09/08/05 — Officials hear mobile home rules working

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Officials hear mobile home rules working

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on September 8, 2005 1:46 PM

FAISON -- Faison residents are making improvements to their properties, officials say, now that the town board is talking seriously about restricting the erection of mobile homes inside the town limits.

A proposed ordinance would prevent new mobile homes from being erected in the town. The ordinance also would give owners only 180 days to find a replacement of a grandfathered mobile home, obtain a zoning permit, have the new mobile home inspected and receive approval.

Improvements such as underpinning were already required, but Faison town commissioner Jane Hollingsworth told the board Wednesday night that residents who have mobile homes on her mother's land have gone to work cleaning them up.

"Look at the attention it's getting. You've done something," she told Planning Board Chairman Bill Fesperman, who was discouraged after his board had spent four years trying to revamp the town's zoning ordinance.

Town commissioners rejected the planning board's proposal. The vote for the new ordinance was 4 to 1, with Curt Sheaffer voting for the measure.

Fesperman said the efforts of the planning board have been a waste of time, but Ms. Hollingsworth assured him she doesn't feel the work has been in vain. She said the town board likes most of the proposal and recommended a joint work session to iron out details.

Both boards plan tentatively to meet at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 19 at Town Hall. The meeting will be open to the public, but the citizens will not be allowed comment.

Town commissioner J.E. Andrews said he thinks the mobile home moratorium should be lifted, but the town's current zoning ordinance should be enforced.

Mayor Bill Igoe said this board and the previous one have been too lax in enforcement of the ordinance.

"We need to give them 30 days notice to correct the problem and fine them every day it's not done," he said.

The board voted to grant exceptions to the moratorium for owners of grandfathered mobile homes who want to replace them, but those residents still have to come to the Town Hall and request a zoning permit.

The moratorium ends Oct. 3, and the board did not decide whether to continue the ban or end it at that time.

Marilyn Heckman, who has made a down payment on a replacement mobile home, thanked the board. She told the board earlier in the meeting that FEMA has taken all the mobile homes for survivors of Hurricane Katrina, and if she doesn't take delivery now, she will lose the mobile home and her down payment.