The Sneads Town Council Tuesday night agreed to draft a new, more restrictive house trailer ordinance – one that would still allow smaller mobile homes/trailers for residential use but ban anything smaller than a doublewide for commercial purposes. The move came at the recommendation of Sneads Town Manager Lynda Bell, who told the council she preferred a ban on all trailers smaller than doublewides and any trailers older than 15 years.
“How do we want the town to look in 10 to 20 years from now?” Bell said Tuesday night. Though Bell said she’d like to see the council pass a ban on all trailers older than 15 years, council member Mike Weeks said he thought 10 years would be better. He added that he also preferred to allow trailers as small as 980 square feet, especially if they have shingled roofs.
The council will have Bell and town attorneys draft the new ordinance to be ready for first reading at the next regular council meeting September 10. Public input on the matter will be permitted at the September 10 meeting. To prevent anyone from bringing in an old trailer in the meantime, the council – also at Bell’s urging – voted 5-0 to pass a moratorium, effective immediately, on new trailers that may not be allowed under the new, pending ordinance.
All residential trailers used as homestead exemptions, no matter the size, would be grandfathered in and allowed under the new trailer ordinance, according to the council. Moving them to another site in town would not be allowed.
Toward the end of the meeting – at the behest of a local resident affected by Hurricane Michael – the council also voted unanimously to allow FEMA trailers to be placed on residential property.
“A national disaster happened to the town last year,” council member Mike Weeks said, referring to the catastrophic September 2018 hurricane. “It will be years before some people have decent homes to live in again; we need to help now.” The council voted earlier in the meeting to allow temporary trailer use for those affected by the hurricane for another six months, beginning in November.
Also at the meeting Tuesday night, the council agreed to have the town manager draft a new leash law for animals – especially dogs – containing a “tether clause” that would require water and shade to be available to affected animals. This came after resident and non-commercial chicken owner Ron Mansfield implored the council to act.
“I had 22 chickens last year and now I’m down to 12,” Mansfield told the council.
Recently, the council had already considered such a first-time ordinance, so they opted to move forward immediately.
“We want the names, addresses and phone numbers on the collars, too,” council member Tim Arnold said.
A proposed new leash ordinance could be ready by the regular September meeting of the Sneads Town Council.
Photos by Bo McMullian