Three vacant trailers at Walden Pond Mobile Home Park in New Port Richey collapsed recently, and conditions at the park have triggered concerns about public safety issues.
People have been taking pieces off of trailers at the park.
On Monday, New Port Richey Code Enforcement Officer Liz Nichols expressed concerns to city officials. She sent an email to the New Port Richey Police Chief with pictures of collapsed trailers that have missing siding, walls and floors.
“This is the result of the constant scavenging/scraping of the abandoned trailers at Walden Pond,” Nichols said in the email. "As of this morning there are three trailers that have collapsed over the weekend. The (mobile home park) is deteriorating at a steady pace.”
Walden Pond, owned by Walden Pond, LLC, has been a problem for awhile.
Residents were informed by the park’s owners in July that the park was “closing.” They were told they had to leave by the end of July or face legal action.
To legally evict residents, a property owner needs to file eviction paperwork through the court system, Nichols said. The eviction can only be served to tenants by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. As of Wednesday, Sept. 26, Nichols has not seen any legal eviction notice filed through the court.
Some residents remain at the park. One resident estimated there are still 10-12 people living at there. There isn’t a property manager on premises.
Nichols is concerned about the structural integrity of trailers. “You can see the issue” if a police officer needed to go into a mobile home or a curious child wandered inside, she said. Insulation is exposed to the open air because the walls are stripped.
“I’d like them (the mobile homes) knocked down and removed,” she said.
She has expressed to officials concern about the conditions at the park.
“I have issued five citations to the individual scrapers that I catch in the park but, the citation system does not seem to be a deterrent,” she said in her email to the police chief. “I think we should approach the city attorney about Nuisance Abatement procedures since we now have numerous safety issues at the (mobile home park)."
Doug Haag, New Port Richey’s acting city manager, said city officials are exploring whether the city nuisance abatement ordinance can help allleviate problems at the park. The collapse of trailers at the park triggers health and safety concerns, he says.
The city has had to deal with a plague of enforcement issues at Walden Pond.
Park owners removed dumpsters from the park in August. Earlier this month, the city had to spend six hours removing the large amount of trash that residents left on the ground. It took three 20-yard dumpsters and six hours to remove the trash, Nichols said.
The park ownership could face a lien if they don’t pay a fine for the cleanup.
Paul Beraquit, managing partner of Walden Pond, LLC, declined comment.
Nichols hasn’t heard from him, either.
However, the people responsible for the park are having their day in court. A series of citations have been issued to the park owners. Another series of citation has been issued to a park resident for demo’ing without a permit.
The city has scheduled arraignment today, Sept. 27, for some of the citations.
Beraquit has been cited for removing the dumpsters at the park, and that citation is on the docket for today's arraignment.
Walden Pond is registered to Paragon Capital Partners, LLC, on the Florida Div. of Corporations website and is listed as being managed by Paragon Real Estate Holdings. Beraquit is named as the founder and president of Paragon on the company website.
Sachin Patel is listed as vice president of Paragon. He was issued two citations for refusing to pick up trash and debris. Those two citations are also on the docketfor today's arraignment.