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VALLEY COUNTY, IDAHO, Idaho — Opposition against the proposed Roseberry Park development in Valley County continues.
The Valley County Planning and Zoning Commission held a public hearing last Thursday which drew about 118 people in opposition to the proposed bid by California-based developer Roseberry Park, LLC.
The developer is looking to obtain a permit to build a mobile home community park west of Donnelly. It's something they're pitching as "necessary workforce housing." If approved, it would bring 201 manufactured homes to the area on about 40 acres near the intersection of Roseberry and Norwood Road.
The Planning and Zoning Commission said because of how much feedback and new material they received in opposition, they needed to review and hold another discussion on Thursday, May 12.
"The growth, we don't like it, but we know it's coming and that's okay," said Allison Hatzenbuhler told KTVB Wednesday. "We just want it to be controlled and we want it to be fair to all. I don't want it to come down to people losing everything they had or anything they hope to have."
Hatzenbuhler has lived in her Donnelly home for the last five years. For her, a huge draw to the area was how rural it is, the people who live there, and the wildlife that surrounds it.
From her house, she can see the plot of land everyone in town is talking about, the Roseberry Park.
"The problem we have with this is the density of the of the building, they want to put in over 200 mobile homes, not traditional stick-built homes," Hatzenbuhler said. She added the Valley County area is not equipped for that much growth's impacts on local schools, fire agencies, water systems around the area.
Hatzenbuhler is part of a group opposing the development, Stop Roseberry Park.
"We're not against the housing. We were against this housing and we're against this density," Hatzenbuhler said. She added the plot of landed was originally approved for 95 units of stick-built homes in 2008, but the project was never complete.
Hatzenbuhler said the group has many other issues with the proposal, along with density, like its impact on the environment and safety in the area. She said the development plan is a mitigation path, so it would be hard for packs of elk and deer to roam through.
However, she and many others said their biggest issue was how developers and those in favor have been pitching it as "affordable housing," when they don't believe it is.
"This is not the American dream at all, this is buying a mobile home from this manufacturer. No other manufacturers, but this manufacturer," Hatzenbuhler said.
According to Roseberry Park, LLC, potential residents can buy a manufactured, mobile home from the developer for $180,000-$220,000.
"Manufactured housing is a high-quality alternative to being able to provide a home that somebody can purchase," said Dean Warhaft, the director of development for Three Pillars Communities, a partnering agency with the developer. He added the homes are designed to have a 70-80 year lifespan.
Developers said people can put 20% down to finance one of the mobile homes. Interest rates vary, however.
For example, if someone had a 740 credit rate developers said their interest rate would be around 5%. The home would be put on leased land, which would cost the homeowner another $650 a month.
Based on those numbers, developers said people would pay $1,755-$2,001 a month.
"If you had two people that were making $15 an hour on an annual basis, they're right around that range of the entry-level home for a product like this," Warhaft said.
However, Hatzenbuhler said those interest rates don't apply to all the potential homeowners.
"It's not a traditional mortgage, it's what's referred to as a Chattel loan. The current interest rates on those are around 15%," Hatzenbuhler said.
She said a lot of people who work in the area who are ski instructors or retail workers won't be able to afford these homes. She believes the developers are out of touch with the median income Valley County workers make.
"We're against this company coming in and taking advantage of unsuspecting people and getting them into the houses that they cannot afford," Hatzenbuhler said. "These people will never own the dirt their house sits on."
The developers said with the amenities and investment the community park will bring could increase the value of the area. There will be a community center, pickleball courts and more.
"I think that there's a lot of misunderstanding as to what a modern manufactured housing community looks like and how it successfully upgrades a neighborhood," said Warhaft.
Still, Hatzenbuhler and other members of STOP Roseberry Park think there are other ways to help with affordability that would not impact their community. She said she would like to see townhomes or apartment complexes built instead.
"It's going to put people into a position of just not being able to take care of what they need to, they're going to think they can make that payment," Hatzenbuhler said. "They're going to think they can do it and they're going to have many roommates just trying to make these payments. It's going to put people into a very dire situation."
The Valley County Planning and Zoning commission will hold another meeting to discuss the Roseberry Park proposal Thursday night.
At last week's meeting, developers told the commission rent increases would be capped at 4% for each owner. As part of their development agreement, the developer said it would not allow short-term rentals, owners must live there or rent out long term and all homes have to be new construction.
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