Raleigh mobile home park stays open

August 5, 2008 5:27:09 PM PDT
Claudia Shows tries to avoid the spotlight. She'd rather relax and enjoy her home at Raleigh's Homestead Village mobile home park, where she's lived for thirty four years.

It's surrounded by big trees, she has a greenhouse, "and we have yards and wonderful places that we've had for many, many years,"she told us with pride on Tuesday, "and we'd like to see it stay that way!"

That's why she mobilized her neighbors, circulated petitions, and campaigned against the rezoning of the Homestead Village land for mixed commercial and residential use.

As a result, a developer who planned to build a shopping center, offices and hundreds of new homes on the property changed his mind. So a Tuesday morning vote by Raleigh's planning commission formally denying the developer's rezoning request is a big win for Homestead Village residents.

Shows told us now, nobody has to move out--thanks to an unexpected, powerful ally.

"The economy. I think everybody in this whole country is struggling now," she said. "And the sympathy that this has garnered has really helped our case out!"

But despite what happened at City Hall, there's still a possibility that all of the Homestead Village property could still be sold. If that happens, though, Shows hopes the new buyer will want to invest in the total community by keeping what's good about Homestead Village, while fixing whatever needs repairs that she says the current owner avoids.

"We're just gonna keep our fingers crossed that whenever he decides to sell it, he won't go the route of development," said Shows. "He will go the route of selling it to another mobile home park owner."

She's counting on the emergence of one who can see what an affordable mobile home community that includes immigrants, families and retirees can offer Raleigh.


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