An ordinance that would have required the eviction of about 200 residents of four trailer parks in Cudahy’s industrial area has been shelved until several changes can be made.
The City Council last week voted to send the law to the Planning Commission for amendments that would allow tenants to stay in the parks provided the park owners obtain permits and keep the property in good condition. If the property owners fail to maintain the trailer parks, their permit could be revoked, city officials said.
“I think it would have been ridiculous to put those people out of their homes,” said Bill Norton, owner of Green Acres Trailer Park. “I always doubted that the city would do it. I guess now they are finally doing something about it.”
The ordinance governing trailer parks in industrial areas was passed 25 years ago and was to go into effect in August. It mandated that such trailer parks be shut down for two reasons: an industrial area is an unfit place for people to live, and the trailer parks are occupying valuable land that could be used by industry.
Council members, aware of the impending deadline, have said they are unwilling to evict tenants at Shady Lanes, Green Acres, Rainbow and Little Gem trailer parks because most are low-income families and senior citizens who have no place else to go. In addition, state law requires that the city pay relocation costs if trailer park tenants are forced to move because of a city action. Costs for relocation could have exceeded $1 million, a price tag too expensive for the small city.