Thereâ€™s only one area in the city where mobile homes can be lawfully placed next to residential homes, but the residents of the neighborhood are none to pleased about it.
A handful of angry householders met with the mayor last week to complain about the nearly 30- year-old zoning ordinance after a 1977 Bain trailer moved into the South Highlands Subdivision, part of a neighborhood off East Reed Street in southeast Roswell, earlier in the month.
Roberto Ramos, who lives seven lots down from the trailer, says he is worried about property values decreasing, especially after he remodelled the house he bought in 2006.
â€œThis house, because of what Iâ€™ve done, is probably worth $30,000 or $40,000. With the trailer there, it’s going to be worth less,â€ Ramos said.
Longtime South Highlands resident Martha Anderson says she thinks the zoning ordinance is discriminatory since the neighborhood is predominately â€œupper poor.â€
â€œWeâ€™re property owners, taxpayers,â€ she said. â€œThis would not be allowed on the north side, or Enchanted Hills, or anywhere else.â€ City zoning administrator Louis Jaramillo says mobile homes are allowed in the South Highlands Subdivision and multiple other subdivisions in the neighborhood based on a â€œconditional useâ€ outlined in Zoning Ordinance 1130, enacted in July 1984.
In order to receive permission from the city to move a trailer into a residential neighborhood that is not a designated residential mobile home subdivision, the potential occupant must gather signatures from a majority of neighbors within 100 feet of the mobile home in all directions.
In this case, occupant Recio Cavillo received nine signatures out of the 18 houses in 100-foot-radius. Cavillo applied for the conditional use on Feb. 24 and received a building permit from the city on Feb. 25.
â€œWhat theyâ€™re doing is completely legal,â€ City Planner Michael Vickers said.
Mayor Del Jurney says he imagines the conditional use was likely designated to that neighborhood at that time to help lower – income property owners who could not afford housing.
â€œIt was done with a positive influence at one time,â€ Jurney said. â€œNow thatâ€™s being questioned.â€
The mayor added he might consider requesting a study be done by the Planning and Zoning Commission to examine â€œthe benefits versus the downsideâ€ of having mobile homes in residential areas. â€œIt might be time that we look at the designation thatâ€™s given to those neighborhoods,â€ he said.
Meanwhile, Ramos, Anderson and at least three other members of the community say they are concerned that more trailers will move into the neighborhood.
â€œItâ€™s already run down, and if they keep bringing this in, itâ€™s going to get worse,â€ Ramos said.
â€œTheyâ€™re throwing us to the dogs, more or less. Letâ€™s pack all the rats over there in one corner, and as long as they donâ€™t bother us…â€