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Posted on Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 6:02 a.m.

Ypsilanti Mobile Village owner states intention to clean up park; new court date set

By Tom Perkins

Ypsilanti Township officials are making progress in their effort to force the owner of the Ypsilanti Mobile Village to clean up the now-abandoned trailer park.

Township attorneys were successful in convincing a judge to lift a stay on any legal action against Dominic D’Mello’s company, Cormello LLC, after D’Mello filed for bankruptcy in mid-December. 

On Monday, D’Mello’s attorneys sent a letter to the township stating D’Mello would hire a company to undertake the estimated $75,000 to $100,000 remediation within 30 days.

Township attorney Doug Winters said he's pleased to see the letter, but wants a judge to order the clean up.The township and D’Mello have a new date in Washtenaw County Circuit Court on Jan. 12.

Thumbnail image for Ypsilanti Mobile Home Park_9.jpg

Ypsilanti Township officials have been working to force the owner of the Ypsilanti Mobile Village trailer park to clean it up.

“I don’t trust that that’s going to be done because someone says they are going to do it in a letter,” Winters said. “I want to see that incorporated into a court order.”

Township attorneys were scheduled to meet D’Mello in circuit court for an emergency show cause hearing on Dec. 16, but D’Mello filed for bankruptcy in the 12th District U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Detroit hours before the circuit court hearing.

That filing automatically placed a stay on any further legal action against D’Mello, prompting Winters to file a motion with U.S. bankruptcy Judge Thomas Tucker to have the stay lifted. That request was granted at an expedited hearing.

In his order, Tucker wrote the automatic stay doesn’t apply for the litigation the township is seeking against D’Mello. A municipality trying to enforce its ordinance codes is an exception to the rule that bankruptcy proceedings stop all litigation.

“You just can’t let (the park) slide into this absolute wretched state of affairs and not be held accountable somewhere,” Winters said.

The township’s original motion filed in circuit court requests that D’Mello clean up the now abandoned trailer park, which officials say has become a haven for criminals, prostitution and now resembles a “Wild West ghost town”.

In the Jan. 3 e-mail to Ypsilanti Township and state officials, Lawrence Swistak, an attorney with Swistak Levine representing D'Mello, wrote his client intends to “eliminate any health and environmental dangers” to Ypsilanti Township residents. It also says D’Mello has entered into a written contract with Arrow Mobile Homes to remove any remaining trailers, vacant structures and debris from the property.

Arrow has been instructed to immediately obtain all necessary permits, and township officials will conduct the final inspection, the e-mail says.

An attachment to the email provided recommendations from Novi-based Strategic Operational Solutions on how to “close” Ypsilanti Mobile Village. Some of it matches what the township has asked the courts to order D’Melllo to do, which is totally clear out and secure the park.

In its Dec. 16 motion, the township asked that D’Mello remove all the remaining trailers, three permanent structures, all the park’s infrastructure and smaller items such as satellite dishes and landscape edging.

The motion also asked that D’Mello be ordered to fill in gullies created from utility crocks and erosion, clean contaminated soil and clear garbage and debris off the grounds.

The recommendations from Strategic Solutions didn’t go as far as the Dec. 16 motion in some cases, and Winters wrote in a response to Swistak that he would forward the e-mail to Mike Radzik, director of the office of community standards, for review.

Winters also asked for a copy of the contract, which wasn’t included in the e-mail, and informed Swistak that the township would still be seeking a court order on the original motion at the Jan. 12 court date.

The township laid out the conditions at the East Michigan Avenue trailer park in its Dec. 16 complaint. Among other the issues in the park, according to township and police officials:

  • Raw sewage continues to leak from several residences.
  • A woman reported being dragged into an abandoned trailer and raped in October.
  • Water lines are broken, causing contaminated water to flow back into the system.
  • The township has spent thousands of dollars securing the abandoned mobile homes, which scrappers have broken open and stripped of anything of value, including the trailers’ siding.
  • Squatters have taken up residence in at least one unit.
  • Natural gas leaks from broken gas lines.
  • Prostitution activity has increased, prompting the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department and Ypsilanti Police Department to conduct special joint operations in the area.
  • Colonies of feral cats and wild dogs now roam the park. The dogs have chased sheriff’s deputies on foot patrol through the park.
  • The Sheriff’s Department had to set up a foot patrol in the park, and the area continues to require significant police resources.
  • Former residents’ belongings and trash are strewn throughout the park.

