Mobile home debate continues in Eutaw

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 28, 2005

A solution to the problem of where mobile homes can and can’t be placed is still up in the air. The Eutaw City Council again addressed concerns by residents on zoning laws and regulations for manufactured homes.

Eutaw resident Deloris Ainsworth said she felt the ordinances were unfair because if a person owns property that is not zoned for mobile homes it seems as if they have no control over it.

“Why we can’t put trailers on our own land I don’t understand,” Ainsworth said. “I don’t understand why if our trailers are going down we can’t put another one over there.”

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Ainsworth said her main concern was not being able to use her land as she saw fit.

“I have land that my mother left us and you are telling me what I can and can’t do on it,” Ainsworth said. “I don’t think that’s fair.”

The zoning ordinances have been in place for many years in order to help maintain property values. While the current council did not make the laws they have no choice but to enforce them. Eutaw mayor Raymond Steele said they did plan to look into some possible solutions that would make everyone happy.

“We are looking onto a solution for the trailers,” Steele said. “We have appointed some members to the planning commission and we are going to look at addressing the issue of the trailer park.”

Other concerns about trailer zoning were those who had purchased trailers and had nowhere else to put them. In one particular case a resident had purchased a mobile home from Tuscaloosa and was now in a state of limbo. When asked what could be done Steele said they would have to look into the issue closer.

“I cannot answer that question and I don’t know how to answer that question,” Steele said. “We have to have rules and we have to enforce them. They are there for a good reason.”

Councilmember Darlene Robinson said they have been working hard to find areas that could be used for mobile home housing.

“We are looking at areas in Eutaw that have been zoned for mobile home owners to put their mobile homes,” Robinson. “That is one of the reasons we have been going to planning commission meetings. We want to get an area zoned where we can put mobile homes in there.”

One of the concerns echoed to the council has been the idea that if a mobile home were in a restricted area before the ordinance changed and was destroyed that it could not be replaced with another mobile home. Robinson said she did not want to see this happen.

“I have two mobile homes on my street,” Robinson said. “If something happens to them I want them to be able to put another one back there if that is what they want. We are not going to put mobile homes all over Eutaw, but there are going to be certain areas where they can be put.”

As for now the council is still searching for answers. Robinson said they would continue to work closely, with property owners, and the city leadership to find some kind of acceptable terms.

“We are going to work,” Robinson said. “We are here to represent all the people and we realize that some of them are mobile home owners and we know everyone can’t buy a house or may not want a house. We want everyone in here to be able to live comfortably and peacefully.”