City Council: Are trailers too trashy for neighborhoods?

CON-Meeting 082817

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

4 thoughts on “City Council: Are trailers too trashy for neighborhoods?

  1. Allowing Mobile Homes inside the city limits is indeed a touchy topic. Everyone has an opinion, the degree of passion being expressed is usually based upon personal experience and property value. Being a fellow tax paying citizen, in a city where everyone is equal, should cause one to think that their rights are just as important as every other citizen. Right? Well not so fast. Although it would be nice if everyone could afford to live in a home that all the neighbors would approve of, well as long as it’s not nicer than theirs, it’s just not that way. It seems as though your property rights have been limited. Limited by what is acceptable to others rather than what you deem best for your family. I know, this is the age old argument everyone agrees with at one point in life but changes when you are the one being told what you can or can not do on your own property. It is true that there have been major improvements along with stronger Federal Regulations concerning the quality of mobile homes. However there are some people that are not aware of these improvements and some that frankly don’t care. Their mind is made up and think that no one should live in one, period. Again being frank, what most people have against “trailer houses” in their neighborhoods is based on what they have seen at some older homes. Lawns that are not kept up, trash laying about, junk piled high under trees and so on. My question? Does how the home was built determine how the yard is maintained? Does the fact that the house wasn’t built on the property determine how high the trash pile will get? Does the cost per square foot determine the quality of the people to be less than others on the same street? The answers are obvious, the actual home itself is not causing the issues, it’s the people. Right? The people are the ones responsible for the upkeep of the yards. The people who want to live in these homes are the ones causing you your discomfort. Right? So from what we have looked at, it must be the people, they are just not as good as you. Right? Of course they are. Everyone has the same rights as everyone else. A persons worth is not determined by the type home they live in. Mobile homes offer a great opportunity for families to own a safe, comfortable, energy efficient home that is affordable where other options are not. My suggestion is to use a different method of choosing who you allow to live near you. It’s not how their home was built or delivered to their property.

    Everyone works just as hard for what they have and can afford to provide for their families. Public assisted housing may be a good choice for some but not everyone wants to live there. Is there a need for more public housing? Maybe so but does it mean that everyone that can’t buy or build a home, to others liking, have to live there until they can build or buy an approved home? I don’t think so. Some want their own home on their own land. This choice shouldn’t be taken away because there have been some that neglected their duty as homeowners and community members.

    An average Joe.

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