The entrance to Countryside Mobile Home Park at 457 West River Road in Waterville. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

WATERVILLE — Planning Board Chairwoman Samantha Burdick on Tuesday chastised the new owner of a mobile home park off West River Road for what she said are ongoing problems with flooding, poor roads, issues with rats and cracking slabs beneath homes.

The discussion about Countryside Mobile Home Park at 457 West River Road arose when the board was asked to approve a sewer main modification at the park and approve two additional lots there that were supposed to have been approved beforehand by the Planning Board, but were not. Two double-wide homes were placed on the lots.

The board voted 6-0 to approve the sewer main modification, but postponed consideration of the two additional lots until the board’s next meeting.

Mark Hsu bought the park last summer and said he has been working on some of the problems there, including the need for a fence, which has been erected, and addressing a citation from the city’s code enforcement office about a piece of wire on the ground that was from an electrical pole that had fallen. Hsu said the wire was owned by Central Maine Power Co. and not live — only a piece of debris.

“They’ve already been corrected,” Hsu said of the fence and wire issues.

Randy Butler of Dirigo Engineering in Fairfield had approached the Planning Board for approval of the lot additions. He said he and Hsu did not realize approval from the board was needed for the lots.


Hsu said they worked with the state Manufacturing Housing Board on the issue and the board signed off on it. When Hsu talked with those in the city’s code enforcement office, however, he realized Planning Board approval was needed. The two homes on the lots are to be sold, but the owners would lease the land under them, according to Hsu.

“Nobody’s out to get you, obviously, but we appreciate you being here to explain that,” board member Bruce White said.

Tina St. Laurent, who lives at Country Meadows, a nearby mobile home park that Hsu also owns, told the Planning Board that problems at both parks are not being addressed, rents are being raised and fees added and some residents have no water or sewer hookup.

“If they can’t fix the homes that are in there,” St. Laurent said, “I don’t think they should be adding any more.”

She said the pad or slab under her mobile home has multiple cracks because the park is in a “swamp,” and her home is sinking into the ground. She said there are issues with rats and other animals in the area, and the roads are unsafe.

“I will invite you to my home,” St. Laurent said, “and I will show you, if you want.”


Hsu said St. Laurent’s comments were inaccurate. He said he offered to fix the pad beneath her mobile home and offered to put her up at a hotel while the work was being done, but she hedged.

Burdick said her stance has been that until the issues are remedied, she is not comfortable moving forward with approval of further expansions. She said the problems have been ongoing and she has traveled through the park and seen issues. People living at the park pay a lot of money to live there, including having to pay mortgages, she said, and problems persist.

“I’ve been hearing this for five years,” Burdick said, “so the fact that you have not responded to one resident about one slab is, frankly, not the problem here.”

Hsu said all of the roads at the mobile home park have been repaired, and he thinks it would be helpful if people visited the site to see the progress.

White said he thought the board should visit the park as soon as possible, before the snow arrives.

Burdick said the Planning Board could advertise it was having a site visit, and members could drive through the park to look at it, but she cautioned they cannot meet with the developer outside of a board meeting.

In other matters Tuesday, the Planning Board voted to approve a final plan for the creation of six downtown apartments on the second floors of the Arnold Block at 103-109 Main St., which is owned by Thomas Nale Jr. and his sister, Tracy Nale. She said they do not have a definitive timeline for developing the apartments, which will depend on several factors, including financing and costs.

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