Regency Park Residents Divided Over Aspen Offer

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COLUMBIA - Residents of the Regency Park trailer park said Wednesday they were divided over an offer by a developer from a meeting Tuesday night.

Residents told KOMU 8 Aspen Heights, the company buying the park, offered residents $500 each to sign a paper at a meeting Tuesday night saying they support rezoning the property to build student housing. This would be on top of an offer to offset some of the costs of moving. The Columbia Missourian reported the developer is offering $1,800 for owners of single-wide trailers, which are less than 18 feet wide, and $3,000 for owners of double-wide trailers, which are more than 18 feet wide.

Resident Michael Brown said he did not sign the paper because he felt doing so would sign his rights away. He said most residents did sign and he understands why they did, but he didn't think it would be good for him to switch sides. He said he has been active in the fight against rezoning since the beginning.

"If you switch sides in the middle of a fight, people aren't going to want to follow you next time," he said.

Bill McNeill disagreed, saying the park will close anyway and it doesn't make any difference whether residents signed the rezoning endorsement or not.

"A little more money and a little more time is better than nothing," he said.

McNeill said he already has a spot picked out in another park and the money Aspen is offering will be enough to cover most of his moving expenses. He said he will most likely wait until right before the park closes in April to avoid moving in the middle of winter.