Continuing to debate the issue of whether to allow mobile homes in the city limits of Loyall, members of the Loyall City Council once again tabled the issue on Monday after a lengthy discussion about what to include in an ordinance.
Mayor Clarence Longworth told a room full of residents he hopes to see the issue resolved at the next council meeting in September.
Charles Lovely, chairman of a committee appointed to study the issue, told council members the committee didn’t consider single-wide mobile homes in the proposed ordinance presented at the council’s last meeting because of the longer lengths these homes come in.
He voiced concern over multiple mobile homes being placed on a lot if single-wide trailers are allowed.
“We just don’t want trailer parks popping up in the city,” said Lovely. “The most empty lots I counted in the city, that could be used for mobile homes, is eight.”
After a lengthy discussion, council members agreed to add three new items to a proposed ordinance, those items included: (1) stipulating that those placing mobile homes in the city must own the lots where the homes will be placed, (2) only one mobile home may be placed on a lot in the city, and (3) all mobile homes must be placed 30 feet from any other mobile home in the city.
When a show of hands was requested by Longworth as to who was in favor of preparing an ordinance allowing mobile homes in the city with stipulations, four council members responded they were. Council members Anne McFarland and Dewayne Williams responded they were not in favor of allowing mobile homes in the city.
Councilman James Hagy said he was in favor of allowing mobile homes in the city and would like to see “something on these empty lots in the city.”
“Some of these single-wides — the way they are built now are just as good as a double-wide,” said Hagy. “I don’t have a problem with whether it is a single-wide or a double-wide. I just don’t want 20-year-old mobile homes placed in the city.”
Councilwoman Trenna Cornett agreed with Hagy saying she is in favor of allowing mobile homes in the city.
“I don’t have a problem with single-wide homes. I do think there needs to be guidelines and stipulations on one trailer per lot,” said Cornett. “I know over in my neck of the woods, in Black Bottom, there’s a lot of rental property over there that HUD is renting. There are some places you can turn them in a different direction and there’s actually a couple of spots where two or three can be put in there. That I consider a trailer park and that does devalue all property owners’ land.”
Councilman Dewayne Williams said looking at the issue from an economical standpoint, “If you take a $5,000 single-wide and put it on a 50 feet by 100 feet lot, property tax will be $50 or $60 at most.” He added a double-wide modular home will generate more property tax.
Longworth responded by saying allowing mobile homes will increase the city’s population and add water and sewer customers.
“My concern is what is best for the people of Loyall,” said Williams. “We are not, by any means, picking on people who rent. Personally, I would prefer no single-wides. I’m just trying to think ahead for our neighbors in the community.”
McFarland expressed concern over older mobile homes being placed in the city. She was assured the proposed ordinance will address this issue and stipulate the age of a home that will be allowed.
Councilmen Elvin Smith and Kenny Colinger both agreed they were for allowing mobile homes in the city with stipulations. Colinger said he would “definitely like to see” an ordinance include the stipulation that the lot must be owned by those placing mobile homes in the city.
“My main concern is about our population,” said Longworth. “When they come back and do a census and if this population is down we’re going to lose funds in several different ways. We’ve got several vacant lots with weeds growing in them. I don’t know if allowing trailers is going to change much with the economy the way it is today or not.”
Nola Sizemore may be reached at 606-573-4510 or on Twitter @Nola_hde