City of Clewiston sued after telling 40 families to move from mobile home park

Posted at 6:34 PM, Nov 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-06 18:34:49-05

In the small city of Clewiston it doesn't take long for news to spread. "It's bad news for everybody," Duillermo said.

This week many people living in Clewiston Commons learned they have six months to pack up and leave.

"I have family, I have kids. I don't have another place where are we going," he said.

Like many living at the mobile home park Eluvia Lopez says she moved there because it's close to her kids' school.

"Because I have no where else to go almost all the parks here are full and I am accustomed to living here. I don't want to move," she said. Yasir Khan the owner of the park - feels their pain.

"It's really going to cause homelessness among a lot of these folks," Khan told WPTV. This all started ten years ago when Khan applied to change the zoning of the land to commercial use.

The city granted his request, but continued to issue permits allowing him to operate the land as a mobile home park.

He told WPTV he applied for the zoning change with the understanding that the mobile home park would be able to continue to operate.

"We're grandfathered in and we had a continuous use. We never stopped using it as a mobile park," he said.

This week - Khan filed a lawsuit against the city, the mayor and number of other leaders.

He claims the city took action to vacate the property without giving him notice or an opportunity to be heard.

The city attorney says that's simply not true.

"The property owner is really now trying to point the finger at the city when it's they themselves that asked for the change," Gary Brandenburg said.

But in 2016 former city attorney Charles Schoech wrote a memo to the city. In it he says the park can operate as such because the use has never been abandoned by the owner.

Khan's lawsuit claims that memo never made it to commissioners.

WPTV reached out to the Mayor of Clewiston, Mali Gardner about the suit and have not heard back.