Vidalia leaders amend code to allow mobile houses

Published 12:44 am Sunday, May 28, 2017


VIDALIA — After months of debate, the Vidalia Board of Aldermen recently amended the town’s zoning code to allow for manufactured houses on lots in districts 1 and 2, where mobile houses already exist.

Vidalia Planning Commission Chair Cassandra Lynch said several guidelines had to be met. First, a manufactured house has to have been on the lot before, and if the lot is currently empty, one had to be on the lot within the last two years.

Email newsletter signup

Previously, a concern from some in the community had been about empty lots and how far back a manufactured house needed to have been on the property.

Lynch said the manufactured house has to have been made within the last 10 years of date being placed, shall be professionally skirted, must be occupied and have town utilities and needs approval from the building inspector.

Lynch said the building inspector would make sure all state codes are being followed.

The lots are within residential zone R-8, which requires the lot sizes to be 8,000 square feet or less, Town Manager Bill Murray said.

Vidalia Mayor Buz Craft said the planning commission would come to the board to make recommendations on placement of manufactured houses, but the board of aldermen would have final approval.

Alderman Tommy Probst voted for approval, but he said he had concerns. Probst said many rental houses in the community are in deplorable condition, and “a trailer can get real bad real quick.”

Murray said the town is working on doing a better job fighting blighted properties in the town, and manufactured houses would be scrutinized as well as permanent houses.

Craft said the town runs that risk with site-built houses becoming rentals and should do the same for manufactured houses.

Alderwoman Sabrina Doré said she agreed the town should allow manufactured houses under the planning commission’s conditions.

“Who are we to say you have to live in a site-built home?” Doré said. “We can’t be the kind of snobs in Vidalia who say you can’t live here if you can’t conform to our standards of the site-built home.”