09/13/06 — Mount Olive could relax mobile home limitations

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Mount Olive could relax mobile home limitations

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on September 13, 2006 1:48 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Double-wide mobile homes might soon be going up in Mount Olive again.

The Mount Olive Planning Board voted Tuesday night to ask the town board to consider allowing double-wide mobile homes in town and in its extraterritorial jurisdiction under certain conditions.

The home would have to face the street and would have to be occupied by the person who owns it and the land on which it sits. The double-wide can't be any older than five years. The current mobile home ordinance requires the mobile homes going up in town to be no more than 10 years old.

The Planning Board will recommend amending the town's mobile home ordinance, which currently bans any kind of mobile home unless it's going into a mobile home park. If the town board approves the amendment, mobile homes in town will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The home would still have to follow guidelines already in the ordinance like continuous brick underpinning and pressure treated or cement steps.

Some residents have complained about not being able to use double-wide mobile homes in town and said they were enduring hardship because of the ban.

Planning Board member Gina Knode told the rest of the board that under no circumstances would the committee assigned to draw up the amendment recommend considering single-wide mobile homes.

Town board member Jimmy Kornegay told the Planning Board the ordinance is "way out of line."

He questioned the decision to require low-income families to buy a double-wide mobile home when a single-wide is all they can afford.

"We're here to help people, not hurt people," he said. "Why are we going to make it hard for the people?"

Planning Board member Angel Musgrave said the reason the amendment addresses only the double-wides is because nobody voiced a concern about single-wides.

"We had to base (the amendment) on the citizens who voiced concerns," she said. "Two citizens came forward with hardships. We did not want to deny their requests. They both requested double-wides."

The Planning Board has also wrestled with a problem in town with narrow lots. The lots are too narrow for a mobile home to go up unless the front door opens at the narrow end.

"We do have a lot of small lots, pretty much too small for anything," Ms. Knode said.

Planning Board member Emil Cekada said a mobile home dealer told him that most companies won't stock mobile homes with doors at the narrow end because there is not as much profit is to be made on them as there is on the ones that have the front door on the wide side.

The Town Board is scheduled to meet in October.