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Moratorium approved on mobile home placement

On Tuesday, the Troup County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to pass a 62-day moratorium on mobile home placement in the county.

Commissioners Morris Jones, Ellis Cadenhead, Lewis Davis and County Commission Chairman Patrick Crews voted in favor of the moratorium.  Commissioner Richard English voted against. Several commissioners stated during the meeting that they plan to use the 62 days to review the ordinance. The resolution was not on the original meeting agenda, but the County Attorney Jerry Willis did have a draft of the resolution on hand for the commission to vote on during the meeting.

“This is not a resolution to stop mobile homes in Troup County. This is a resolution to review the way we do things and the way we handle these ordinances,” Davis said. “I think they need to be looked at. I don’t think this commission has the power and the ability that they should have. I think we do need to look at these resolutions to review them, but this in no way is going to stop mobile homes in Troup County.”

Davis, who is a local builder, had numerous questions on details of the manufactured homes ranging from roof pitch to distance from the road. During two mobile home placement votes earlier in the meeting, the commissioners voiced a number of possible concerns. One of the manufactured homes on Jim Turner Road were also discussed in a previous meeting. One of the manufactured homes did not receive any opposition during the meeting. The resolution was also passed for the placement of a mobile home on Youngs Mill Road, but it followed a long discussion from nearby residents and the commission. 

During a nearly hour-long discussion on a mobile home placement on a 4-acre lakeside residential properly, citizens spoke for and against the placement, and petitions for and against the placement were presented. The petition against the placement was originally presented on Aug. 21. During the meeting, questions were asked about the differences in regulation for manufactured home placement as opposed to stick built homes.

The commission ultimately voted three to zero in approval with conditions that trees be planted in front of the home and a porch built within the next year. The applicant had said earlier in the meeting that he planned to add those features following tax season. Jones abstained from voting for personal reasons. Crews did not vote on the placement, but he did comment on the discussion.

“When you go to county commissioner training, they’ll tell you that the hardest process that you’ll go through is rezoning or anything where you might get your neighbors at odds with each other,” Crews said. “Let me say this today, we are not on trial for anyone’s character. Mr. [Jerry] Willis, [the county attorney] will be the first to tell you that we aren’t judges. We are just ordinary citizens who were elected to this position to try, as one commissioner said, to let our neighbors work together. Sometimes we are a conduit for the two sides to come together and try to make it better.”

This is not the first time that a manufactured home placement has caused debate, which may have been part of the reason why the commissioners voted to reexamine the ordinance at this time.

“Having heard this today, the discussion and the things that are somewhat limited and somewhat discussed, I’d like to make a motion that we place a moratorium on mobile homes for at least 60 days until some of this can be worked on from the group that we hired for our ordinances,” Cadenhead said.

English disagreed with the moratorium outright, but the other commissioners argued that the ordinance needed to be reviewed in order to protect current landowners and those who might request a manufactured home placement in the future. A moratorium would prevent any additional placements while the policy is reviewed.

“Right now, you have guidelines that are not being gone by, for one thing, and that guideline needs to be looked at real hard,” Cadenhead said, referencing a requirement for roof pitch that regularly requires a variance due to standard manufactured home specifications.

“If we go by the guidelines, that is going to dissuade the gentleman with the trailer. That is going to do away with them basically, so I think we need to look at it really close to understand.”

Assistant County Manager Eric Mosley said that Canvas Planning, who is currently reviewing county ordinances, has been informed that the county commission wishes to review what the county code and ordinances say about mobile home placement.

Earlier in the meeting, a mobile home placement was also approved on Jim Turner Road. According to Anderson, the county did not have any pending applications for mobile homes when the moratorium was passed.

The Troup County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to meet again on Sept. 13 at 9 a.m. at 100 Ridley Avenue.