LB - Orthopaedic Specialists of Central Arizona

Home | Classifieds | Place an ad | Obituaries | Public Notices | Galleries | Opinions | Real Estate Search | 928 Media Lab | Contact Us | Subscribe
Prescott Valley Tribune | Prescott Valley, Arizona

home : latest news : local February 6, 2016

2/20/2013 9:37:00 AM
Candidate's flyers cause uproar in mobile home areas

Cheryl Hartz
News Editor

Prescott Valley residents living in manufactured housing were alarmed this past week when a few people, including one candidate for Town Council, canvassed their neighborhoods with flyers stating the current council and administration plans to "strip property rights from the individual."

Northridge resident Mark Peterson said a flyer distributor told him the home next to his would be destroyed immediately, and any home 20 years or older would be demolished within a year.

"He said, 'Keep in mind you're going to be lowballed by the town, whether you like it or not,'" Peterson said.

He said he has no intention of selling the 40-year-old home with new wiring and plumbing in which he has resided for 10 years with his son, who has disabilities. But people on the other side of the park all rent their homes, he said.

"This thing caught like wildfire, and almost gave the lady on the corner a heart attack. She's been here 30 years or more," Peterson said. "These scare tactics are not acceptable."

Prescott Valley Community Development Director Richard Parker, who has received more than 120 calls about the flyers, assured residents the statement was false, and the flyer's supporting information from the 2025 General Plan was "taken out of context."

Town Council candidate Douglas Bebb and his campaign manager, Dan Cervo, generated the flyers after Bebb said a bullet point in the July 2012 budget book "was a little troubling to me."

"I felt it was a serious matter to pursue," Bebb said.

The two-page flyer included three passages from the proposed 2025 General Plan, on the ballot for March 12.

The bullet point, one of 17 FY2012/2013 Objectives, states: "Present a possible code amendment as it relates to mobile/manufactured housing within the Town of Prescott Valley, to include a maximum allowance for the age of a structure."

The possible amendment does not appear in the 2025 General Plan. But the flyer follows the bullet point with passages from the plan's Chapter 5, Neighborhood Revitalization, under Renter Occupied Housing, concerning the number of mobile homes in Prescott Valley that have reached the end of their effective 25-year lifespan.

The flyer's next section mentions the possible advantage to landlords who replace two obsolete and adjacent mobiles with one structure, such as a townhouse, increasing the density to three units for more efficient land use.

"In the 2025 plan those areas are getting rezoned to dense residential," Cervo said, adding, "They may not say they're going to force people to do it, but connect the dots - code enforcement can come in and say this structure is too old, and it doesn't say anything about the condition of the home."

Bebb said unidentified canvassers also added their own handwritten statements to the flyers.

Bebb and Cervo said they always identified themselves.

"I did not tell people the town is going to condemn and demolish such a vast number of homes, but it gives the town an opportunity to seek eminent domain. Our message is: watch your government," Bebb said.

He said although budget drafters might know what they mean, future leaders could interpret a statement differently. "Language needs to be precise regarding personal property," Bebb said.

They cited eminent domain precedents Gamble vs. Norwood (2004), and Kelo vs. New London (2005). "There's similar language being used in the 2025 plan as we see it," Bebb said.

Parker clarified that the possible code amendment refers only to new lots, but said the point is moot.

"We haven't proposed such an amendment or brought anything forward, because we've had other things to do," Parker said. "There's nothing pending, and if it would be discussed, it would be fully vetted.

"It's to stem the tide of old, antiquated mobile homes to be placed on new lots, and would not in any way affect existing installations."

Parker said most of Yavapai County has stricter regulations on mobile homes coming in, and that's why people bring them to Prescott Valley.

He also said they would clarify the statement if included in the next budget.

Parker pointed out the plan's section on rehabilitation for Owner Occupied Housing. He said Prescott Valley has spent $3.5 million over the past eight years to rehab mobile and site built homes. (See Sidebar.)

A plan section not included in the flyer states: "Mobile homes provide a low cost alternative to site built housing, and provide many households with an affordable path to homeownership."

The town's 713 acres currently zoned for mobile homes can accommodate up to 4,848 mobiles.

"The document is so huge, I haven't read it all," Cervo said. "Voters aren't going to read it, but they will vote on it. Look at it yourself; make your own decisions."

He said distributing the flyers was not a campaign tactic, but rather a warning to people.

Residents showed campaign brochures for Bebb and also mayoral candidate Louie Lizza that were handed to them along with the flyer.

"I did go out with Doug Bebb one time, but I was handing out my own campaign flyers, not the PSA. It's not my thing, I'm more of a finance guy," Lizza said, adding he always identifies himself. "I don't approve of taking people's homes away, and reading it, it is ambiguous enough you could get that impression."

He said he has no control of what other people hand out after he gives them his one-page flyer.

Northridge resident Michael Carroll saw the flyer on the park's bulletin board next to its mailboxes and talked to neighbors.

"This type of threat and fear-mongering is very serious," said Carroll, a 68-year-old veteran. "I understand this is a low income area, but we take care of things, and forced relocation would force some people to become homeless, so it upset a lot of people. It was a half-truth used to create fear."

