DONALDSONVILLE — The City Council voted 4-0 to lift a moratorium placed earlier this year to halt placement of mobile homes along Simoneaux Lane.
Discussion on the matter during Tuesday’s council meeting also led to members questioning the lack of action by the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission on the matter.
At the request of many area residents, the council voted in March to enact a moratorium against placing mobile homes along Simoneaux Lane until a possible ordinance to rezone the area made its way through channels.
Robin Guillot, owner of Landry & Turner Mobile Home Sales, said Monday she was never informed of the moratorium.
Guillot also said her company owns a lot on Simoneaux Lane, and a potential renter would like to locate a mobile home there.
“She was told she couldn’t put it there because of the moratorium,” Guillot said of the renter, adding the land had been occupied by mobile homes in the past.
Council Chairman Raymond Aucoin said since the lot was vacant, the moratorium denied Guillot’s renter from placing a trailer there.
Ted Dubis, who lives on Simoneaux Lane and started the resident petition to rezone the area, asked the council to keep the moratorium in place.
“We asked for the moratorium so we could stabilize the community,” Dubis said. “We’d love for it to stay until this situation is finalized.”
City Attorney Chuck Long said the moratorium was passed by resolution, meaning it was “an expression of the will of the council, but holds no force of law and cannot supersede existing ordinances.”
Long also said moratoriums are typically placed to temporarily halt a practice until a permanent solution is found.
“Moratoriums aren’t meant to last forever,” he said.
When asked if the Planning and Zoning Commission had scheduled the matter for discussion, Long replied it had not.
He added the panel has had trouble in recent months gaining a quorum to meet, which has contributed to a three-month delay in acting on the zoning issue.
“They’ve put you in a bad place here,” Long told the council of the commission members. “If you were taken to court on this (moratorium), you’d look somewhat indefensible.”
After discussion, Aucoin suggested the city had no choice but to lift the moratorium and more actively pursue an ordinance to rezone the area.