Waterville Planning Board Chairwoman Samantha Burdick, left, asks Randy Butler of Dirigo Engineering questions Tuesday about two mobile homes, shown in the background, that were placed on lots at Countryside Mobile Home Park without prior approval of the board. Amy Calder/ Morning Sentinel

WATERVILLE — The Planning Board on Tuesday denied a request by the owner of Countryside Mobile Home Park to add two lots to the park where two double-wide mobile homes were placed without the board’s approval.

The 6-0 vote followed a site walk earlier in the day at the park, where more than 30 people including residents, board members and city officials viewed not only the two homes but also discussed the original plans for the park from 1972, which stipulated those lots were to be used for recreation green space only.

The park owners, including Mark Hsu, led the group to another site they said could be developed as a recreation space instead. But residents, including an abutter, said the alternate site is not the right place for that because there’s a salt and sand shed and maintenance building there, and construction trucks are coming and going from an expansion of 68 mobile homes taking place near it.

At the meeting Tuesday night, Jason Ouellette, the abutter whose home is on West River Road but whose backyard overlooks that salt shed area, said it was previously all woods and the trees were cut down, the salt and sand shed and maintenance building put up, and trucks rumble back and forth. The property manager offered Tuesday to build a 6-foot-tall stockade fence between that area and Ouellette’s property, but Ouellette said his raised-level ranch house is higher than that and the fence wouldn’t block his family’s view of the constant activity.

“We’re 15 feet up,” he said. “That 6-foot fence is not going to do anything. We need some trees and I want it from one end of my lot to the other.”

Randy Butler from Dirigo Engineering, who represents the park owners, said there were three other sites at the park that could be used for green or recreation space. But board member Hilary Koch pointed out that none were large enough for children to play sports such as baseball.


Ouellette said the area where the salt and sand shed is located is “ground zero” for construction at the park, and this year workers cleared out mobile homes and piled items including mattresses, brush and oil tanks at the opening of the shed. Board Chairwoman Samantha Burdick asked code enforcement director Dan Bradstreet about requirements for piling such waste there.

“None of that is acceptable,” Bradstreet said. “If something like that happens, call my office.”

In addition to the issue with the two mobile homes that didn’t receive approval, park residents complained about other matters, including ongoing water problems that cause slabs under mobile homes to crumble, potholes in park roads, constant truck traffic because of the expansion in progress and other concerns.

Resident Tina St. Laurent said the slab under her home has crumbled, the walls have shifted and the home shakes every day from trucks going by.

“They should be required to so something so we could have a little bit of peace,” she said.

The board voted Oct. 24 to postpone the request to add the two lots to the park after residents complained about ongoing problems there.


Countryside is sandwiched between Punky Meadows Mobile Home Park to its south and Countryside/Village Green park to its north, and all three are owned by Hsu and his partners, who bought them last summer. The 68-home park expansion, approved by the board in 2021, is being built between Countryside/Village Green and Countryside, and Hsu is seeking approval for a second expansion that would be built behind Punky Meadows.

According to city assessor records, Countryside Mobile Home Park had 109 active mobile homes as of April 1, Countryside/Village Green had 86 and Punky Meadows 49, for a total of 244 mobile homes. The only other mobile home park in the city is Pooler’s Parkway off Grove Street in the South End. That park had 28 mobile homes as of April 1.

Butler and Hsu said recently that they did not realize approval from the board was needed for the two additional mobile home lots in Countryside. Hsu said they worked with the state Manufactured Housing Board on the issue and the board signed off on it. When Hsu talked with employees in the city’s code enforcement office, however, he realized Planning Board approval was needed.

If no other agreement is reached regarding the two homes, then they must be removed, according to officials.

During the site walk Tuesday, Roger Brault, owner of RCM Property Management, which works for the park, said his company has been on-site for 15 months and has been working on the issues residents raised. He said they all have his email and phone number and can call any time, though he acknowledged some fixes take time.

“We’ll resolve any problem that arises,” he said.


Bradstreet, meanwhile, pointed out that his office doesn’t regulate mobile home parks — the state Manufactured Housing Board does — and there are issues his office can address and those it cannot. When residents call him and he can’t help, he points them to the proper authority.

At Tuesday night’s meeting, board members including Koch and Bruce White said the residents deserve to live in parks that are well-maintained.

“I don’t think the new owner is the enemy,” White said. “We want to work with them. I think the residents want to work with them, but they want to see some steps, too — some action.”

Koch was more forceful, saying problems at the parks have been ongoing for years and the city must do what it can, within its authority.

“This is just untenable,” she said. “I’m sorry to be so curt about this but this is absolutely appalling, so let’s do right by these people.”

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