An aerial view of Duncan Trailer Court in Manti. Manti City recently sent the property’s landowner a letter telling her she needed to reduce the number of dwellings on the property, and address other safety violations.

 

Manti City says trailer court too crowded

 

Robert Stevens 

Managing editor

7/27/2017

 

 

MANTI—Manti City administration has drawn a line in the sand with the landowner of Duncan Trailer Court, to see the property come into compliance with safety ordinances, and prevent potential mishaps.

On July 13, the city sent a letter to the owner of the park, Mrs. Jody Arnold, who lives in Nevada. The letter, which Manti City Administrator Kent Barton composed, particularly addressed the issue of overcrowding, dangerous setbacks and dwelling density in the trailer court.

Barton wrote to Arnold, “After discussion, the desire of the council remains firm that you bring the trailer court into compliance with the ordinance, for the protection and safety of the residents.”

The letter said that the current ordinance only allows for nine dwellings on the 0.89-acre lot, but according to Barton, there is currently 11—one house directly on Main Street, and 10 trailers set back behind the house with a side-alley driveway allowing access to the court from the street. There is another structure that the city refers to as the “Bunk House,” situated on the back yard of the house property, but with its access and parking from the rear in the Trailer Court area.

Barton tells Arnold in the letter that the city wants her to bring the property into compliance with overcrowding and setback ordinance code, as well as not renting the “Bunk House” until its access, parking and utilities have become fully independent from the trailer court area.

The letter was an effort, in part, to address potential problems like the fire that happened in Ephraim’s Main Street trailer court last year—one that quickly spread from one trailer to another that was situated too closely.

“We just want things to be safe,” Barton said. “I think the fire [at one of Ephraim’s trailer courts] was a big wakeup call. If it had happened at another time of day, when people could have been sleeping, there could have been a loss of life.”

Barton tells Arnold in the letter that the city was expecting her to submit a plan for remedying the multiple safety violations the trailer court currently has active.

“When you have a code, the code should be followed, but the code in our trailer park ordinance is there for safety reasons, mostly,” Barton said. “This is an effort to increase ordinance compliance for safety.”

Barton says the city has no desire to push the trailer court out of business; they only want to address the safety issues.

“Every community needs different segments of housing, based on either circumstances or desires of residents,” Barton said. “But whatever housing we have, it should be safe housing.”

Wayne Riley of Manti has lived in Duncan Court for about five years. He says the park isn’t perfect, but he isn’t really worried about overcrowding or dwelling density.

“I’m happy to have a place to live,” Riley said. ”Duncan is a wonderful place to live, with great people and community spirit.”

The Messenger attempted to contact Arnold for comment but received no reply.