Officials also met last week with representatives from the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth, which oversees licensing for the parks. That meeting will lead to greater cooperation between the township and state agency as they continue to deal with Ypsilanti Mobile Village and other trailer parks of concern in Ypsilanti Township, Winters said.

Township and state officials will now inspect those parks and Ypsilanti Mobile Village together. And Winters said he would work with the agency to help get legislation passed at the state level that will improve DELEG’s response time and capabilities.

Winters said one of the tools the state agency needs is the ability to obtain a bond letter or letter of credit that would prevent trailer park owners from walking away from their parks and leaving taxpayers with the clean up bill.

Tom Perkins is a freelance writer for Reach the news desk at or 734-623-2530.


Danny Noonan

Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 6:19 p.m.

What happen to ypsi. Back in late 19th century and early in the 20th century Ypsi was a place of safety and a lot of well to do. Now there are some places in Ypsi no one should go. My take is when WWII came it brought in a lot of lower wage earners. Poverty begets crime.


Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 8:23 p.m.

By the way Atticus, Deb was not expressing an opinion or a judgement...she was stating facts. Throwing garbage in their yards....fact Illegally tapping power lines....fact Living in squalor...fact Strip anything for scrap metal...fact These are all unfortunate facts (that's my opinion).


Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 8:01 p.m.

@Atticus if you plan on making an ill adviced trip there tonight....I suggest you bring the shotgun that is pictured in your avatar!

Atticus F.

Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 5:04 p.m.

Also jondhall, I've been aware of the problems in that neighborhood since the 80's. I'm sorry you CHOSE to live in a neighborhhod that has those type of problems. But again you knew what that area was like before you move in, and you have no valid complaint about the state of the neighborhood, especially since it's been that way for over 20 years. Also, it's true that Ann Arbor does have homeless shelters... But I would rather see those people taken care of than to see them die in the street in Saline. We had several people freeze to death last year...How many would you like to see die this year? Your lack of compassion for others is disturbing. I hope you don't consider yourself to be a good person.

Atticus F.

Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 4:30 p.m.

jondhall, I realize that this issue is about the land lord. But what really concerns me is the lack of care/compassion for the residents by some of these posters. There is all of this concern about shutting this place down, with no consideration for those living there. Also, thanks for posting those links Tom. I had followed the original link at the top of the page, and it led me to an article with a bunch of angry residents confronting the landlord. I was wondering how we got from that to "a now abandoned property", but apparently I missed some of the stories.


Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 2:41 p.m.

@ Atticus: You can lead them to water, but they can choose not to drink. Education is a wonderful thing. I guess from the warmth of your home you can not see this eyesore. This place hurts everyone that is a resident or a property owner in Ypsilanti Township, there is no debate about it. If someone has become homeless because of this closure then they can move to Ann Arbor, the do gooders will take care of them with everyone's tax dollars. This issue is about the Slum landlord that owns the place.

Tom Perkins

Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 2:29 p.m.

Atticus F, There are several articles on Ypsilanti Mobile Village from recent months. The last story didn't say anyone was living there. See the video in it.


Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 2:10 p.m.

Ypsilanti Township officials should force the sale of the property as part of an eminent domain action and level the entire mobile village. This is clearly another issue (think Thompson block)that will never be fixed unless the county or township intervenes. So, instead of letting it fester, let's do something about immediately!!!

Atticus F.

Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 2:02 p.m.

Ok, after rereading the article it APPEARS that there are no residents there...However, the last article claimed their were still people living there. So now my question is what happened to them? Were they silently evicted? Or were their utillities simply shut off? What ever was done to them, I believe it was done knowing that the residents had little legal recourse because of their socio economic status. Hopefully Mr.Perkins can shed some light on what happened to these people. Also, I might take a ride there tonight to see if in fact this article is accurate.


Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 1:43 p.m.

I think its really weird to claim that no one is living there when the article says this: [quote]Squatters have taken up residence in at least one unit. [/quote]


Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 1:37 p.m.

@ Atticus F. : Get the facts right or get a job at Ann This is not the South Side and if it was what is wrong with that? Also there are "no residents" still living there. The place has been condemned, the issue at large is the clean up of this rat infestation place. Maybe some people should get out of their warm houses and take a look around before they start spending everyone's money and making false accusations! As for the worst President you are living the "dream" right now.

Atticus F.

Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 1:14 p.m.

