College Township mobile home park owners settle lawsuit

mdawson@centredaily.comMay 24, 2013 

The owners of a College Township mobile home park have agreed to settle a lawsuit the state attorney general filed last month to recover relocation expenses owed to some tenants when the park closed.

Hilltop Mobile Home Park owners and siblings Kenneth Mayes and Sharon Mayes have been ordered to pay $26,700, according to the agreement that was dated Wednesday. The sides were set for a hearing in Centre County court on Friday in front of Judge Bradley P. Lunsford.

A spokesman for Attorney General Kathleen Kane said eight tenants will receive $2,500 and another tenant will receive $1,700. The agreement also calls for $5,000 from the Mayeses to go toward the tenants’ legal costs.

In addition, another $10,000 will be set aside in case other residents make claims in the next 30 days, Kane said in a news release.

The lawyer for the Mayeses, Daniel McGee, could not immediately be reached for comment.

According to the attorney general, not all Hilltop tenants were given help with relocation costs, to which they were entitled under the Manufactured Home Community Rights Act and the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.

The lawsuit said the Mayeses should have paid up to $4,000 to each resident for the relocation of their mobile homes. It also says the Mayeses should have paid the greater of $2,500 or the appraised value of a resident’s home if that person was unable or unwilling to find a new site for it.

The Mayeses told residents in September that they were going to close the mobile home park off Squirrel Drive. The Mayeses gave the residents until Feb. 28 to move out.

An out-of-state developer, Trinitas Ventures, wants to have the property rezoned so it can build a 275- to 300-unit student housing complex. The property is currently zoned for mobile homes and would need to be rezoned to a higher density.

College Township zoning officer John Franek said Thursday that officials are studying the effects that a student housing complex would have on the area before voting on the zoning change.

Mike Dawson can be reached at 231-4616. Follow him on Twitter @MikeDawsonCDT.

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