Council discusses trailer issue

Allison B. Hudson

Councilman Emile Spano asked the council to revisit an ordinance regarding manufactured homes or mobile homes due to residents and business owners in the area where he serves, district five, complaining about a mobile home on Lafourche St.

"I am asking the City Attorney for help on understanding this matter," asked Spano.

City Attorney Chuck Long asked the council if they talk with the Mayor on issues like such because of a long conversation he and the mayor had regarding this issue, to resolve it.

Long advised the council  that a mobile home is used as a housing facility for a family to eat and  sleep. However,  accessory buildings are allowed in an industrial zone. It is acceptablefor an accessory building, if not used as a housing facility. Its a modular building, a work zone area. The area is zoned for industrial site.

Long advised the owners of the trailer should come to city hall to get proper permits. "Assuming the structure is not a trailer used for living in, then it is acceptable to house a trailer in an area used for working purposes only," said Long.

Mayor Leroy Sullivan advised that the owners did not get proper permits before placing the trailer on the property.

"Proper procedure is to come to city hall and our process would have identified this problem early on before being the trailer being placed there," he said. "Since speaking with the owner when this issue first came up, the owner has retrieved the proper permits for the trailer."

"As business owners  they know the needed a permit, but got it after the fact," said Mayor Sullivan.

"It should be illegal to place a trailer on property without following the proper protocol, its $500 a day if permits are not properly in order, and they should be fined," said Councilman Rev. Charles Brown, and all other councilmen agreed.

"Bottom line the trailer was put there without having a representative from the sheriff's office to bring it in, no code enforcement to say where it goes,  and they didnt follow any of the rules," added Mayor Sullivan.

"Whatever the law is we should enforce it, wrong is wrong, fining them five hundred dollars a day until they do it the right way will fix this problem," says Councilman Rev. Brown.

"If we would fine them, we would stop things like this," says Councilman Reginald Francis.

After much discussion the council agreed to allow the mayor and city attorney to go and view the property to see if the structure is used for living quarters or temporary work/office space.  After mayor gives a report and consults with city attorney, then the council will decide action on this matter.

The council meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at city hall at 6 p.m. Public comments are welcomed and encouraged.