In Hancock County, the fight to stop a potential RV park going into the Upper End of Chester ended up in court on Tuesday. Concerned residents filed a writ of mandamus against the city of Chester, and Judge Mazzone is overseeing the case.
Witnesses came forward at Tuesday’s circuit court case against the city of Chester. Sunset Development is in charge of this piece of land off 9th street in the Upper End of Chester.
Daniel Taylor is the residents’ attorney and he asked Sharyn Lynn Vinci, a concerned resident, this question during her testimony: “If this mobile home park were to be developed, would it have a direct impact on your property.” She says, “Absolutely.”
According to city council, the land would be used as an RV park with 26 lots residents claim that could hurt the property values of the nearby community. Ed Schmidt is also a concerned resident and says “Not only does it affect each individual homeowner. If you have a $90,000 home, you just lost $18,000 in equity.”
Marlene Fleming, the Chester city clerk, testified that the developer does not have the proper permits to build the mobile home park, which would be breaking the city’s ordinance. However, city council has sent a letter to the developer to apply for the permit. Taylor asked the clerk: “Was there an application to get a permit granted to Sunset Development for the excavation for that land?” She said, ‘No there was not’
Residents say another city law the developer would be breaking is not having enough land for a mobile home park. Schmidt testified, “It doesn’t even have 2 acres, and 5 acres minimum is required.”
Although residents claim the developer does not have the proper permits, they say he continued developing the land. Bethany Blewitt testified that utilities are all in place including water and sewage lines and fencing is up. Taylor asked during her testimony: “And from your observation of the site, how close is he to being completed with the development of this mobile home park?” She says, “It appears to me that he really just needs to lay some concrete.”
Judge Mazzone ruled he will see if the ordinances are valid before he makes his final decision. He also said that the city of Chester needs to do everything in its power to suspend all activity on that land until a decision is made.