SYLVAN BEACH (WSYR-TV) — Year-round tenants of Mariner’s Landing near Sylvan Beach are being kicked out by the Oneida Nation looking to re-develop the valuable waterfront.
Those who live in this mobile home park love their area– they have waterfront property along the canal, and they’ve become a family with their neighbors.
“Being near water is like magic. People almost run to the water. There’s something enchanting being near the water and our neighbors, or boating friends, are like family,” said 79-year-old resident Gabe Creo.
The waterfront property is high in value, and the Oneida Indian Nation wants to re-develop it to give people more access.
Creo was told he has five months to leave and says it could cost about $25,000 to move his home.
“My neighbors have a double wide that they just renovated the whole place. They can’t move it. They’ve had everybody come, it would have to be sawed in half, and all that. They can’t move it. They have to take a total loss,” said neighbor Joan Cerio.
A spokesperson for the Oneida Nation says that’s the risk of renting month-to-month, but that they’ve voluntarily delayed the project six months so tenants had time to relocate.
“It’s like we just received a flood, or tsunami or tornado because we lost our homes. But there’s no FEMA, there’s no insurance,” Cerio said.
The leaders of the Oneida Indian Nation haven’t said exactly what they’re planning at this waterfront property, but the Nation has expanded its business beyond the Turning Stone very quickly in the past five years– two new casinos have been built and a new chain of convenience stores.
An Oneida Indian Nation spokesperson says they’re waiving the last month’s rent, but the tenants say a letter to them indicates it’s only after their cleared properties have been approved, many fearing there’s no way they can truly clear the land.
The nation also offered has also contacted moving companies and their behalf, and offered a list of mobile home parks to move to.