Resident looking for home

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 18, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Henry Grayer Jr. said he has no where to go once the Mauvilla Trailer Park closes on June 1

Grayer addressed the city council Thursday night asking them to intervene in the situation after the Planning Commission denied him a variance to move his trailer to property he owns on Floyd Street.

Councilman Charles Jones explained to Grayer that the commission has the right to approve any variances and that they do it on a case by case basis.

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Grayer said his variance request was denied because Sylvia Benson spoke out against it.

Jones said that the Planning Commission rules based on the request and the opposition, not necessarily based on the variances of adjacent properties.

Variances allowing mobile homes in residential areas has become a controversial topic in the city when members of the Planning Commission and the Historical Society asked the city to declare a moratorium on such variances until a more comprehensive mobile home zoning statute can be created.

Under current city statute, mobile homes are prohibited in the city unless they are part of a trailer park. Only through variances can they be placed in certain residentially zoned areas independent of a trailer park.

The city refused the request but agreed a more comprehensive zoning statute was needed.

Grayer, however, said that he was just looking for short-term relief until he can appeal the Planning Commission&8217;s decision.

He asked if he could temporarily store his trailer on his property or the property of his mother, Amy Eason.

Mayor Cecil Williamson said it was outside of the board&8217;s authority to grant such a request. She said state statute gives that authority solely to the planning commission.

Grayer said he has hired Woody Dinning to represent him. He expects to file a civil suit in circuit court to reverse the denied variance.