Skip to comments.Suni Sands [FL], for a time:
Posted on 08/02/2014 5:52:29 AM PDT by FlJoePa
They're older and live in one of Jupiter's most beautiful spots Suni Sands.
The community is 80 years old.
Other parts of Jupiter are younger, and have been recognized by the Jupiter Town Council. But Suni Sands' 80-year-anniversary wasn't celebrated by anyone but those who live in this community of about 110 homes.
The residents of Suni Sands know that Charles Modica has purchased this mobile home community, the land under their mobile homes, and that their rent between $600 and $900 a month could end if and when Modica decides to develop the property.
What they don't understand is their perception that the Town of Jupiter seems to want to end this lifestyle that has been part of the Jupiter community long before Jupiter Inlet Village got its name ... and the phrase "funky fishing village" was coined by the Town Council, which is also the Community Redevelopment board, to describe what the town wanted in this area.
This is a unique portion of land, with several of the beautifully decorated mobile homes looking right over a sandy beach at low tide to the Jupiter Inlet.
Unobstructed, pristine, the way Jupiter residents would love to live, the way that Jupiter advertises its community.
"When we first came here to visit friends in Suni Sands 12 years ago, we thought: Are you kidding?'
"And then we drove right down to the water of Jupiter Inlet," said Marcia Arsenault.
MOUTHS DROPPED OPEN
"When we saw the view, our mouths dropped open. It's been that way for 12 years. We look out of our living room window right onto the inlet and you can't believe how beautiful it is," said Arsenault, who lives in Suni Sands with her husband Sam.
Bob Coblentz has been in Suni Sands for 25 years, first coming here in 1983 to visit his wife's cousin, and then later, buying a mobile home in 1989.
Coblentz worked for IBM and later for the FAA with its air traffic controllers, and his wife loved staying at Suni Sands when he had to travel for several months at a time.
"The thing that didn't impress me until later on, as we came from New Jersey to Suni Sands in the winter, was that everyone was out visiting and walking in the park," Coblentz said.
"It's a community thing. We have a clubhouse and a swimming pool, and you don't have a day or evening when people aren't out conversing and making friends. In a condo, there is a sterile environment - not like Suni Sands."
MUCH MORE THAN QUIET
For David and Debbie Cooper, Suni Sands is much more than a quiet part of Jupiter with magnificent views of the Jupiter Inlet.
The very camaraderie among the residents, the caring for neighbors, which is a hallmark of the community, is what links the Coopers to Suni Sands.
"I originally lived in Jupiter as a kid, and then I moved back to Cape May, N.J. where I met my wife," he said.
"One year after we married, Debbie had a brain aneurysm. We bought a mobile home here in Suni Sands because Debbie could stay here in the warm weather and I could go back and finish working as a commercial fisherman. For that year that I was in Cape May, I knew there were people in Suni Sands who would help take care of her. And they did.
"For the first year, Debbie couldn't drive, and her neighbors were there for her. Since moving here, I run a private sport fishing boat operation."
EFFECTS OF DEVELOPMENT?
The Coopers agreed that the new owner has treated the residents fine, and the residents have no problem with Charles Modica or his group.
But, as David Cooper said, "It is the town that's throwing stones at us.
"At one time, both Mayor Karen Golonka and Brenda Arnold, who runs the CRA, came to our homeowner association meetings and said they wanted to create their funky fishing village around Suni Sands. They told us this face to face.
"Then they stopped coming to our meetings and their attitude changed," said Cooper.
"Suni Sands is that funky fishing village, it is that old Florida feeling that the town said they wanted. One of the purposes of a CRA is to provide affordable housing for the elderly in the community. Suni Sands is affordable housing for older people. The town says our community is unsafe," Cooper said, "but we've had one hurricane in 50 years that has affected us - and if there is a hurricane, we evacuate."
Cooper said that if the property is developed, it is the responsibility of the CRA to pay for the residents' property losses and their moving expenses.
It's not only the residents of Suni Sands that could be affected by any proposed development.
"We have Johnson grasses along our waterfront that the manatees eat. It is a breeding ground for manatees, and it is a protected grass, they aren't allowed to touch it," Cooper said.
TOWN: PROPERTY WENT INTO FORECLOSURE
"The town wasn't actively seeking people to develop Suni Sands, we were happy the way it was," said Brenda Arnold, CRA program manager, this week.
