olumbia City Council voted 5-to-2 Monday night to rezone the Regency mobile home park for a new student housing development.
By Lee Jian Chung
Grassroots Organizing spokesperson Mary Hussman says the mobile home park has already set to close and displace dozens of families. Hussman told the council she disapproved of the actions of current owner Colorado-based Churchill Group.
“This corporation does what corporations do. [It] uses roughshod pressure tactics to get their way. Then, we Columbians have the broken-up environment, traffic problems, density problems, and they run out-of-state with the profits. What a deal,” Hussman said.
The land will be rezoned for the new owner, Texas-based Aspen Heights. The company has offered to postpone the closure of the park from February 29 to the end of April or May. The company has also offered to help pay some moving expenses for Regency residents.
Mid-Missouri Legal Services Housing Attorney Michael Carney represents several clients from the Regency mobile home park. He says families’ choices are between getting something or nothing since families will be forced from the land either way.
“We’ve got to look out for their best interests and what’s best for them. And that’s where we’re at tonight,” Carney said.
Despite this, many residents still spoke out against the rezoning during the meeting, including students from the University of Missouri.