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Commission rejects trailer upgrades

By By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
July 25, 2001
Meridian Planning Commission members rejected a change in city law that would give trailer owners six months to upgrade their homes prompting a manufactured housing representative to threaten a discrimination lawsuit.
Jennifer Hall, executive director of the Mississippi Manufactured Housing Association, said she will wait to see what the City Council will do next. But she said trailer owners who want to participate in a lawsuit should contact her organization.
Commission members voted 7-2 without discussion to reject the proposed change in city law. Their recommendation heads to the City Council for consideration; council members could take action at their next meeting Aug. 7.
For months, owners of single-wide trailer homes have petitioned the Planning Commission and the City Council to let them upgrade to larger, double-wide trailers.
At the same time, subdivision residents who live near trailer homes have asked city leaders to leave current laws intact. They fear a change would decrease their property values and attract more trailers.
On Tuesday, about 25 subdivision residents and three trailer owners attended the Planning Commission meeting to monitor its action.
Natalie Purvis was one of the few property owners who spoke, telling commissioners she opposed letting trailer owners upgrade their homes. Purvis and her husband, Ronnye, own land near a trailer on Newell Road.
But Tommy Rose, owner of Rose Mobile Homes in Hickory and Meridian, told commission members the city could become the target of a lawsuit by the MMHA.
Trailer owners O.D. and Bonnie Williamson, who attended the commission meeting, said afterward that the MMHA contacted them Sunday about a possible lawsuit. The Williamsons want to upgrade their trailer; they live in west Meridian.
Before the commission voted, Meridian Planning Manager Don Jemison told the board that allowing residents to upgrade their trailer could cause other residents to seek changes in city zoning laws.
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.
Here is a quick capsule of other action the Meridian Planning Commission took Tuesday.
Commissioners unanimously endorsed a plan to borrow $7 million in urban renewal revenue bonds for the construction of 500-car downtown parking garage. The proposal now heads to the City Council for consideration, possibly on Aug. 7.
Commissioners voted 6-3 for an incentives package to
promote residential subdivision growth. The plan would offer developers money for water and sewer improvements.
That proposal also heads to the City Council, possibly on Aug. 7.