Rural mom, I'm completely aware of where that property is...It's about 3 blocks from South Grove. And I wasn't assuming it was on the South Side, I was under the impression that that area was considered the south side. I was also under the impression that there were in fact still some residents there. And if I'm correct, I stand by my assertion that the people there have a right to live their lives the way they seem fit. And, that in no way does your opinion over ride the oppinions of the residentthat live there... Nor do your rights take presidence over theirs.


Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 1:01 p.m.

Atticus, seems you are guilty of prejuidice yourself, you ASSUMED this property was on the South Side of Ypsi because its run down.


Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 12:50 p.m.

@Atticus Quick correction that park is on the east side not the south side


Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 12:25 p.m.

I wonder why Ypsi Twp. is looking to the legislature for a solution? Is it because a local law similar to the 'Rental Property Maintenance Ordinance' can't be imposed on a trailer park? If so; it's unfortunate.

dading dont delete me bro

Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 11:59 a.m.

@atticus, "my comment was directed at the people who were turning their noses up at the residents of the park." i thought i read that all the mobile homes are either abandoned or condemned. there are no current residents in that park. there was a video, on the last story(?), shot by a ypsitownship official to document the property. that property is in desparate need of cleaning up. i applaud ypsitownship's recent razing of properties. i see w/in past week or two they razed two houses along michigan ave couple hundred yards east of tim hortons/wendy's. keep up the good work!

Atticus F.

Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 11:46 a.m.

Johndhall, my comment was directed at the people who were turning their noses up at the residents of the park. I actually agree with most of your original comment...Except the part where you refer to the worst president of our time as being "the best". Also, you knew what you were getting into when you moved next door to a mobile home park on the south side of ypsilanti...I don't want to hear any complaints about "haveing to look across the street at these people".


Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 11:31 a.m.

@ Atticus: This is not about the residents, this is about the owner letting the place get run down. No preventive maintenance, just stuff the money deep in his pockets, then letting the place deteriorate. Not paying his taxes, very likely not paying the mortgage, we do not need that. So not sure who the "bigot" is here, but you have not a clue. I for one do not want to look across the street and see this cesspool. So while you hide in Ann Arbor, have not fear about the so called bigots. It does not matter that it took 4o years to get this way, do a little research you might just find the current owner is the problem.

Atticus F.

Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 10:40 a.m.

I'm just sick and tired of the poor and uneducated being treated as if they are sub-human. There has also been this new form of political correctness that forbids biggots from saying racial slurs and and judging a whole group of people as by the actions of a few... Unless they live in a mobil home park, then it's completely acceptable to refer to an entire group of people as "trailer trash". It's just the same old intolerance by a group of biggots with a different "PC face" painted on it.

Atticus F.

Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 10:29 a.m.

So Deb, why are you so concerned about how others choose to live? Unless you've lived in that neighborhood for over 50 years, It should quite frankly be none of your concern how these people live there lives...Since that park has been there for about 40 years. You don't move into an area that has an Airport next door, and then complain about the noise. So why would you move into that neighborhood, and then complain about something that has been there for 40 years? Also tree lover, there are planty of people that walk in that area at night...The problemn is, that you dont acknowledge those peoples right to exist, since they dont conform to the lifestyle that meets YOUR standards. Those people are human beings just like you. And they have every right to exist without you trying to force them to be exactly like you! I'm sorry, but


Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 10:08 a.m.

Atticus Why dont you put your money where your mouth is and take a walking tour of the scenic property at night???


Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 9:51 a.m.

I will bet the owner lives in Dearborn, or far enough away he does not see this rat infested place. Bonding is the best idea I've heard yet. Give them tax incentives, but let's make sure they as the greatest President in my life said "tear down those walls ". Civil fines are not enough this guy should be criminally charged. A public outcry might be necessary. There are to many abandon building in this area, once again as a great President once said "tear down those walls ". In the name of censorship God Bless America!


Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 9:49 a.m.

Interesting to see how well the residents keep it clean after this cleanup since they have no qualm throwing garbage out into their yards, illegally tapping into power lines, living in squallar INSIDE their crumbling homes, and strip anything of scrap metal value (including neighbors' siding) to sell. What a hell hole, it makes the outskirts of Kabul seem like a heavenly place to live.

Atticus F.

Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 8:55 a.m.

Something tells me these allegations are being overblown. The thought of the Sherrif's deputy being chased around the park like a keystone cop by a pack of wild dogs, sounds a little absurd. And I would have to see it with my own eyes to believe it. Was animal controll ever notified? and if so, did they catch up to the "pack of wild dogs" roaming the park? Or were they chased out as well?