Not All Trailer Parks Created Equal, Association Says

Jessup Organization Favors Expansion Of 'Immaculate' Facility Off Clark Road

April 01, 1992|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff writer

Jessup Improvement Association members say if you've seen one trailer park, you haven't necessarily seen them all.

One community, located off Clark Road, east of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and north of Route 175, is a model example of what a trailer park should be. The improvement association says a planned expansion is just fine.

The community, Holiday Mobile Estates, is nearing county approvalto add 91 trailers to the 400 already parked on its 95 acres.

Butthe association says another trailer park, located near Sellner Road, west of the Parkway and south of Route 175, is a prime example of run-down housing with leaking sewer pipes and shouldn't be allowed to expand.

The park, run by Silver Spring-based Sligh and Associates,needs approval from the county Board of Appeals for a special exception to add four trailers and two apartments to the 14 trailers and eight apartments on its six-acre site.

A county administrative hearing officer has rejected Ernest Sligh's expansion plans because of a Health Department report that cited his properties for six violations,including a faulty plumbing service, waste leaks, poor garbage disposal and structural deficiency. The zoning appeals board hasn't scheduled a hearing on Sligh's request.

Sligh said Monday that the hearing officer turned down his request for "rather nebulous reasons."

He said the Health Department found the violations on an annual inspection, and many were not significant or recurring, such as failing tosecure a gas bottle to the side of a trailer with chains.

"These are things that happen every year," Sligh said. "There is no open sewage or anything. That was the basis for him denying the request. I know it wasn't fair. . . . There are no ongoing violations at all."

Sligh said the extra money that would be generated by new tenants would be used to improve the park by paving roads and driveways.

"Everybody would be better off with it," he said. "The park is not in tip-top shape now, but it is a long way from what it was 10 years ago."

But Alvira Miller, the secretary of the Jessup Improvement Association, said Sligh's trailer park has been a constant irritation.

"We don't want any more low-income housing in this area," she said. "The way the place is kept up is not to proper standards."

As for Holiday Mobile Estates, Miller said the improvement association voted tosupport the expansion.

"There is no question that it is a very well-run park," she said. "I don't call it a trailer park. They are above that. I must say, they keep their homes immaculate."

Hershel Martin, president of Holiday Estates, said he will erect a wooden fenceas a buffer to nearby homes and straighten out a dangerous curve on Clark Road as part of the expansion of the park, which was built in 1962.

"It will be nice when it's finished," he said. "We are a verynice mobile home park. We're much better than the ones you've seen on Route 1."

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