street section (in front of about five mobile homes) of the Brownsville Mobile Home Park. The park has room for 13 mobile homes and currently has 11. Councilman David Harrison was absent.

City Administrator Joe Hoffman explained that the city had received complaints concerning several violations of city ordinances by the mobile home park. Owner Tim Johnston has dealt with most of the violations since May when city officials met with him about the violations. The main issue left is the requirement detailed in city ordinance 152.04 (A) which requires a green belt around the periphery of the manufactured home park that adjoins any residential zones. The question was asked if this would apply to the street side of the mobile home park.

The ordinance was put on the books in 1971. Kerry Soiney noted that several small lilac bushes were just planted, but they will take years to provide adequate screening of the park. The fact that individual driveways come out to the street further complicate the problem. He wants a full size green zone by the spring of next year. Soiney suggested the owner hire a landscaper. He said the driveways are poor planning and that there should be a single road into the park.

Soiney said he and his mother before him have been complaining about the mobile home park for years. He insisted it is just a visual issue. They are looking out at 40 to 50 year old trailers now. He said just think what it will look like in 20 years. After having been told nothing could be done, they found this ordinance. He offered to purchase the property in 2012, but the owner didn’t want to sell. Soiney also suggested the mobile home park should have a storm shelter, parking area, and a recreational area for children.

Councilman Robert Maust was concerned about liability issues if tall greenery blocked the view of cars entering the street.

A 1995 ordinance doesn’t allow for individual driveways in a mobile home park. Mayor Kurt Reicks said they can’t ask that the driveways be removed now as they predated the ‘95 ordinance. The mobile home park was established in 1971 and has had several owners.

City attorney Dwight Luhmann asked if it can be effectively screened with the driveways. A motion was made and approved directing city staff to contact the owner Tim Johnston and ask him to attend one of the next two council meetings. The implication was that the young lilac plantings were not adequate.

Other Business In Brief

•Ambulance director Ryan Throckmorton said a $2,500 grant had been applied for from Agstar to purchase one Rad 57. This device allows the EMT to immediately determine the level of carbon monoxide in the blood. It also measures pulse and oxygen in the blood. One basic unit costs $3,954. A unit which includes a pediatric reusable sensor and a three year warranty would cost $5,097.

Throckmorton recommended the basic unit. The council accepted the grant and approved the purchase of the basic unit.

•A quote from Bakke Cement ($2,010) was approved to pour a concrete pad on the northeast corner of the library to divert water away from the building and keep it from coming into the council room.

•The city’s property, liability and workers compensation insurance will continue through the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust. The total cost of the city’s insurance is about $70,000 annually. The council voted to not waive the tort limits as it has in the past.

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