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Request to allow mobile homes questioned in Carolina Shores

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By Laura Lewis, Reporter

CAROLINA SHORES — A resident’s request that the town allow manufactured homes in its R-8 residential district drew more questions than answers at a town workshop Tuesday, Sept. 3.

Marilyn Gore, who owns property zoned R-8 in the Carolina Shores extraterritorial jurisdiction, made the request so she can locate a manufactured home there, town building inspector/code enforcement officer Chuck Riggins said.

The property is on Stanley Trail in the ETJ.

Manufactured homes are not allowed in the town’s R-8 district.

To accommodate Gore’s request, town staff said possible options would be for the town to amend its Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) to allow manufactured housing in the R-8 district as a permitted use with supplemental regulations.

Another option would be to amend the UDO to allow manufactured housing in the R-8 district as a conditional use. This would require the applicant pay a fee as well as a “quasi-judicial” approval process.

At an Aug. 26 meeting, the Carolina Shores Planning Board voted 4-1 to recommend the town board of commissioners pursue the first option, which would require a public hearing.

At Tuesday’s monthly commissioners workshop, town administrator Mike Hargett said the board needs to keep in mind such a change would apply to all R-8 zoning under Carolina Shores’ domain.

In the past, the specific area in question was in an agricultural district, which allowed mobile homes. Somewhere along the way, the area was rezoned R-8. Hargett said town staff hasn’t been able to nail down when the change was made or the rationale behind it.

“To affect the entire (zone), I think we’re headed the wrong way,” town commissioner Greg Davis said, responding to the requested change. “We can’t set up separate rules for the ETJ. I don’t think we should amend the zoning of all R-8s to accommodate one homeowner.”
He asked whether there was a way “to just let this woman put a mobile home where she wants to put it?”

Riggins said there isn’t.

Fellow commissioner John Russo wondered whether the resident could apply for a variance, to which Hargett replied, “You can’t vary uses.”

Hargett said he even talked to the county about modifying the ETJ so that the property in question would fall under county domain, but county zoning wouldn’t allow for a mobile home, either.

“So is it possible the answer is ‘no?’” town commissioner Joyce Dunn asked.

Hargett said rezoning or allowing the change by conditional use permit are other options that would provide a higher level of control by the town board, because each would require coming before the board for approval.

Davis and fellow commissioner Bill Brennan expressed concern that would set a precedent.

“The minute you let people have that, you set a precedent and you lose strength,” Davis said.

Davis’ suggestion is to deny the request or “leave it alone.”

Dunn said, “We’re going to consider possibilities, but we can’t do it overnight.”

She said it requires more information and discussion and they aren’t prepared to provide the lady with an answer now.

 

Laura Lewis is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or llewis@brunswickbeacon.com.