PROVO David Studdert gets a little queasy every time he drives up Provo Canyon and it's not motion sickness.
He can't stomach the sight of the trash-strewn mobile homes at Frazier Park.
"Nobody should have to live like that," said Studdert, 32, who's lived in the neighboring Vivian Park subdivision for 2 1/2 years. "It just shouldn't happen. Those aren't homes, that's a garbage pit."
The mobile homes, at 3362 E. Provo Canyon Road, have been empty since December when a bathroom fire cut electricity to the park and tenants were unexpectedly ousted from their homes. Now Studdert, backed by a number of residents from other Provo Canyon communities, is campaigning to get the mobile-home park cleaned up and permanently closed to renters.
Their main objective is to encourage officials to be more proactive about enforcing health, building and nuisance codes, Studdert said. The park has been out of compliance for several years.
"This is something we've talked about for a while," he said. "Now that the fire marshal's shut them down and it's no longer a matter of me saying to those families, 'I'm going to evict you,' it's time to take care of the problem."
In addition to wishing away heaps of splintered furniture and rusted appliances, the residents, who call themselves the Provo Canyon Coalition, are concerned about fire safety, sewage disposal and how the polluted mobile-home park may be affecting the water quality of the nearby Provo River. They plan to push the issue with the Utah County Commission.
Some former Frazier Park residents agreed that the mobile homes could have used some upkeep. Low-income housing options in Provo are limited, though, and many still haven't found a new place to live.
"I can understand why they (the Provo Canyon Coalition) wouldn't want the trailer park there," said Pearl Kambitsch, 54, who rented a mobile home at Frazier Park for about nine months before the fire. "I wouldn't have wanted to live there, but we just didn't have much money. We didn't have anywhere else to go."
Kambitsch said she frequently felt afraid while living at the mobile-home park because of rampant drug abuse and violence. She wished the park owner would have been more aggressive about reinforcing rules that prohibited drug use and required tenants to keep garbage cleaned up.
Still, she said, she would rather move back to her mobile home which, without an efficient heater, was so cold her snow globe collection froze than continue to impose on her children for shelter. Kambitsch is having trouble finding new place to live because many apartment complexes in her price range won't allow her to move in with her three small dogs.
Leon Frazier, who has managed the park for the past six years, charged just a few hundred dollars a month for a mobile home, making the park prime real estate for low-income renters. Many renters were homeless before moving into the trailer park, he said.
The landlord "did tenants a favor" by offering them such affordable homes, said Jim Syddall, 49, who's been living out of his truck since he was evicted from the park.
"Leon Frazier's helped a lot of people out who were really on the bottom of the world," Syddall said. "He'd let people live there for free. He bought food for people ... gave them work around the park to make money or pay for rent."
It's charity that Frazier is beginning to regret, though. All he's gotten back, he said, is the "reputation of being a ringleader for drug use" something he vehemently refutes.
"I've tried to help all kinds of people," he said. "I'm not an insensitive landlord, but I have gotten tired of taking care of all these helpless people."
Frazier said he did everything he could to make sure the park was trash- and crime-free.
"I'm sorry to hear we were offensive to the neighbors," he said."We were cleaning up as quickly as we could and I'm real sorry it looked bad."
Cleanup efforts at the park are at a standstill because everything's buried in three feet of snow, but Frazier said he plans to have the area cleared out by springtime.
Utah County officials said Frazier can reopen the park as soon as he comes into compliance with county health and building codes. Frazier said he plans to stay out of the landlord business for a while, though.
Neighbors were not comforted by Frazier's reassurances."Leon (Frazier) has said that he'd get the place cleaned up many, many times this isn't the first time he's been shut down," Studdert said. "If he's not planning on reopening, that's great. But we want to put the pressure on the people we elected."