Kodiak Island Borough staff is aiming to schedule meetings and potentially make code amendments to try to find a solution for the dozens of people that live in the recently-sold Jackson Mobile Home Park, said Bob Pederson, the community development department director, at a Planning and Zoning Commission special meeting Wednesday night.
There are other mobile home parks in Kodiak, and Pederson said he knows a couple of them have at least a few existing slots available, but expanding the park and adding new slots would be difficult.
“There may be some opportunity for some spaces to be utilized in the existing mobile home parks around town, but we know one of the hindrances to those is the way the code is structured,” Pederson said. “The way the mobile home park chapter in the code is written now, I don’t think any of the mobile home parks would meet those standards if they’re talking expanding or increasing.”
Later, at the work session following the meeting, Pederson said, “I’m suggesting that we can go in and look at how we can tweak that chapter to allow the existing parks to be able to utilize any space that may be available for additional units.”
On the work session agenda was a discussion of revising land use codes in Kodiak, something the borough has been working on for several years and recently voted to start anew a little at a time. Two members of the commission said it was important to go through the code in an orderly fashion during the revision process, but due to the Jackson sale, the mobile home park chapter was bumped to the top of the list of priorities.
At the work session, the commission gave staff direction to look into amending the mobile home park and recreational vehicle park chapters of the code with hopes of an item on next month’s work session agenda.
Pederson gave a few more details about the stage of the sale at the work session. He said the deed has been filed with assessing, but the new owners have not yet filed for a “change of land use,” which means the 270-day or nine month notice period required by Alaska law has not yet started.
Jackson will be closing on May 2, 2016, according to an “informational notice” from
At the meeting and work session, 12 people who either lived in Jackson or owned trailers in the park gave public testimony with concern for themselves or the people who lived there.
Several were concerned that their trailers could not be moved from the location to somewhere else due to a bent frame, no wheels or the age of the trailer.
Some said they had sunk a lot of money into a trailer that now had nowhere to go or that could not be moved, and some said they could not afford to live anywhere else.
The Jackson park has some of the lowest rental rates in Kodiak.
Several commenters said they had received no notice of the sale except for rampant rumors online until the Daily Mirror article about the sale on Wednesday.
Jackson management has not responded to a Wednesday phone call or emailed questions. The new owner has not responded to a call on Thursday or the emailed questions Jackson management said on Wednesday they would forward to him.
The Jackson tract of land, located off Spruce Cape Road, is 11.97 acres and is valued at about $1.1 million, according to the borough’s geographic imaging system map.
Julie Herrmann is a staff reporter at the Kodiak Daily Mirror. Contact her at 486-3227 ext. 627.