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Trailer park could be shut down as 'public nuisance'

A 26-year-old mother of a newborn lives in a trailer with no running water. A 26-year-old mother of a newborn lives in a trailer with no running water.

Among residents of her trailer park, Annie Foster is a veteran.

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"I've lived here four and a half years," she said one day last week as she and her daughter and two young friends carried bags of groceries to their trailers.
"I haven't had water in five months," said Foster, 57. "There's no heat. He gives us electric radiators. I get six, seven or eight-hundred dollar light bills."
She pays $470 a month for her trailer, which is about the going rate, though some are higher.
"Mine's $575," says Brandon Dolen, who is 21 and lives in a trailer with some of his cousins.
This is life in Alpine Woods Resort, where necessities like running water and heat either don't exist or cost extra. The dust, noise and crime are free.
Until last week, much of the community of 80 trailers along sloping dirt roads off Old Sunset Hill Road had been without water since the deep freeze in February. Only in the past two weeks has water been restored to some tenants and as of last Friday, many residents still had no water.
Annie Foster and her daughter, Rosa Moore, say conditions in the park are 'horrible'Annie Foster and her daughter, Rosa Moore, say conditions in the park are 'horrible'The situation at the trailer park has become so dire that officials with more than a dozen agencies are working to either remedy problems one by one or take action to shut the whole place down.
"The city and the state and the county are working together to clean up what we perceive to be a public nuisance at Alpine Woods Resort," said Hendersonville City Manager John Connet, who spearheaded a roundtable meeting of agencies last week. "We had about 80 residents that didn't have adequate water. They were originally on a private well and the water line within the park has several breaks in it. We involved the state and the state required the property owner to attach to the city system but the problem with that is he was behind in the payment of his current bill, to the tune of about $40,000" for a part of the park that was already on city water.
John Connet spearheaded a task force to respond to Alpine Woods conditions.John Connet spearheaded a task force to respond to Alpine Woods conditions."He has paid us and now he's tapped on to our system but he still has issues out there related to the water lines serving the residents," he said. "They're mobile homes or campers that do not meet the minimum housing code. They're not safe housing, they don't have central heat, in some cases the bathrooms were not working properly, in the past they've had sewer overflow issues, and just general windows broken out. Several units have been condemned."
After spending five minutes ticking off problems with crime, sanitation, endangered children and lack of basics like water and heat, Connet paused and said, "Want me to keep going?"
The problems at Alpine Woods are so great that it's exhausting to list them all and impossible to fix them alone.
"Realizing this was a problem for numerous entities," the city convened the roundtable of "stakeholders" at the City Operations Center last Tuesday, Connet said. "The school system, dealing with kids coming to school not bathing, the DSS had issues dealing with children services. We brought all the entities together, also working with Pisgah Legal Services. We invited Housing Assistance."
"A lot of the units are not sufficient for human habitation. As we condemn these places, we're having to find places for people to live. We're being very sensitive to that. Instead of taking the nuclear option of going in and immediately closing the park we are trying to get people relocated and condemning the property as they become vacant so they cannot be re-rented. As much as we feel like the park needs to be closed we're also very sensitive to the fact that we have residents there and that's their home."

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