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Developer Reveals Plans for Hilltop Mobile Home Park: But There's a Surprising Twist

by on March 07, 2013 10:22 PM

To the delight of former residents of the Hilltop Mobile Home Park, there was a startling development at tonight's College Township Council Meeting. Representatives for Indiana-based developer Trinitas Ventures were on hand, asking to rezone the 30-acre site just off College Avenue.

For the first time, Trinitas revealed its plans: which includes student housing for roughly 300 students. The company's Vice President of Development, Travis Vencel, was hazy on details, but he told Council members the development might include a fitness center and swimming pool.

A number of people, including several former Hilltop residents, addressed Council members, most of them asking Council to deny the rezoning request. That led to a spirited debate between council members.

But the debate took an unexpected turn when State College realtor, Dave Fetzer, announced that he was in talks with investors who might want to buy the Hilltop property and keep it a mobile home park. That bombshell sparked applause from many in the audience. Fetzer asked the Council to table a rezoning decision, saying he needed 60 to 90 days to see if a deal is possible.

However, Vencel says his company already has a contract with Hilltop's owners, Sharon and Ken Mayes. And Vencel says he is representing the Mayes'. So it's unclear whether the owners would or even could entertain offers from other prospective buyers.

Council members told the crowded room they were sympathetic to the people forced to move out of their homes. Councilman David Fryer made it clear that more student housing is the last thing he wants. When all was said and done the Council voted 3-1 to send the rezoning issue to the planning commission.

The mobile home park has been a source of controversy since last fall. The owners gave residents six-months to move out. The deadline passed last week.

Steve Bauer was the Managing Editor of Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy.
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