Residents testifying at a public hearing on a proposed revision of the mobile-home code say they want a tougher, stricter Sanpete County.
Dennis Papworth, president of the Hideaway Valley Home Owners Association in northern Sanpete County, said that most of the 21 mobile homes in the subdivision are not in compliance."Some owners say, `If the county isn't doing anything, why should we?' " Papworth said. "We must have the help of the county."
One woman said some mobile-home residents don't have sewer, water, electricity. "This is what is happening right next to my home," she said.
Bob Crossfield said they planned to make their mobile home in the Blackhaw Estate a weekend retreat. "Our intention was to comply with the county code and we had planned a number of improvements: to drill a well and install a septic tank," he said. "We don't feel we should go ahead until we get some direction from the county."
"I am personally embarrassed to go through the Indianola area and see the eyesores there," another resident said, noting that some owners are only occasional visitors, such as during the deer hunt, and do little to maintain their property."
But one farmer's statement offered a somewhat different view. His family, he said, lived in a mobile home on a 160-acre farm. Some of the facilities available to people who live in mobile-home subdivisions weren't available to them.
"Don't penalize all mobile-home owners because of some," he said. "Look at each situation on a case by case basis."
The trailer and mobile-home problem had its origin in Sanpete County 30 or 40 years ago when several land developments, involving the sale of everything from one-acre to five-acre tracts, were launched by private organizations.
All of this took place before Sanpete County had adopted regulations governing operations of this kind.
In response to a growing problem, particularly in subdivisions in the northern part of the county, the County Commission adopted a development code about 10 years ago, including one chapter detailing requirements for trailers and mobile homes in unincorporated areas.
But the problem continued to fester, with mobile-home owners frequently appearing before commissioners to complain about code violations, the ambiguity of requirements, lax enforcement, safety and health hazards, a depreciation of property values.
In response to the pressure for action, the County Commission is now undertaking a revision of the mobile-home code. The recent public hearing, attended by around 50 residents, was meant to get public input on the revision of the code, said Commissioner Leonard Blackham.
"We'll take into account your recommendations and will also consult with public agencies and other counties that have similar problems in developing the new code," Blackham promised at the conclusion of the hearing.
He said that the proposed revised code will be presented at a public hearing at the Sanpete County courthouse on June 6 at 2 p.m.