Thursday, October 8, 2009

Planning Commission Meeting

Sat in on last night's Planning Commission meeting, which had only one item on the agenda: a vote on a text amendment requiring the removal of certain non-conforming mobile homes from their current sites. If I recall correctly, there are 21 mobile homes that would be affected if the amendment is adopted. The majority of the structures are in violation because they are located next to or behind houses in areas not zoned for multiple residents on a property. These were put in during the housing shortage of the late 60s, prior to the adoption of the zoning ordinance in the mid-70s and were grandfathered in. However this does make them 35-40 years and most mobile homes don't bear the ravages to time well.

Notices of the meeting had gone out to owners of the affected buildings and about 10 people showed up to speak. One woman spoke in favor of the ordinance, since she lived across the street from one of the homes. She said she had been told by Councilman Chris Wissmannn the structure would be moved, but instead new tenants had moved into it. she hope the new amendment would cause the owner to move it as she viewed it as a blight on the neighborhood.

The other attendees all spoke against the amendment. Most appeared to be landlords or their representatives, arguing that the amendment would imposed undue economic hardship on them, as they would lose the rental income from the property until they could relocate it and would have to bear the costs of moving the buildings. They also advanced the argument that the amendment represented an unfair taking of their property by the city without compensation and asked if the city was prepared to compensate them for the costs of moving or loss of rental income.

The only other argument offered was from one woman whose son had lived in the mobile home behind her house for 22 years with a tree growing up over it, making it impossible to move the home without cutting down the tree.

After listening to everyone's statements, three or four times in some cases, the commission voted 4-2, with one abstention by a member who had a financial interest in rental properties in the city, to approve the amendment and pass it along to the city council for a vote at the next meeting.

1 comment:

  1. There is a little trailer on West Cherry, couple blocks off University. At night, there is a dull glow from a light, or candle, in the tiny window.