By David A. Farrell, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Picayune city officials might begin tracking more closely mobile homes coming into the city limits.
Councilman Wayne Gouguet, who chaired the Picayune City Council meeting Tuesday night as mayor pro tempore for Mayor Ed Pinero, Jr., who is on vacation, asked city officials to look into the possibility of requiring that mobile homes locating in the city’s only two trailer parks acquire a city building permit.
That would mean a trailer owner, in order to locate his new trailer here, would have to get a building permit just like someone doing new construction.
Currently, there is a moratorium on locating trailers on private property inside the city, but new trailers can locate in one of two city trailer parks, if they meet all state, county and city requirements.
Gouguet said the city has no way of knowing, or tracking a trailer, that locates in one of the city’s two trailer parks.
Currently, the city will grant permission to replace a trailer on private property, based on a hardship case, when a trailer burns or is destroyed by a hurricane. The trailer also must have been grandfathered in under the moratorium ordinance. The city adopted the ordinance about two years ago.
The discussion came up when the council considered two items on the agenda: Planning and zoning commission recommendations to allow Leonard Bender to move a trailer to another location on the same property at 1335 Ausborn Road, and to allow Debbie Bullock’s request for a conditional use to place a mobile home at 2308 Morris Street to replace a mobile home that was removed in September 2012 and had been on the property for 10 years.
Both requests were approved by the council as recommended by the planning and zoning commission.
The decision led into an extended discussion on mobile homes and how the city tracks them. The discussion took up 15 minutes of a 44-minute session.
Said Gouguet, “I think we need to issue a building permit on these trailers. Then we would have a paper trail on them. . .I would hope we could move in that direction.”
Said councilwoman Lynn Bogan-Bumpers, “We need to put something in the paper to let them know what our procedures are, because I know that I will get all kinds of phone calls after these two approvals come out in the paper. Only in case of a hardship can a trailer be replaced.”
She said residents of the Goodyear community were trying to improve their property values after the storm.
One resident said the city had turned down a request to place a new trailer on Cousin Street recently. The council said that was turned down because it was a new installation of a trailer and was not replacing a trailer on a hardship basis and one that had been grandfathered in under the moratorium ordinance. Gouguet said since the moratorium went into effect, no new trailers have been allowed in the city, except those going in the trailer parks.
Said Gouguet, “The way the council is looking at this is that the lady has a trailer now, and the council and commission is letting her bring in a trailer to replace a trailer.”