Pine Ridge Might Stay “As Is”

The Prince George Board of Supervisors tabled the proposal to expand the Pine Ridge trailer park last Tuesday.

Board members raised concerns about Sun Communities proposal for expansion, questioning the life expectancy and safety of the park. The board is seeking accountability and justification in extending water and sewer, along with education and emergency services. Josh Schnackenberg, divisional vice president operations and sales for the Michigan based Sun Communities, owner of the Pine Ridge trailer park.

“Sun has been involved with the Pine Ridge development for 23 years,” Schnackenberg said.

Schnackenberg said Sun Communities has successfully developed and implemented strong neighborhood watch programs in its 230 communities nationwide.

“We typically hold quarterly meetings,” Schnackenberg said. “We help fund it. We help support it and encourage the resident involvement as well as involvement from the local police department.”

Schnackenberg also informed the board of amenities Sun Communities is looking to bring to Pine Ridge.

“Upgraded amenities would include a club house available for the residents use, playgrounds, a basketball court and a storm-water drainage improvement amongst other improvements,” Schnackenberg said.

These amenities are already listed on the Sun Communities website, with pictures, at Schnakenberg sent a letter to the board prior to the Tuesday night meeting, which mentions the same amenity benefits and addresses concerns raised by adjacent home owners.

“I have found from other localities, and actually, I believe we had one here in this county some time back,” said Chairman William A. Robertson, Jr. “The clubhouse was an old used mobile home; a trailer; a singlewide version. I know you’ve talked about relocating and improving the playgrounds, upgrading the roads and drainage, improving the landscape and all.

“I guess my thing is, yes, you all have done a very good job with Pine Ridge, but I’m sure probably a month or two before the last company that owned them sold them, people didn’t realize that they were going away from them. I don’t know what kind of condition your company is in or how long your company will own these. So, I’m looking for things down the road we can hold everybody accountable for.”

Chairman Robertson suggested the possibility of approval of a detailed phased-in project with benchmarks to meet before allowing Sun Communities to install the expansion in increments. The chairman informed Schnackenberg of his idea of what a clubhouse should be: large enough to fit the neighborhood; not a 400 square foot building labeled a clubhouse.

“Everything that you all have put forth is so general that you could do things but it really wouldn’t amount to a whole lot,” Chairman Robertson said. “I hate to say it, but once burned you learned from what your experience in the past has been.”

Schnackenberg responded to the chairman’s concerns with a lack of certainty regarding the future of Sun Communities ownership of Pine Ridge, but highlighted the 23 years of ownership. Schnackenberg also said the clubhouse would be 2,000 square feet though Sun hasn’t spent time or money on blueprints because they are still in initial phases. Schnackenberg explained how installation of the infrastructure for the expansion is critical, and that the updated water and sewer service would require installation in tandem with all other aspects of the expansion.

Other members of the board further questioned the details of the expansion, including the life of a trailer or trailer park, and further questions concerning the park’s security. Further strain on Prince George police sounded like a deal breaker for board members, which requested onsite security during peak hours. Other stipulations sought to close loopholes allowing felons to occupy trailers under a lease agreement made by an alternate party.

The questioning continued past the time permitted, forcing the board to again table the proposal. The fate of Pine Ridge is still developing as board members are looking for more answers and accountability.

Featured Photo: Benjamin May/Prince George Journal
Pine Ridge Mobile Home Park.

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