FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — The future of Trails End Mobile Home Park continues to be in limbo.

On Friday, a judge heard arguments for and against selling the property to Harmony Communities, a company said to be known for rent hikes. The judge announced she would have an answer by next Wednesday.  

“Trails End, we will stand and fight to the end because this is our home,” said park resident Heidi Phipps. 

A judge is weighing in on two options — allow Harmony Communities to take over, or let Trails End become resident-owned. 

“It is a viable thing to consider, it is not something that would take a year or two as is alleged by the receivership and there is a large support of this by residents of the park,” said California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) lawyer Mariah Thompson, who is representing a group of residents. 

The California Receivership Group is a third party appointed by the City. The City took over park management last year after a deadly fire and other operating issues. 

The receivership is recommending that the park be sold to Harmony. The company has already invested money to bring the community up to code. 

“And the fact is that Harmony has been, or is in the process of spending the $300,000 they promised,” said receivership CEO Mark Adams. 

Adams also pointed out that Harmony has 55 projects and only received complaints about two sites.
The judge also questioned how viable it was for a community of low-income residents to purchase Trails End.

Adams further argued in court that Harmony crews have been cleaning up piles of garbage, but residents and Thompson said they’ve torn down some people’s fences and taken personal property. 

“They took down our fence without our knowledge so now our dogs are running around loose,” said Phipps. “If Harmony wins, I won’t have a choice but to move.”

“They also tore down a storage shed that they were in the process of building to move items into storage in order to help them comply with the obligations of the 14-day notice they received,” said Thompson. 

Residents are concerned about rent hikes and other changes under Harmony.

“They have a very well documented record of implementing very strict rules that are very difficult to live by, that do not allow residents to have almost anything outside of their home, including art, flowerpots, or boots on their porch, doormats,” said Thompson, 

Although the judge didn’t make a decision on the sale of the property on Friday, she granted other requests. 

“She reiterated that any personal property removed from on-site contractors must be stored and inventoried. She rescinded 7-day notices that we alleged were unauthorized and unlawful. We also were able to get some additional time for residents who are trying to get permits for things that need permitting on-site, such as awnings, sheds,” said Thompson.

The judge also reiterated that residents had a right to receive notices in English and Spanish.