"But the reality is that the property went into foreclosure and Mr. Modica bought the 10 acres for $17.5 million. The value of the land at $1.5 million isn't for a mobile home park. As a matter of fact, if someone came along today and wanted to put a mobile home park on this property, the town would say no, since it is in a high hazard area.
"The only way the people of Suni Sands could stay is if they bought it, or if the town bought it, but how would you justify having the town spend public money to buy 10 acres of the most valuable property in the town and taking it off the tax rolls."
The town is required by state statute, however, to help the mobile home park residents once Charles Modlica files to begin development, according to David Kemp, principal planner for the town.
"Once the developer initiates the process and plans to go forward the remove the mobile homes, the town first must determine if there are adequate mobile home parks or other suitable locations where they can relocate their mobile homes. The mobile home owners would receive $3,000 for a single section home or $6,000 for a multi-section home to move it. If they abandon their mobile home, and move elsewhere, they get $1,375 for a single and $2,750 for a multi-section home through the Florida Mobile Home Relocation Corporation.
Kemp said that when the former WhiteHaven Mobile Home Park was developed, the residents also got help from the developer.
"The residents of Suni Sands could have an agreement with Mr. Modica to help them in this transition," he said.
TIME, MONEY & FAMILY
Even though it is a close-knit community, the neighborliness extends beyond the boundaries of Suni Sands.
Marcia Arsenault said residents in the community donate their time and money to Jupiter causes. There is a group that makes mosaics and donates them to Loggerhead Marinelife Center, the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Busch Wildlife Sanctuary.
"We have one resident who takes elderly dogs from Furry Friends, takes care of the dog until it dies; and when it does, he brings home another elderly dog to give a loving home to in its final months or years. We have people who are instrumental in keeping the food program going in their church. We have those whose church works with the schools and purchases kits to fill with food for youngsters to take home for the weekend," Arsenault said.
"Suni Sands people go to the grocery store for their neighbors. They take them to the doctor, and they visit them ... especially those who live alone.
"This isn't just another neighborhood. Suni Sands is a family," Arsenault said.
What a great spot though. Hope they hang on as long as possible.
Here's their nightly view across the inlet:
Excuse me if I didn’t catch somewhere that these tenants own the land that their trailers sit on.
If they don’t and if their leases are up, well then, welcome to property rights.
Can’t wait for all here to rationalize differently.
You’re correct and I don’t think anyone would make the claim that the renters have any long term rights here. They’re at the mercy of the developer, and they fully realize it.
It’s just sad that it will eventually be replaced by a bunch of tacky condos.
More Old Florida gone.
Yes, since trailers and such are sooo much poshier.
Census Pop. %±
1950 300 50.0%
1960 1,058 252.7%
1970 3,136 196.4%
1980 9,868 214.7%
1990 24,966 153.0%
2000 39,328 57.5%
2010 55,156 40.2%
They’re trying to cram too many people in here!
I was caught up in the exact type of situation. Bought a double wide for about $20,000.00 that faced a beautiful river that had sailboat access to the Gulf. Free dock access. About $500.00 a month lot rent. Sat on a glass enclosed porch with a million dollar view. At the height of the bubble, the land owner bought up a lot of the neighboring homes to extend his holdings and sent us a notice of his intent to develope the land.
I knew when I bought it was just a matter of time, but I was amazed at the reaction of my neighbors. They were in complete denia. They spouted off that they would make him pay through the nose to “buy them out”.
When I tried to explain how little they would get for their trailers, they refused to believe me. Most of the trailers were old and were not worth moving.
Long story short, bubble burst before he could proceed Park still there. I sold trailer and bought house nearby.
BTW, not everyone living in a trailer is trash. I’ve met them from posh condos and gated communities from California and Miami
2010 55,156 40.2%
10,000 less than the largest city in Maine.
Have the boundaries of Jupiter been enlarged since 1940?
Took me a lot of seaching, but yes Jupiter has grown from annexation although some has come from development.
Checked Wiki: As of 2010, According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 21.1 square miles (55 km2).
Jupiter Community High School, . . . 2800 students enrolled in the school. Portland has 2300 public high school students at three high schools. This is a reflection of changing makeup of Maine which is losing population.