Mobile home park license renewed for 6-month term

Staff Writer

JACKSON — Several weeks after a resolution that would have granted a full license renewal to the Fountainhead mobile home park was tabled following complaints from residents, the Township Council has approved a six-month license with conditions attached.

The mobile home park off North Cooks Bridge Road has drawn the ire of its residents for years.

In recent weeks, residents have said the mobile home park has a number of issues that need to be fixed before officials should consider renewing the license held by Fountainhead Inc.

Fountainhead resident Sherry Williams, who has addressed the council numerous times about issues at the property, said the problems have consequences for her and her neighbors.

“I don’t like holding up the license [renewal], because it keeps my neighbors from being able to sell their home, but at the same time, if I want to retire in five years and sell my home, [Fountainhead] is looking more and more like a slum because all of these things are allowed to rot,” Williams said.

Williams said there are mobile homes on the property that have fallen into disrepair, causing a public safety concern for the park and its residents.

Other issues, according to Williams, include old construction equipment and trucks that were left within several feet of a well head, discarded oil tanks that were removed from the ground, crushed and left at the back of the property, and other construction equipment that had been left in the park’s back lots.

When the license was up for approval on Dec. 9, Township Clerk Ann Marie Eden said the council received the go-ahead from the code enforcement department that none of the residents’ reported issues had been found.

However, the council tabled action at that time.

During the Jan. 29 council meeting, Business Administrator Helene Schlegel said she received confirmation from code enforcement officials that a recent inspection of the grounds revealed no major violations.

However, Schlegel said when she went to Fountainhead to check on some of the issues Williams had raised, she observed what she perceived to be violations of the township code.

“I’m not a code enforcement officer, to make that clear, but I went out with some of those concerns and there were some of those concerns that I brought to the park owner,” Schlegel said.

In speaking with the management, Schlegel said, she learned that a permit had already been filed to demolish a decrepit trailer and that the owner needed about six months to remove the rusting equipment.

“It is extensive equipment that is there that can’t be moved, but I did receive a letter saying the owner needed time to remove it,” Schlegel said.

In response to Schlegel’s findings, the council members unanimously agreed to approve a six-month license for Fountainhead with the express understanding that the code enforcement issues observed by residents and Schlegel will be addressed before Aug. 1. If the prescribed changes are not made, officials said the license would lapse.

Councilman Kenneth Bressi said recent developments with Fountainhead were a positive turn of events that would only benefit the residents.

“At least [Fountainhead is] admitting the violations are there and they need time to remove them. I think that is a big step after all these years of denials and I think we are moving in the right direction,” Bressi said.