Residents at Courtyard Estates in Clintonville fear they will have to leave their homes


CLINTONVILLE, Ohio - Les McDonald, 71, and his wife, Eva, 69, have been married 20 years. The last five years have been spent in Courtyard Estates in Clintonville. A home, by all counts they say, was just perfect.

"Affordable," Les said.

"You know, as we get older, this is perfect for us," Eva said. "It had a ramp and [it was] ideal for us to grow old and retire in.

Advertisement - Story continues below

Janeen Osborn, 78, has lived in the community for 19 years.

"Ideal," she said. "I'm single. I have relatives in town, but you can't expect them to take care of you all the time."

Part of what they say made the home ideal was the rent, which is $325 per month.

But soon, Osborn and the McDonalds fear they will have to move out of their ideal homes.

"We're going to be on the street with our sign saying we need a home and food," Eva said.

"I don't want to have to face uprooting my life at 78," Osborn said.

They are two families in 65 mobile homes in this 55-and-older community with essentially no place to go.

"And that's our biggest concern right this minute," Clintonville Area commissioner Libby Wetherholt said.

She said the property owner of the mobile home park, Preferred Living, is in talks to possibly look at rezoning the property and turning it into luxury apartments. Some say what has been discussed are two, three-story apartment buildings with rent starting at $900 per month.

If that happens, residents say they would have six months to get out.

"We have one gentleman that's been here 40 years," Osborn said. "He's 92 [years old] and he's lived here 40 years. Now, is it fair to ask that gentleman to uproot his life?"

The city of Columbus says no site or building plans have been submitted. If and when they are, they will go to the commission for a recommendation and then Columbus City Council would have the final say.

An attorney representing Preferred Living, David Hodge, told 10TV there are no plans to change the Courtyard Estates property in 2018 or 2019. When asked if future development is possible he replied, "Something could happen at some point."

Bottom line, the property is rented by residents but owned by Preferred Living and it can do what it wants with its own property. The McDonalds said since they own their mobile home, they could essentially relocate it to another park, however they say it could cost up to $10,000 to do it, which is money they don't have.

Even though it is not immediate, the McDonalds, who are both retired and on a fixed income, said they are currently job searching and saving because they don't know what the next six months will bring.

Wetherholt says she has been talking to people and different agencies that might be able to help the residents of Courtyard Estates if and when they have to move.