The new owner of the Inwood Manufactured Home Community appeared before the Marshall County Board of Zoning Appeals Tuesday night seeking a variance of use to allow the mobile home park to bring in new homes. 

Frank Sheppard from Winamac told the BZA he purchased the property on Hawthorn Road in January and has been working to update the park.  He’s been tearing apart and removing the old trailers that were abandoned once he can acquire title to the homes.  His plan is to bring in new homes that will be purchased by the occupant and they in turn will rent space in the park for the home to sit on. 

The Inwood Trailer Park was originally set up for 23 units and currently there are 11 trailers still occupied.  Those homes are owned by the residents, so Sheppard is unaware of the conditions inside the homes and said they are welcome to stay as long as they follow the rules.

County BZA members asked about the well, septic and roads. 

Sheppard said he has a 5,000-gallon septic system that is pumped on a biannual basis and when the park is full it will be pumped quarterly. There is one well on the site and it has an ISDH certified water testing approval.  Sheppard told the County BZA he is in good standings with IDEM.  He’s removed 80 years of trash, and the roads will be improved next week.  The plan is to invest approximately $500,000 in the park.    

Marshall County Plan Director Ty Adley said the pads that have been vacant for an extended period are not eligible to be filled with new homes because of the conflict with the legal non-conforming standards.  While the property is zoned town residential, it does not permit mobile home communities as an available use.  This is why the variance was requested.

Sheppard explained the new homes to the BZA saying he is bringing in Clayton homes from Wakarusa.  Most will be 3 bedrooms with 2 baths, but he will have a few 2 bedroom 2 bath homes and they will be for sale.

During the public hearing one neighbor asked about the screening process, she noted drug issues in the trailer park. 

Sheppard said his residents must be able to qualify for a mortgage of $65,000 to $80,000 so he doesn’t feel those kinds of issues will happen.  He also has new rules for living in the park including background checks and no subletting.

With no other comments the County BZA unanimously approved the variance.