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LODA — The village board is expected to discuss a proposed ordinance change next month that would restrict any more mobile homes from coming into the village.
The amendment to the town’s mobile-home ordinance is being proposed by Trustee John Zalaker as a way to improve the town’s appearance and reduce various issues that he says have been difficult to address at Loda’s only trailer park.
“There’s frustration throughout the community on the conditions and past track record for mobile homes in town,” Zalaker said.
Zalaker recently announced his intentions to run for the board president’s seat in the April 2013 election.
So has Sandy Coffey, a former trustee who coincidentally owns the trailer park.
Zalaker and Coffey strongly disagree on the need for the new ordinance. But both stressed that their decision to run for office in 2013 has nothing to do with the ordinance change being proposed.
Zalaker said the village’s mobile-home ordinance already makes it illegal for any new mobile homes to be brought into the village, unless one already in town is removed and replaced within a year. However, Loda’s trailer park has been exempt from the regulation, Zalaker said.
Zalaker said his proposed ordinance amendment would make it so no more trailers, under any circumstance, can be moved into the village on any property, including the trailer park. Zalaker plans to bring the proposal to the board for discussion at its Nov. 14 meeting.
“It’s still open for discussion,” Zalaker said.
Coffey said she is concerned with the proposal because it could eventually mean the closure of the trailer park, where there are currently 13 trailers and 34 people living. She said that if no more trailers are able to move in when residents move out, then eventually there will be none left. It would also mean the current residents would be unable to upgrade their mobile homes if they wanted to, she said.
Zalaker said he understands Coffey’s concern. But he said there is a need for change because there have been too many problems with such issues as noise and debris at the trailer park, and the village has had a difficult time enforcing its ordinances to control those issues.
“Our frustration is trying to enforce stuff over there. They haven’t policed themselves very well. There’s just been some issues,” Zalaker said. “We need to get the town cleaned up. It just seems like we always take one step forward and two steps back.”
Coffey said that Zalaker told the board last month that the trailer park is an “eyesore” and needs to be cleaned up. Zalaker also mentioned “constant” ordinance violations at the trailer park, Coffey said.
But Coffey said she has never received a written ordinance violation from the village for the trailer park.
“The trailer park looks no worse than some of the other properties in town,” Coffey said. “And they’re not doing anything about those (other properties), so what is so wrong (with the trailer park)?”