Unit 17 mobile home owner Lisa Sutton's daughter, Brittany Bagwell, was leaving for Flagstaff when two men flagged her vehicle down and asked her if she voted.

"It was a strange encounter," said Bagwell, a senior at NAU. "I don't live in PV, so I said a general 'no,' and the guy got aggressive, almost like he was offended when I said I didn't vote. He told me I should, because the town will be condemning all trailers."

"It was kind of brash the way they told me about it," she added, noting the men didn't identify themselves. "I can see why it would create so much fear because of the way they were telling people."

"We can't just seize property and kick people off," said Ruth Mayday, the town's planner and Owner Occupied Housing Rehabilitation project manager. "Arizona Proposition 207 (passed in 2006) was a direct result of the Kelo case. Prop. 207 says you can't specifically take private property for a public purpose, and the just compensation rule is federal law. The whole idea the town would kick people off their property and pay pennies on the dollar is just silly."

"If people had questions about it, why didn't they come talk to us about it?" she wondered.

Bebb acknowledged he did not inquire about the passages.

Related Stories:
• Town receives $440,000 grant to assist low-income households with essential repairs

    Most Viewed     Recently Commented
•   Bradshaw ready to compete for students (481 views)

•   University leaves Prescott Valley (378 views)

•   PV schools earn bragging rights (290 views)

•   Starbucks among new businesses near Kohl's (280 views)

•   Prescott Valley closes Fain Park (277 views)

Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Article comment by: Vote NO on 2025

I live in a stick built house and have no agenda. Even though Lasker and Nye said I did when prison patty read my blog at the council meeting. These to council persons called me a liar with my own agenda.

I say me because my name was on the posting. Sadly Lasker didn't have the sense to read my instructions before diving into pages 111 and 112.

Now let me tell you why they lowered themselves to name calling as usual. There is more to 2025 then they want people to know.

After the forum at Stoneridge on the 19th, I with a senior gentleman approached skoog.

I explained to skoog that this man has lived in Prescott Valley for over 30 years and he lives in a very well kept owner occupied mobile home.

skoog said, 'If you need help fixing things we have money to help you, with it."

The man said, "I don't need any money. I fix it myself." I then said, "All he wants is a letter stating the language in 2025 will not affect owner occupied mobile homes. Will you give him a letter?"

skoog said, "No." I asked, "WHY?" and skoog said, "I won't give a letter to one person." Understanding why, I then asked, "Will you at least do a public letter in the newspaper saying the same thing?"

skoog, turned his back and walked away.

Before approaching skoog that night this man and his neighbors believed the lies spewed by a few of our council women and one very vocal department head.

I wonder why the reported didn't ask for the same kind of letter I asked for. After all if there was even a slim chance of truth they should have offered it.

Anyone with a soul should vote out skoog. He is allowing a road map to destroy the very lives of people, while he digs us deeper into debt.

Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Article comment by: Tom's Nemesis

What an old wind bag you are. YOUR boy helped draft the 2025 plan. RP is one of your friends. YOU go around pretending to be for the people and all the time you are in bed with the elite playing both ends against the middle.

Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Article comment by: Douglas Bebb

I would like to expand and clarify a couple points.

Prop 207 does not restrict the use of eminent domain but rather creates a requirement to compensate loss of property value to a home owner. This protection is broad allowing for compensation of property value loss due to government action and legislation.

Most importantly, the government must choose its words carefully. Certainly the current election highlights that the powers that be may not be after the election. Documents should fully convey the intent of those that created it with no vague language that could be misinterpreted and misused.

In the case of New London, vague and similar language was used that preceded one of the most public uses of eminent domain. That is reason enough to be concerned about vague language in our own documents.

Instead of the town stating that this issue is all lies and hype instead it would be more constructive for our leaders in this community to make an official statement regarding their intent. When requested of government officials they declined to put forth a statement. I hope for everyone in this town that they will reconsider and I know that many people would agree with me.

Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Steele

The reporter did a good job but did not cover the current budget plan for FY 2012-13 which includes $691,000 income from "fines and forfeitures" up from $303,061 for 2011-12. That's a 128% increase for this fiscal year which indicates the town code enforcement is implementing the 2025 plan this year. Clearly, the town is trying to "po-po" this information while implementing the plan. Bebb has done his homework and has done "We the People" a favor. Prescott Valley needs young, free thinking people on the council.

Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to Facebook character limits. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit excessive comment entries.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

HSE - We want to hear from you
Find more about Weather in Prescott Valley, AZ
Click for weather forecast

Find It Features Blogs Milestones Extras Submit Other Publications Local Listings
Classifieds | Place an ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Opinions | Real Estate Search | Contact Us | Subscribe | e-newsletter | RSS | Site Map

© Copyright 2016 Prescott Newspapers, Inc. The Prescott Valley Tribune is the information source for Prescott Valley area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Prescott Newspapers, Inc. Prescott Newspapers Online is a service of Prescott Newspapers, Inc. By using the Site, ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the Site's terms of use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the Site. Click here to submit your questions, comments or suggestions. Prescott Newspapers Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved