SOUTHPORT, N.Y. (WENY) -- A mobile home park in the town of Southport has taken the next steps in a proposed improvement project on its property on Sherman Avenue.

At a special meeting on July 17th, the Town of Southport board voted 3-2 to approve a new licensing agreement with Cherry Lane Park, LLC. According to the agreement, the park's owner had ten business days from July 17th to file for a license to operate, and apply for 10 demolition permits for condemned trailers on the property. 

However, according to the Town of Southport Supervisor Joe Roman, the necessary applications weren't submitted until Monday, August 7th. WENY News visited the Town of Southport on the morning of August 7th, and was informed by a town employee, the applications had not been submitted. WENY News received the permit applications and other related documents on August 9th, after submitting several Freedom of Information requests. 

Several town board members voted to adopt the new license agreement including Timothy Steed, Dan Williams, and Town Supervisor Joe Roman. Board members Dan Hurley and Glenn Gunderman voted against it. Hurley and Gunderman had both expressed concern about the quality of the conditions at the park, and have supported its potential closure.

At a regularly scheduled town board meeting on Tuesday, August 8, Cherry Lane Park was not an item on the agenda. During public comment, Sherman Avenue Resident, Tina Moore asked if the park successfully obtained the permits within the time frame outlined in the newly executed agreement. The board told Mrs. Moore yes; however, in an interview with WENY News after meeting, Roman said the permits were not applied for until late on August 7th - beyond the ten business day window.  

"That is correct. they [Cherry Lane Park, LLC] did not file those permits till late yesterday afternoon [August 7th]. They did not file the information until late yesterday afternoon," Town Supervisor Joe Roman said. 

WENY News asked Mr. Roman if Monday, August 7th was considered the 10th business day, as outlined in the agreement. Reporter Max Coven asked, "So that counts as 10 business days from July 17th?" Supervisor Roman responded with one word: "Correct." 

Conditions in the park over the last several years have nearby neighbors upset and concerned over issues like cleanliness, rodents, fires, crimes, verbal assault, and unlivable trailers, some of which have been infested with pests and rodents. Over 21 trailers on the property, eleven are occupied, and ten are condemned. 

Sherman Avenue residents Tina Moore and Mary Davenport say they were given empty promises about the mobile home park being cleaned up or shut down. Moore met now-former Cherry Lane Park resident Sean Lewis following a fire in the park on December 26th, 2022. At the end of May 2023, Lewis' mobile home was condemned and he and his significant other were forced to move out. Prior to that, they told WENY News the conditions inside the trailer were disgusting.

"I got tired of the mouse eating my furniture," former Lot 7 tenant Sean Lewis told WENY News on June 18th. "Like so, was these mice run up the walls. I've never seen a mice, a mouse ever in my life run up a wall, I kicked it with a steel toe boot. It landed in the corner and tried climbing my corner of my walls." Lewis also explained the trailer had a bed bug infestation, and was condemned after the town's Code Enforcement Officer discovered a fire hazard related to an electrical outlet underneath the trailer.

After Lewis' trailer was condemned, he and his significant other were paid $1,000 from Cherry Lane Park's property management company, and signed a document releasing either side from any legal liability.

The license to operate and demolition permits were filed and approved by the Town of Southport on Monday, August 7th. Cherry Lane Park, LLC has 45 days to demolish 10 condemned trailers. 

"The next step now is the removal of those 10 trailers, within a 45-day period. That's the next significant biggest step for Cherry Lane," explained Roman.

Demolition needs to be completed on or before, Thursday, September 21, 2023. Neighbors of the mobile home park remain unhappy but know the agreement holds the LLC accountable for making improvements. 

When the condemned trailers are removed, an attorney for the mobile home park said the owner plans to build new trailers on the property and sell them to tenants. A price for the homes has not been discussed. The park also plans to reconfigure the layout, in accordance with Southport town codes for mobile home parks.  

The next Town of Southport meeting is in September.