The owner of a Grovetown mobile home community spoke out Monday against a city ordinance governing the age of trailers moved into the city.
In April, the city council adopted an ordinance limiting to 10 years the age of trailers moved into the city.
Randy Gilbert, owner/partner of Creekside Estates mobile home park, contended at a city council meeting that the ordinance discriminates against people searching for affordable housing and said the regulations are counterproductive.
The ordinance was aimed at dilapidated mobile homes and absentee owners of mobile home parks in the city.
Gilbert suggested a new or amended ordinance "specifically targeting dilapidated structures."
"This stands," Councilman Bruce Stoddard said of the ordinance. "We want it to stand."
A young Grovetown couple recently was denied a permit to set up a mobile home that was about 15 years old in Gilbert's park. The couple told council members in August that they spoke to Gilbert, who said the home was fine to bring into the park.
"I did not know," Gilbert said. "I never asked the year of the trailer."
Mike DeLaigle, a mobile home transporter and board member of the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association, told city officials that setting a 10-year rule, as opposed to inspecting each mobile home for approval, can cause problems. He said as long as a mobile home is less than 10 years old, city officials must allow it into the city, despite its condition.
"I understand the reasons behind this, because there are some eyesores in Grovetown," DeLaigle said. "Don't draw the line at just 10 years, because you are giving up a lot of power."
Jamie Hammons, president of the GMHA, said the time restriction is arbitrary. If residents are forced to replace mobile homes with ones 10 years or younger, owners might consider patching and repairing very old homes because they can't afford to replace them with newer ones.
He also said that about 49 percent fewer mobile homes are expected to be manufactured this year, so residents will have fewer choices of newer homes.
Hammonds said legislation proposed in the state House would require inspections of all mobile homes and would supersede the city's ordinance.
The city's law will stand, however, said Counciman Robert Newman. "This is what we've got. It affects us, too."
City officials also are reviewing an amendment to the ordinance adding penalties for those in violation of it.
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