County planners confront question of ownership

So who is responsible if the owner of a blighted mobile home is different than the owner of the property the trailer sits on?

A review by legal counsel for the Warren County Redevelopment Authority will likely have to determine the answer after the county Planning and Zoning Commission forwarded the property to the RDA during its Tuesday evening meeting.

“The property is a mobile home owned by one particular party sitting on a property owned by another party,” County Planner Dan Glotz said of the Tonya Elletson property located at 121 Farm Lane in Pleasant Township.

Glotz said that the trailer was taken to judicial sale, was not purchased and was subsequently placed in repository. When the trailer was in repository sale all outstanding liens were forgiven except for lot rent.

“So we don’t know if there is back lot rent owed on this,” said Glotz.

Another wrench in the process is that the assessment records on the property indicate a change from a mobile home to a storage building. The property is zoned Residential1. “Mobile home use of storage is something the zoning ordinance does not allow,” he explained.

Interestingly, the shift in use was at the request of the property owner, not the owner of the trailer. Glotz said the trailer owner was notified of the blight designation but the property owner likely was not.

Commission member Paul Pascuzzi asked if the property owner could obtain the trailer through repository sale for a minimal cost and move it. Glotz indicated that was a possibility. “When it goes to the RDA, those are the types of recommendations they will make,” said Pascuzzi.

“That might be the cheapest and quickest way,” Commission Chairman Dale Forbes said.

“The taxes are fine,” Glotz said. “The unanswered question is the lot rent.”

He recommended that the commission move the property to the RDA with the RDA’s counsel undertaking a review.

The commission unanimously approved that recommendation.