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Rezoning Could Spell End to Raleigh Mobile-Home Park

Posted April 24, 2008
Updated April 25, 2008

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— A plan to bring new development to north Raleigh could leave more than 160 residents of a mobile-home park looking for a new place to live.

A prospective buyer wants city officials to rezone the Homestead Village Mobile Home Community, a 38.5-acre property off Capital Boulevard, near Jacqueline Drive. The rezoning would allow a shopping center, offices, apartments and single-family residences.

"If zoning is approved and site plans are approved, it's anticipated the property will be sold and re-developed," said David York, an attorney for the prospective buyer of the mobile-home park.

Although they may own their own mobile homes, residents rent the lots on which their homes sit in Homestead Village, owned by Robert and Katherine Binns.

Many residents said they fear they will be forced out of their community if the property is sold.

"I can't see this neighborhood destroyed. We've lived here too long," said Claudia Snow, who has lived in the Homestead park for 34 years.

Resident Loida Guerrero said it might be too expensive to move her mobile home, which she bought a month ago.

"(We don't) know what we're going to do, especially because we're young, and we just bought our home," Guerrero said. "It's such a short time, we don't know about money-wise and everything."

The prospective buyer is trying to help residents find other options, York said.

Robert Binns said that he "felt bad" for the residents and that health problems factored into his decision to sell the park, which he has owned since 1979.

"I'm 70 years old. I'm on oxygen," Binns said. "It's rental property. It's time for me to get rid of it."

Binns, who implied that he has been hospitalized several times in recent years, said he did not want to leave the burden of operating the park to his wife.

The potential buyer said development on the property would not begin until next year. Binns said he will not sell until the rezoning process is completed.

The Raleigh City Planning Commission issued a draft recommendation backing the rezoning. The committee has until July 22 to issue its final recommendation to the City Council.

Council members must approve the rezoning.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Awake in Wake Apr 25, 2008

    Get ready for more McMansions. You cannot even tell where you are any more in Raleigh because all the subdivisions look the same. Gone is the Plantation Inn. It looks like this long-standing mobile home park will disappear too. Gone with the Wind.... Raleigh will build a riverwalk to try to look like San Antonio when we do not even have a major river flowing through downtown Raleigh. Why don't we try something else and highlight what makes Raleigh a unique southern city.

  • discowhale Apr 25, 2008

    Raleigh needs another shopping center, indoor mall, out door mall, strip mall or flea market like we need a third eyeball and arm coming out of the middle of our backs! You can't swing a dead cat on that end of town without hitting an open store front. And the traffic up there is horrible already. Unless people will fly helicopters in and out of the new shopping center, I'd say no way should the land be zoned for shopping.

    I'm all for growth but it needs to be done sensibly. Here's a novel idea. Build some smaller houses on that spot. 1100 or 1200 sq ft, that the Regular Joes can afford. One of the reasons the housing market tanked was because too many people over extended to buy houses that were too big for their wallets. The avg new home in Raleigh is 2000 sq ft. That's nice, but pricey.

    If Raleigh keeps going like this, it will be just one huge shopping center and we'll all have to live elsewhere and just come here to shop, or fly our helicopters around.

  • xxxxxxxxxxxxx Apr 25, 2008

    I'm hoping that if they build a retail area they'll put in a day spa for 4 year olds!

  • Beachnut Apr 25, 2008

    This has nothing whatsoever to do with whether Raleigh needs more shopping or not. It's simply determined by whether the developer feels he can make a profit. He already knows the council will eagerly say yes to the rezoning, so it's just a numbers game, nothing more.

  • kermelbar Apr 25, 2008

    Dear Raleigh: The less-than-wealthy need to live somewhere (safe) within our city. The folks who work at barely-minimum wage jobs are necessary for our survival and with gass approaching $4, things are already tight for them. I don't begrudge the owner for selling, especially given his reason for doing so, but as others have said, don't build one more shopping center until all the empty ones -- which are eyesores in my adopted homecity -- are filled. If you want to develop, then RE-develop buildings that already exist, don't shove people out of their homes, out of their community, to construct more buildings we don't need.

    Besides, my understanding is that once a mobile home has been in place for 10 years, it is illegal to move it, though this could be specific to the area where relatives live outside Charlotte.

  • IfByWhiskey-a-go-go Apr 25, 2008

    In looking at a map, all I can say is here we go again. There is already massive traffic congestion on that part of Capital Blvd. Of course, right across the street, Cheviot Hills is slated for redevelopment also.
    HOW ABOUT WIDENING CAPITAL FIRST??? Hey but as long as developers are making a killing, everybody's happy, right?

  • thefensk Apr 25, 2008

    Interesting points on all sides. Yes it is rental property and that can entail some risks but is there not some responsiblity on the part of an owner who RENTS out such property? This type of zoning change should be considered very carefully.

    Someone mentioned $3k to move a mobile home. That might cover the basic cost of actually moving it. There are a lot of other costs are entailed in moving one. Especially when it comes up suddenly as an unexpected expense. And where? I moved one in the early 90s and I think it cost more like $6K after all was said and one. And that was to a park. Buy some land and put in utilities? ... whew.

    For whatever reason they live there, these are people's homes. I've been here and done this. Yes, on the outside it was a single-wide. On the inside, when I closed the door, the kids came up and gave me a hug and the dog licked my face. It was home.

  • Raydianse Apr 25, 2008

    houndie - we do, there is not nearly enough commercial development. that is way everything is basically taken over by the cooperate companies, Barnes Noble, Harris Teeter, Chain restaurants, Walmart etc because they are the only one that can afford to set up shop, the Mom and Pop business are forced out. More commercial development means less crowds at every shopping center, more choices, better opportunities for mom and pop stores, and better prices for consumers.

  • Raydianse Apr 25, 2008

    Piperchuck - I couldn't have said it better.

  • piperchuck Apr 25, 2008

    One of the risks of living on rented property, especially in a growing area, is that the owner can decide to change the terms of the rent, or even decide to stop renting it.

    If keeping these people on someone else's property is so important, perhaps those expressing outrage should get together and buy this property and manage it. Otherwise, the property owner is entitled to do with it as they see fit.