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franklin county times

Planning Commission sends trailer decision back to council

By Staff
ZONING ISSUE A mobile home, left, owned by Rosie Brown and another owned by Ralph Boyd, both within the city limits of Meridian, have spurred debate about re-zoning. They requested approval to upgrade their homes in March. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
May 10, 2001
The Meridian Planning Commission appears poised to pass a controversial trailer ordinance back to the city council.
The members met Wednesday to discuss a proposed amendment which would allow owners of single-wide house trailers to upgrade to double-wides without a change in an area's zoning.
The Meridian City Council sent the amendment to the commission for their consideration before taking any action to pass it. Commission members said the amendment is flawed and that it should probably be sent back to the city council, although no official action was taken to do so.
Dr. Tom Lawrence, a member of the Planning Commission, said he was concerned that the amendment as written would seem biased against some property owners.
The disagreement over trailers in residential areas arose in March when local residents Rosie Brown and her brother, Ralph Boyd, asked for permission to upgrade their dilapidated single-wide trailers to double-wides.
Brown and Boyd's existing trailers were grandfathered into the system, but city zoning ordinances state no new manufactured homes can be placed on the property.
Many residents near Brown and Boyd's property on Newell Road spoke against the upgrade because they felt it could increase the number of trailers in the area and lower property values.
All planning commission members agreed they would like to find a solution to help Brown and Boyd, but said the proposed amendment could potentially open a floodgate of litigation against the city.
Lawrence agreed he would also like to find a way to help Brown and Boyd, but not at the expense of compromising the city's overall zoning strategy.
Some commission members are hoping another amendment presented by the council might solve the dilemma.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3226, or e-mail him at balexander@themeridianstar.com.