The city of Bellevue is looking into allegations of an illegal trailer park and has recommended that the site’s residents relocate near Ketchum.
Bellevue Mayor Kathryn Goldman issued a statement on Nov. 18 stating that the city is starting an investigation into an “allegedly unpermitted” trailer park in the area. The press release states that the property owner has been notified that the trailers must be vacated by Dec. 9, and that if the trailer park is still in operation after that date, the owner could face “prosecution” for violating city code.
The alleged trailer park is on a vacant lot beside a home at 196 Hardwood Street and behind an 8-foot fence that largely conceals the trailers from view. City code allows for fences up to 6 feet in height.
Bellevue resident Glenn Carter said he has complained repeatedly to city staff over the last two years about what he claims to be an illegal trailer park within the residential area where he lives on Hardwood Street in Bellevue.
Carter, who lives on Hardwood Street, alleged at a recent Bellevue City Council meeting that the property owner “put in an illegal septic system and water lines” to supply the trailers.
“No permits,” he said. “This was such a sweet little neighborhood and now down at the corner it’s an eyesore.”
Carter said he has approached the community development department five times during the last 18 months to get them to shut down the operation, showing staff pictures of what he thinks were illegally dug septic fields for sewage, which are not allowed in the city limits.
The city’s municipal code allows recreational vehicles to be occupied on private property for up to 21 days every six months.
Carter alleges that people have been living in the trailers far longer. He spoke publicly about what he considered an illegal use at a Bellevue City Council meeting about three weeks ago. About that time, the Bellevue City Council instructed municipal consultant Troy Butzlaff to draw up a permit that would allow trailer use in the city year-round. City Council Chairman Doug Brown estimated that were as many as 150 illegal trailers in use in the city at that time.
Bellevue Marshal Mynde Heil said on Nov. 2 at a City Council meeting that she has been aware of people living in trailers in violation of city code, but that turning them out would leave a number of people homeless this winter.
“That’s why we have let them live in the trailers,” said Heil. “These are people who want to work in the valley.”
“The housing crisis in the Wood River Valley has forced many people to find alternative housing arrangements, like living in RVs,” Goldman wrote in the press release. “The crisis is hitting families, workers, and businesses across the valley and the city of Bellevue is no exception.”
Carter said in an interview on Monday that on Nov. 12, an additional trailer had been moved into the location, bringing the total to seven. Calls and emails from the Mountain Express over the last two weeks—prior to Friday’s press release—to the Bellevue mayor, City Council chair and marshal, went unanswered.
Goldman wrote that an alternative location for trailer park residents could be found at The Meadows RV Park at 13 Broadway Run in Ketchum.
“Residents who want to find a permanent solution can contact Jennifer Dealy, manager at The Meadows,” at 208-720-3558, Goldman said. ￼
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What a surprise. No info. on who is occupying the trailers. They just keep showing up and total inaction on the city's part. Maybe because politicians have deemed the valley a "welcoming community" we can't know. Doesn't make sense , a legitimate landlord would have been investigated a long time ago.
Sounds like Bellevue needs 400 trailers at 20k each instead of 400 houses at 400k each.
The issue with fulltime RVers is a public health issue, not a political issue. Improper disposal of sewage is the issue. That is why we have laws regulating this. Follow the laws, regs to protect all citizens from fecal illnesses. That protects the greater number of citizens, not just the few who are not following the laws.
No surprise. Liberal politicians across the country are doing exactly what WRV politicians are doing here; IGNORING LAWS! Regular citizens are put in jail for this.
Hey criminals, just get elected to a city council and you too will finally be able to break the law with impunity.
Welcome to the discussion.