Citizens protest amendment

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 5, 2007

GATESVILLE – On December 19, the Gates County Planning Board voted unanimously to recommend an amendment to the Manufactured Home and Manufactured Home Park ordinance.

The amendment approval came against the backdrop of requests by five Eure landlords who asked the board to adjust the amendment so as to allow certain manufactured homes to be placed on rental lots of record rather than requiring all persons wishing to set up a new mobile home to place it on land they own.

The quintet also requested the board eliminate the need for owners of manufactured home lots outside of manufactured home parks to convert rental trailers to real property.

At the meeting, Gates county Planning Director Randall Cahoon revisited previously reported figures relating to manufactured homes in Gates County.

According to Cahoon between 39 and 49 percent of homes in Gates County are pre-manufactured.

Cahoon also stated that current trends would suggest that 68 percent of all new permits for homes are purchased for pre-manufactured homes as opposed to 32 percent for site built structures.

&uot;The numbers speak to a growing trend in Gates County that many do not want to recognize,&uot; Cahoon said. &uot;Gates County has been existing in an abnormal vacuum for some time now.&uot;

Cahoon noted that Gates County has more than twice the state average for pre-manufactured homes per capita and nearly three times more than the national average.

In June 2006, the board approved an ordinance that required all pre-manufactured homes coming into Gates County be set up on land owned by the owner of the mobile home.

Several Gates County Citizens protested the ordinance when it was presented.

Dan Bazemore was critical of the way public zoning meetings had been conducted as well as the Gates County tax office had taxed his property.

Thomas Umphlett Jr. was in opposition to the ordinance, stating the new regulations would prohibit him from creating new rental lots for singlewides from his 16-acre residual parcel.

Arland Smith questioned the NC State Building Code requirement that forces pre-manufactured homes to be attached to a permanent foundation.

The foundation requirement was one of five conditions new homeowners were forced to comply with before the Enforcement Office would issue a compliance certificate.

&uot;Many of the particulars of the ordinance are driven by state mandates,&uot; Cahoon stated. &uot;Issues concerning aesthetics as well as fire prevention have been addressed with the safety of home owners in mind.&uot;

The Planning Board will hold a special hearing concerning zoning issues at the Gates County Commissioners meeting at 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 8.