Group protests Shady Acres mobile home park sale outside Kittitas County Courthouse
ELLENSBURG, Wash. —
About a dozen people held signs outside the Kittitas County Courthouse Monday morning that represented frustration.
One read, "Save Shady Acres." It's a mobile home park currently at risk of being turned into RV parking for the Kittitas County fairgrounds.
The group then piled into the Kittitas County Commissioners meeting to voice their concerns.
"What you're doing to these people is darn right wrong," said one Kittitas County resident at the meeting.
Several community members have come to the recent commissioner meetings to speak on behalf of Shady Acres. The area's often described as tight-knit, where neighbors are family.
"To destroy that would be destroying something beautiful," said another county resident.
A group called "Friends of Shady Acres" wrote a letter to the commissioners to consider allowing a different entity, the Housing Authority of Kittitas County, to buy the land for the same amount of about $1.45 million. It would preserve the homes and maintain affordable housing.
However, commissioners said they aren't the only ones committed to the long-term purchase deal. Commissioner Paul Jewell read a letter on behalf of the mobile home park's owners. It said the owners plan to honor the agreement with the county and hope the county will as well.
"Which I think is pretty devastating for our community," said Guadalupe Huitron whose parents live at Shady Acres.
Commissioners argued they've kept the community updated through surveys and letters.
"The county has not made its purchase yet," said Jewell. "The county is working through the process of making that decision."
They say they're hoping to move the community somewhere as a group, but will only buy the land with a plan in place for Shady Acres residents.
Commissioner Laura Osiadacz also noted how many of those upset don't live at Shady Acres.
"I think it's very unfair for those residents to be having fear placed on them that isn't there and I think that it's selfish," said Osiadacz.
"I think it's non-valid because there is fear in the community because they will at some point lose their home," said Huitron.
The Homelessness and Affordable Housing Committee also had members at the meeting to bring forward recommendations. The vice chairman highlighted a key recommendation of having a public engagement process.
Commissioners said they'll keep the people who live at Shady Acres up to date with their decision process and have already had multiple meetings with their consultant.