Two Grovetown mobile home park owners spoke out at a recent city council meeting against a proposed ordinance that could rid the city of old and dilapidated mobile homes.
City officials held the first of two required public readings Nov. 24. The ordinance will require mobile homes brought into the city to be no older than five years from the date of the trailer's permit application.
Randy Gilbert, the owner and partner of Creekside Estates, said mobile homes are approved before they can be moved into the community on Wrightsboro Road. He said he understands the need to get rid of dilapidated mobile homes or those posing health hazards.
Mobile homes manufactured as early as 1990 are allowed into the community, Gilbert said.
"They look just like any of the new manufactured homes," Gilbert said.
Gilbert said the ordinance could have adverse affects -- older homes might not be moved out because of the higher cost of replacing them with homes less than 5 years old.
City Councilman Robert Newman said the ordinance would keep absentee landlords in check so they don't let properties fall into disrepair. He has said that the ordinance would improve the quality of life for residents and would draw more people to live inside the Grovetown city limits.
Joe Edge, who purchased a mobile home park on Katherine Street a few months ago and owns parks in Richmond and Aiken counties, disagrees.
"If you can't move a home more than five years old in, you won't have any moving in," Edge said at the meeting. "Five years is unrealistic."
Edge said it is likely that park or mobile home owners would keep older homes instead of upgrading because the ordinance would make replacing an older home too costly.
"It just doesn't make financial sense," Edge said, agreeing that changing the ordinance to allow homes made after 1990 would make replacing old homes more feasible.
The ordinance will not affect existing mobile homes in Grovetown unless a trailer has to be replaced.
"Mobile homes have been a part of Grovetown's history. That is part of what made Grovetown what it is," City Councilman Barry Davis said. "We're not trying to get rid of mobile homes, just beautify what's there."
The mobile home ordinance could go into effect following the second reading at the City Council's Monday meeting.
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