Elbridge-Letter to Champion Park

Champion Park to remain open

The following was a letter to the residents of Champion Park.

To the editor:

On Nov. 22, Justice Thomas Murphy of the New York State Supreme Court issued his decision in the lawsuit Champion Park brought against the town board of Elbridge.

Briefly stated, Justice Murphy ruled in favor of manufactured home owners and those who choose to site their home in a mobile home park.

Judge Murphy firmly rejected the reasons the town board gave for its actions against mobile home owners. Regarding the town law that prohibited siting a manufactured home 10 years or older anywhere in the town of Elbridge, he wrote that prohibiting manufactured homes 10 years or older, " is irrational, unrelated to the health, safety and welfare of town residents, arbitrary and capricious, superseded by federal regulations governing the manufacture and safety of manufactured homes, affected by error of law, null, void and of no force and effect "

Among the evidence the judge relied on in making his decision were photos of the homes in Champion Park. These photos showed him what the town has been unwilling to see for years, which are well cared-for, attractive mobile homes.

Justice Murphy also decided that, "It is unreasonable, arbitrary, and capricious, unlawful, and in excess of the town's lawful jurisdiction to withhold Champion's operating permit under the circumstances before this Court."

On Nov. 29, the town of Elbridge delivered Champion Park its license to operate.

The outcome of this case should relieve the concerns that many residents had expressed about the continued operation of Champion Park and how the "10 year rule" would affect the value of their homes.

It is truly unfortunate that all parties involved in this matter had to deal with the uncertainty and expense of a lawsuit to get the town to pay attention to their concerns. The irony is that residents' tax money helped pay for the town's defense of its discriminatory and thoughtless actions against mobile home owners.

The judge found no merit in any of the Elbridge Town Board's justification for passing the 10- year rule or in refusing to grant a permit to Champion Park.

The town board should have taken the same facts and evidence presented to the court before acting so rashly.

Hopefully, in the future, the town board will consider the interests and needs of home owners and mobile home park residents, without requiring time consuming and expensive law suits to make the truth known.

Marc Seigle

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