BY DAVID FISHER
GLEASON (April 18) — The Gleason Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved the second and final reading of three zoning ordinance amendments regulating the location of mobile homes, when it met in regular session on Monday, April, 18.
The ordinance amendments, which deal exclusively with mobile homes, were recommended by the Gleason Municipal/Regional Planning Commission.
According to Northwest Community Development District Community Planner Donnie Bunton, the zoning ordinances change the way mobile homes are regulated throughout the City of Gleason.
Bunton states the original ordinance is vague and unclear as to what was intended when it was created some time ago.
The ordinance amendments accomplish the following:
- The allowance of mobile homes in R-1A (low density residential) and R-2 (medium density residential) districts are eliminated and will not be permitted on appeal.
- A new zoning district designated as R-3 (mobile home residential) is created. In R-3 districts, single family mobile homes, mobile home park offices, and accessory buildings are allowed, but only in mobile home parks. Additionally, any proposed mobile home parks must meet several strict criteria prior to approval.
- The existing mobile home park on Carlton Circle will be rezoned to R-3.
- Another ordinance amendment rezones property owned by Jeff and Jeanne Leach, located at 101 Moore Circle, from R-2 to R-3.
The passage of these three zoning ordinance amendments limits mobile homes to the one existing mobile home park in town.
The city has the option of designating an area as an R-3 zone for mobile homes in the future. But it would have to come before the Gleason Municipal/Regional Planning Commission and the city board.
According to Mayor Charles Anderson, in the past, there were cases where mobile homes were placed on lots in R-1 and R-2 zones, which are not zoned for those types of structures. The mayor explained the ordinances are not an attempt to remove mobile homes from properties where they are already in place. These structures are grandfathered-in.
However, it was noted that the Gleason Municipal/Regional Planning Commission is working on an appendix to the city’s zoning regulations, which would prohibit a mobile home from being replaced in an R-1 or R-2 zoning district, in the event the residence is destroyed by a fire, storm or by other means.
The board inquired about what would be the best way of addressing the issue.
City Attorney Beau Pemberton stated the ordinances could be amended to clarify this matter, but it would require drafting another ordinance, which would then have to be passed on first and second readings, and require a public hearing to be held. Another option would be to pass the ordinances under consideration in their current form, and amending the city’s building code later, to prevent a property owner from replacing a mobile home on a lot not zoned for that type of structure.
Bunton, who works with eight cities in four counties, says these ordinances are patterned after those enacted in other towns to regulate mobile homes. The ordinances limit new applications to mobile home parks, which would be zoned R-3 for mobile homes. But the zoning regulations would prohibit mobile homes from being placed on individual lots inside the city limits.
When the question was called on a motion to accept the amendments to the zoning ordinances, the measure passed 3 to 2 on second and final reading, with aldermen Tommy Hodges and Wade Cook voting “yes”; aldermen Keith Radford and Mike Bennett voting “no”; and Mayor Charles Anderson breaking the tie by voting in favor of the ordinances, as amended.
A public hearing regarding the zoning ordinances was held prior to a vote by the board, in order to give the public an opportunity to voice their opinions.
During the hearing, a local citizen voiced opposition to the proposed amendment to the ordinance, stating, if a mobile home that is currently located in an area not zoned for single-wide mobile homes, were to burn or for some other reason is destroyed, the proposed ordinance prohibits replacing it with another single-wide mobile home. The individual stated the owner may not be able to afford to replace it with a conventional home.
Another individual stated single-wide mobile homes decrease the property values of adjoining properties and, once a mobile home is removed, it should not be replaced.
In addition to the ordinance amendments approved Monday night, there are other amendments to city ordinances being developed that will be presented at future meetings.
Mayor Anderson states the planning commission is currently reviewing all of the city’s ordinances, chapter-by-chapter, relating to zoning. “Probably, we’re going to come back every month with an amendment of some type,” he said. “Our zoning ordinances haven’t been updated since 2004, and there has been a lack in enforcement.”
“In the end, we’re going to come back with a completely revised zoning ordinance and zoning map,” Bunton said. “A lot of businesses and other structures have come to Gleason during this time. There are probably at least 20 properties on the map that have not been brought up-to-date. That’s going to be fixed and the ordinances revised.” Bunton added, once the planning commission accomplishes this task, the revised zoning ordinances and a zoning map will be brought back to the board for its consideration.
Attorney Pemberton said, “Under Tennessee law, mobile homes are considered moveable like cars and trucks. Until they are de-titled and attached permanently to the property, they are still considered to be moveable structures.” He said the existing ordinances are not specific, and the revised ordinances “appear to do a lot of clean-up work and tighten up what we have.”