Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Another one bites the dust

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are currently over 1600 mobile homes in Howard County, down from more than 1800 in 2000. And the downward trend will continue, as mobile home parks, such as Beechcrest, are being demolished in favor of more permanent housing.

The hoped-for revitalization of U.S. 1 received another boost with the approval of a brief and, on first glance, irrelevant change to the voluminous zoning regulations.

The amendment, though, was the initial step in replacing a mobile home park with an apartment complex in North Laurel.

Although there are many stages left in the development process, the president of Beechcrest Mobile Home Estates, Mirza Baig, said the apartments would serve two county objectives: beefing up the historic U.S. 1 corridor, large parts of which have over the years fallen into economic disrepair, and providing moderately priced housing.

On the whole, replacing mobile home parks with apartments is something we should welcome, particularly along the beleaguered Route 1 corridor, where revitalization has been slow in coming, though not for lack of effort. However, while our remaining mobile home parks will likely be replaced by additional housing that is also affordable and in better condition, it isn't hard for me to muster some sentimental feelings for these remnants of Howard's past.

But I think we all know what happens when you try to stand in the way of suburbia.


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