Public hearing scheduled on mobile homes

First Posted: 6/16/2009

Mount Airy is proposing a zoning change to conform to a recent court ruling stating that localities cant use age as a factor in prohibiting mobile homes from areas they regulate.
A public hearing is scheduled during a 7 p.m. meeting Thursday at the Municipal Building so the city commissioners can receive public comments on amending the Mount Airy Zoning Ordinance to reflect the ruling.
The local proposal is stemming from a February decision by the N.C. Court of Appeals involving a case that originated in Pasquotank County. The court ruled that North Carolina communities may not regulate the location of manufactured homes on the sole basis of age or value through zoning, land-use or mobile home park ordinances.
As presently written, Mount Airy zoning regulations list the age of a unit as one of the requirements for placement within its jurisdiction. Rules pertaining to single-wides in the R-20 (residential) district in the municipalitys one-mile extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) zone state that a mobile home locating there can be no older than 10 years from the present year.
In addition to new installations, the existing city ordinance also regulates the age of single-wide homes that replace other units.
To bring Mount Airy into compliance with the court decision, the city planning staff and planning board have recommended that the local zoning laws be modified to remove the age rule.
Manufactured housing units still must meet size and structural specifications, such as the establishment of a permanent masonry foundation underneath. Among other requirements, the homes must comply with regulations of the local health and building inspections departments and state Department of Insurance in addition to city zoning officials.
After Thursdays public hearing, the commissioners will vote on the proposal at a later meeting.

Rezoning Hearing
Also Thursday night, a separate public hearing is scheduled on a rezoning issue involving residential property on Edgewood Drive, behind BB&T on U.S. 601 in the vicinity of Wal-Mart.
Surry Telephone Membership Corp. is seeking to buy three parcels at that site so the company can establish a new retail center for its wireless and broadband operations. Andrew Gibbons, a Realtor who is involved with the transaction, said Tuesday that the operation envisioned will be similar to an existing Surry Telephone center in the nearby Forrest Oaks Shopping Center.
Presumably, the site on Edgewood Drive would allow the company to move to a more spacious location, but that could not be confirmed by a Surry Telephone Membership Corp. official to whom further questions were referred.
To accommodate the project, city officials are being asked to rezone the three parcels on Edgewood Drive from their present residential classification to the B-4 (highway business) designation. Gibbons said this zoning conforms to that of neighboring properties in the largely commercial area. The Mount Airy Planning Board has approved the change.
The present listed owners of the parcels include Gary L. Chilton, Jayne M. Bowman, Phillip L. Moore and Bonnie C. Reynolds.
Contact Tom Joyce at [email protected] or at 719-1924.

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