To Sabrina Proctor, Country Squire Mobile Home Park residents are like a second family. As the neighborhood baby sitter, she hosts eight to 10 children a day at her home in this tight-knit community.
“A trailer park is the No. 1 drama park in America,” Proctor said. “That’s where all the bickering starts. But not here; everyone likes everyone.”
The fate of Country Squire’s 130 40-year-old homes remains uncertain. The city has not authorized owner Kip Lewis to rehabilitate the park after he presented his plan to the Harker Heights City Council on April 30.
Two ordinances block Lewis’ plan to roll in 138 new $30,000 manufactured homes. One requires new mobile homes to sit at least 35 feet apart, which would halve the current number of lots.
Lewis wants to override this code through a planned development permit, but an ordinance excludes mobile home parks from permits. He will present his case to the Planning and Zoning Commission on July 31.
City Manager Steve Carpenter said he feels conflicted about freeing more permits.
“When you have a mobile home, they depreciate in value,”
Carpenter said. “In some ways, you’d rather replace it with something that had more value. The other side is it is a mobile home park, and it exists. (If unimproved), the units would just continue to deteriorate. They wouldn’t bring a lot of new ones.”
Lewis recently spent an estimated $25,000 on pool upkeep, $30,000 on improvements for one-fourth of the park’s roads and sewer lines, and $30,000 on a 2013 manufactured model home, he said.
Residents said their homes need repairs, but Property Manager Tiana Bailey said they can’t move forward without the city’s help.
Two-year resident Paula Suitor said her unit is livable, but unlevel.
Proctor would like a more modern look for her 40-year-old home, which bears dry-rotted walls, she said.
“We want to make the best living for people who want to put a roof over their heads, and not just a shabby roof,” said General Manager Tamara Morris. “They want to send their kids to college and live the American dream. It doesn’t have to be horrible.”
Carpenter noticed the remodeled entryway to the park, he said, which includes stone and black paint.
Lewis plans to change the park’s name to Indian Trail Estates, and also wants to redevelop the adjacent Indian Trail Mobile Home Park, he said.
“These types of projects aren’t something that you can (finish) in just 30 days,” Lewis said. “We have a lot of work to do there.”