Zoning committee discusses mobile homes

Feb. 4—CATLETTSBURG — The Catlettsburg Planning and Zoning Committee conducted a public meeting Thursday to discuss repealing ordinances to allow mobile homes in the city.

Last week, members of the zoning committee reviewed a new ordinance that would allow new mobile homes into city limits. Rebecca Clere, a Catlettsburg councilwoman, said the ruckus over mobile homes has been 12 years in the making.

Clere believes the zoning committee should listen to the citizens and allow these homes to bring growth to the area.

"The citizens are wanting to allow manufactured homes, single-wides and tiny houses, but the planning and zoning board, such members are so against it and they keep fighting it," Clere said. "We need to come together to allow this, to allow growth in our city; we need it 'cause we are losing people all the time."

She said the city council requested the zoning board to bring an ordinance allowing new manufactured homes and tiny houses inside city limits.

"It's been fought back and forth. We asked for the ordinance, we got the ordinance and it was sent back to the planning and zoning committee, which was here tonight," Clere said. "We as a council need this ordinance to come to us so we can decide what to do."

According to the new ordinance, installation of modular homes must have a foundation of concrete 26 inches deep, comply with all lot sizes, be lived in or actively used as a business, and inspected by a city inspector.

As of right now, citizens are not allowed to bring new mobile homes into the city limits of Catlettsburg. According to the new ordinance, it would allow such residences to exist.

Brenda Stidham, a longtime resident of Catlettsburg, said she felt members on the zoning committee were downplaying families living in manufactured/modular homes.

"The fuss is about her (Sheila Lambert) not wanting mobile homes in the city of Catlettsburg," she said. "She thinks it makes Catlettsburg ugly and it's a slap in the face. Just because I live in a mobile home, doesn't make her (Sheila) any better than me. I work the same as anybody else. My double-wide looks just as good as anybody's house up there. It doesn't make my street look poor, it doesn't make it look crappy.

"I grew up in a single-wide trailer, I bought it brand new in 2007," she added. "Why take out modular homes? Have you driven through Catlettsburg? Have you seen the run-down buildings? I work at a fast food restaurant, I see homeless people every day, not just druggies, but people that have been misplaced. Why tell somebody they can't put a nice modular home in Catlettsburg for a place to live? I don't think it's right."

Sheila Lambert, planning and zoning chair, denied claims that she was judging and attacking families living in trailer homes, but she said she has seen a correlation of drugs and people living in these homes. One of her main concerns with allowing more mobile homes into the city was property value.

"I do not live in a $100,000 or $200,000 house, but I would like for the people who do to have a decent home ... the majority of trailers we had in Catlettsburg were rentals; you can go right now on streets and see the skeletal remains of these trailers.

"This ordinance didn't come from us, it came from the council and the mayor to us," she said.