Roachdale debates mobile homes

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A building ordinance dominated discussion at the Roachdale Town Council meeting Tuesday evening where a packed crowd weighed in: Trailers vs. No Trailers.

Ordinance 2007-4, accepted by the council earlier this year, was designed to regulate the construction of mobile homes within the Roachdale corporate limits. The ordinance requires that any person who wishes to place a mobile home on his/her property must first apply for a building permit, distribute notice of a public hearing to all adjacent property owners, and finally, be subject to approval from the Town Council.

Resident Jerry Burdine, who seeks to replace a deteriorating mobile home on his property, was a vocal critic of the ordinance saying it discriminated against those of lesser means.

"This town was once known as a town for young families trying to get started," Burdine said. "This is not Carmel. Kids have to start out somewhere."

His criticism fell on the deaf ears of some residents who strongly support the ordinance. One local resident reported to the board that according to her most recent assessment, her property value has decreased as much as $30,000 as a direct result of trailers adjacent to her property.

Roachdale resident Rick Burdine addressed the Council to point out deficiencies in building codes required for mobile homes. According to ordinance 2007-4, a 3 1/2-inch concrete slab must be poured under any new mobile home to serve as a foundation. But state code's require that foundations are placed below freezing depth, between 32 and 34 inches deep.

"A 3 1/2-inch slab will float around and crumble," said Burdine.

In other business, the council announced plans to seek estimates on the removal of several dead trees in downtown Roachdale.

An executive meeting was scheduled to examine raising the fee for a building permit, which is currently set at $1 and to consider plans for a community Christmas Dinner, which was not written into this year's budget.

The council resolved to place a bound copy of all Roachdale ordinances in the public library to make them more accessible to citizens requesting copies.

Heath Wolfe resigned as reserve deputy marshal. Wolfe was not present but his resignation letter was formally read into the record.

Finally, the council introduced Martha Louk as Roachdale's a new Clerk-Treasurer, who was appointed after Jennifer Archer unexpectedly resigned from her post in October. The board was unable to comment on the circumstances surrounding Archer's resignation, as the paperwork is currently being processed by the State Board of Accounts and is not yet a part of public record.

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