It was highly debated, but with a 3:2 vote, the Natchitoches City Council voted against upholding a decision made by Planning and Zoning Commission at its Aug. 1 meeting.
An appeal was addressed at Monday night’s City Council meeting, Aug. 28, requesting a review of the decision to approve the application submitted by Reginald Turner for the placement of two mobile homes at 811 and 813 Anita Street.
“It is ghetto,” said Gracie Claiborne, a resident in the Bailey Heights neighborhood. “We don’t need trailers. It already looks bad enough.”
Harold Bayonne’s mother lives on Anita Street. “These trailers are gonna bring the whole neighborhood down,” he said. “We want the City to look good on both sides. Trailers belong in trailer parks, not invading the integrity of neighborhoods where people care for their community.”
Turner defended himself, saying he was born and raised in the Bailey Heights community. His grandfather built a house on Anita Street.
“I’m a property owner and I take pride in my property,” he said. “It’s not about the money. I’m trying to do something to beautify the community.”
Each Council member spoke their mind on the topic of trailers being allowed into established neighborhoods.
“I have to look at the betterment of the City as a whole,” said Eddie Harrington. “I wouldn’t have as many concerns as I do if this was a primary residence versus a rental property. Mobile homes depreciate at an accelerated rate and rental properties are traditionally not as well taken care of.”
He referenced the Carver Avenue neighborhood where Dr. Rand Metoyer has been buying lots and building new homes on them.
“I’m amazed by what he’s doing to revitalize the area,” said Harrington.
Dale Nielsen said the Council is tasked with making a tough decision on this issue. “In the long term trailers aren’t the best solution, but I have a hard time going against an ordinance when all the requirements are met.”
Don Mims summed it up best when he said that while mobile homes are a viable option for families, the buildings just can’t hang on over time and they don’t need to be placed into neighborhoods.
Juanita Fowler advised the Council that its decision would affect how the City moves forward in regards to mobile home placement. Denying to uphold the Commission’s decision means the City will have to look at amending the ordinance.
“This won’t be the last mobile home request we get,” she said. Mobile homes now meet higher building standards and represent a large part of Natchitoches’ population.
Other agenda items included:
Comply with GASB Statement 54 committing special revenue fund balances
Assign and Assume all rights in lease of lot 3 and 4 of Natchitoches Regional Airport from estate of Kevin Alan McGregor to Diane Danzig, Marlene Gunther and Colleen Deline and authorize Posey to accept donation of an undivided 1/2 interest in the hangers located on said lots and accept the assignment of all rights to the lease
Approve 100 foot easement for passage and utilities across Evans Family property
Advertise for bids for two 69 KV line relay panels
Execute a certificate of substantial completion to the contract between the City and Williams Equipment Services for the Water System Improvements-Phase I
Execute a certificate of substantial completion to the contract between the City and T&D Solutions for the Electrical Distribution along Hwy. 478 to I-49, Phase II
Approve a lease agreement between the City and Marie and Cody Lacaze for the placement of an omnidirectional approach light along the projected centerline of Runway 35 at the Natchitoches Regional Airport