Aberdeen planning commission at a stalemate over trailer ordinance

ABERDEEN – At the September 14 meeting of the Aberdeen Planning and Zoning Board, Aberdeen resident Lily Moore approached the board requesting the placement of a doublewide trailer on Canal Street. The property is adjacent to the city-owned Magnolias property

“In 2002, before the ordinance was changed, trailers were only allowed in trailer parks in Aberdeen,” board member Jim Edwards said. “Now, you can have a trailer in an R-2 zone with board approval.”

Moore’s request for a variance was met with much opposition from several of the members of the public in attendance.

“I work in realty and when you try to re-sell a manufactured home it is nearly impossible because of the way they depreciate,” Marsha Ballard said. “I don’t want to see Aberdeen turn into one big trailer park.”

Moore’s request was also met with trepidation from members of the Magnolias’ board.

“I feel like there is an ordinance for mobile homes for a reason,” Deborah Stubblefield of the Magnolias said. “There are places where they should and shouldn’t be. I think we should follow the law and not allow this trailer to be placed on Canal Street.”

Planning commission member Melvin Jackson said he would not vote to place a trailer on the property.

“I keep hearing everyone talk about the Magnolias and property values,” Jackson said. “I think it’s our job to improve this town. I don’t think we should vote to place a trailer in a zone that does not allow trailers.”

With a motion to vote on the variance on the floor, Edwards questioned city of Aberdeen Building Inspector Terry Lenior if the proper paperwork including a $25 paid variance request had been submitted.

“I did not take a $25 variance from (Moore),” Lenoir said. “I didn’t think you would vote to approve the trailer so I didn’t want to take her money.”

Edwards continued to question Lenoir on the paid variance.

“Why did you not get a paid variance from her,” Edwards asked. “This is standard for anyone making a zoning request to the board. Since this was not done, we cannot vote on this issue tonight.”

The missing paperwork was not the only snafu in the vote on the issue. The Monroe Journal has learned that board member Annice Riddle’s term on the board had expired. Riddle did not submit the paperwork requesting to be reappointed to the board when the appointments were made last month. Riddle was in attendance at the planning commission meeting. However, her term expiration would have prohibited the board from having a quorum.

Jeff Clark/Monroe Journal