Silverthorne mobile home residents reach agreement with developer Support Local Journalism
Silverthorne residents who live in two mobile home parks that are slated for demolition recently announced they are satisfied with the terms of a confidential agreement made in the wake of the land sale last year.
In June 2021, Blue River GP spent just under $2.5 million to purchase the land where Cottonwood Court and D&D mobile home parks stand before the plots were combined and resold to Riverthorne LLC for $3.5 million. In several meetings since the sale, residents of the park expressed concern about being displaced, which prompted them to get a legal representative for the agreement process.
Between the two parks, there are about 15 homes — eight of which are resident-owned — housing about 68 people.
In a letter to the Silverthorne town manager, Carime Lee — who represented the residents throughout the agreement process — wrote that the agreement is satisfactory to each of the residents.
John Niemi, who is the registered agent of Riverthorne, said his development group plans to install infrastructure at the site by the end of the year.
Niemi said he had spoken with several residents before they had a formal representative. He said that making sure they had access to housing post-sale was a priority. Even though he said there is no legal obligation to help the residents, he thought it was the morally right thing to do since obtaining the land.
“It worked out well,” Niemi said about the negotiations with residents. “… We just wanted to make sure they had the resources to access alternative living solutions, and it’s my understanding that’s what we agreed to do.”
Niemi would not talk about specifics of the agreement between the residents and Riverthorne because of a confidentiality agreement, but he emphasized that he is happy with how the process to reach an agreement went.
“It wasn’t that long (to reach an agreement),” he added. “We wanted to do the right thing. From the day we bought it, we planned to put resources or funds aside to help the current residents.”
Although the original timeline had residents vacating the area June 2, Silverthorne Town Manager Ryan Hyland said residents have until June 30 under the agreement to leave the property. Hyland said the town will continue to facilitate conversations in order to best help residents who will be displaced this summer. Several Silverthorne Town Council candidates have also expressed interest in providing continuous support for residents in the future until they have housing.
“There’s a land-use process, and that’s something that any and every developer has to go through,” Hyland said. “That includes planning, council meetings, et cetera. The town has been involved in working to facilitate communications and meeting with the housing authority to strategize how to make the best effort to have the opportunities.”
When completed, there will be a high-density, residential development where the parks once stood. In a community meeting held in January, potential plans that were presented include 50 units that are likely to sell anywhere from $600,000 to $1 million each.
This legislative session, several members of state Congress introduced House Bill 22-1287, which includes protections for mobile-home owners. Some of those rights include prohibiting a landlord from increasing rent on a mobile home lot by an amount that exceeds the greater of inflation or 3 percentage points in any 12-month period, requiring the landlord to attend up to two public meetings for their residents and making it easier for mobile home owners to purchase their parks.
According to reporting from The Denver Post, a version of the bill is likely to pass, but it’s unclear which of the bill’s 18 provisions will end up in the final version.