01/07/13 — Mobile homes are on county agenda

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Mobile homes are on county agenda

By Steve Herring
Published in News on January 7, 2013 1:46 PM

Wayne County commissioners will once again take up whether they should eliminate the county's ban on mobile homes older than 15 years when they meet Tuesday.

Commissioners were to have held a public hearing Dec. 18 on the Wayne County Mobile Home Park Developers Association's petition to eliminate the seven-year-old ban. However, the hearing had to be canceled and rescheduled because the county erred by not providing the required public notification.

The hearing will be Tuesday at 9:15 a.m. in the commissioners' meeting room on the fourth floor of the Wayne County Courthouse annex. It will be followed later by a work session on the proposed amendment to the zoning ordinance needed to eliminate the ban.

An agenda briefing will get under way at 8 a.m., followed by the regular board meeting at 9 a.m.

The ban, association members say, is not only a drain on their business, but the county's economy as well. People who are interested in living in the county must instead live elsewhere because their mobile homes are 15 years or older, the members said.

Also, mobile homes already in the county that are 15 years or older cannot be moved if they have not had electricity in the 90 days prior to the move.

The association wants those restrictions removed and replaced with current federal Housing and Urban Development standards. Association attorney Billy Strickland told commissioners at their Dec. 18 meeting that those standards pre-empt the 15-year cap, thereby making it invalid. The courts also have said it is unconstitutional, he said.

State set-up standards adopted in 2004 regulate the tie down and foundation of the homes throughout the state. HUD adopted standards in 1976 that control mobile home construction.

The county Planning Board has recommended the change.

There are other aspects that need attention as well, Sheriff Carey Winders told commissioners at the Dec. 18 session.

For example, a county ordinance requires visible address signs for the mobile homes. However, some still cannot be found because they are not properly marked, Winders said.

Winders, who said he was not singling out mobile home parks, also expressed an interest in commissioners revisiting the county's noise ordinance. Reports of people discharging firearms in mobile home parks and subdivisions are common, he said.

It is difficult to explain to the public that there is currently little that deputies can do when they respond to such calls, Winders said.

In other business Tuesday:

* Dr. Marlee Ray, WAGES executive director, will update commissioners on a $257,757 Community Services Block Grant application.

* Commissioners will review the transportation improvement plan for fiscal years 2014-18 for the Wayne County Executive Jetport.

* The board will be updated on a petition to add Pear Tree Lane and Apple Tree Lane to the state Department of Transportation maintenance system.

* The consent agenda includes declaring April 20 and Oct. 12 as amnesty days at the Wayne County Landfill at Dudley. Disposal fees would be waived for county residents, but not for commercial businesses or haulers.

* The public comments section of the meeting will be held at 10 a.m.