Park causes neighborhood rift

Local man's plans for a trailer park have neighbors seeing red

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Mark Shrode will build a travel-trailer park on his property north of Craig, but his neighbors aren't happy about it.

Shrode's neighbors say the 16-unit park will reduce the value of their property, increase traffic on Moffat County Road 18 South and bring more crime to the neighborhood.

But Shrode says the park, about seven miles outside of city limits, won't be a problem. He said the park will have customers for only about three months out of the year and for those three months, the tenants will have to abide by strict rules.

"I live there, too," Shrode said of the property. "We're going to have our own set of rules."

Shrode said he will have a lights-out rule, no parties, no discharging of firearms and pets will have to be on leashes, if he allows pets at all.

Shrode lives near the park, and said he will enforce the rules himself.

"They will either live with (the rules) or won't stay there," Shrode said of the hunters and pipeline workers he hopes to rent to.

The Moffat County Com--missioners on Tuesday approved a conditional use permit for Shrode and his wife, Karen, for the travel trailer park.

Some of Shrode's neighbors were at the meeting, hoping the commissioners would reject Shrode's permit. After the meeting, some of the neighbors were moved to tears by the commissioners' decision.

Krista Boatman, who lives near Shrode, said the commissioners didn't know enough about state and federal trailer park regulations to make a decision Tuesday.

"A lot more research needs to be done to figure out what the regulations are," Boatman told commissioners.

Boatman said she was concerned about what the trailer park would do to the area's water, sewage and livestock.

But the commissioners said the permitting process wasn't the place to make sure Shrode was in compliance with state and federal regulations.

"We are not approving his water plan and his sewer plan with this permit," Commissioner Darryl Steele said.

The commissioners said Shrode met the county's requirements for the conditional use permit, so there wasn't much they could do.

Commissioner Tom Gray said he understood the neighbors' concerns, but he didn't think the commissioners should reject the permit.

"If we have regulations, we have to abide by them," Gray said.

The commissioners did stipulate that Shrode's tenants stay for only 90 days. After 90 days, tenants are not allowed to return for another 10.

But Shrode's neighbors doubted the county could enforce the stipulation.

"Who is going to monitor that these people only stay 90 days?" asked Donna Deatherage, whose property borders the trailer park.

Commissioners said the property would be monitored regularly. Moffat County Planner Ben Crippen said he would be available to look into complaints.

"If we get a call from any one of you as a complaint, we will be right out there to look at it," Crippen told the group. "It's not something we take lightly."

The neighbors also said Shrode has not put enough time into planning for the park.

"This is not something that was well planned for," Kevin Deatherage said.

Shrode doesn't dispute that he has moved fast to get the trailer park up and running.

"We wanted to strike while the iron is hot," Shrode said.

He said he hopes to take advantage of the housing shortage caused by pipeline workers and hunters in the coming months. He hopes to have the park up and running "as soon as possible."

Shrode said he hopes the trailer park doesn't drive a permanent wedge between him and his neighbors, but he admits the relationship is probably ruined already.

"Maybe some day the dust will settle," Shrode said. "Maybe it won't be such a big deal after all."

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or bjohansson@craigdailypress.com.

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