DONALDSONVILLE — The City Council plans to discuss next week whether to amend its law regulating mobile homes within city limits.
Council members chose during Tuesday’s meeting to place the issue on the Sept. 19 Committee of the Whole agenda for further discussion.
At question is language pertaining to the age of mobile homes placed in the city.
Discussion arose last month after property owner Robin Guillot asked to move a 13-year-old mobile home already in the city limits to her vacant lot along Simoneaux Lane.
The current ordinance does not allow mobile homes manufactured more than 12 years ago to be placed within the city limits.
Upon receiving the request, the council lifted a temporary moratorium on mobile home parking along the street, after residents earlier petitioned for a zoning change to disallow mobile homes.
Last week, the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission denied the residents’ rezoning request, Council Chairman Raymond Aucoin said.
At its Aug. 9 meeting, the council denied the placement request, stating that the age of the mobile home exceeded the ordinance criteria.
Tuesday, Alida Chiquet said she felt the ordinance infringed on the rights of those with lower income, including her mother, Frances Hernandez, who lives in the trailer in question.
“Putting an age limit seems unfair,” said Chiquet, who cited examples of neighboring governments that do not restrict mobile homes by date of manufacture. “Condition should also be considered, not just age.”
Chiquet has asserted that even though the trailer is outside of the age restriction, it is in good condition.
Councilman Reginald Francis said Tuesday that the ordinance’s aim was to halt the influx of substandard mobile homes into the city.
“In my district alone, there are a lot of trailers that were placed and are in deplorable shape,” he said. “I know the ordinance affects a lot of people, but I’m tired of seeing old, raggedy trailers brought into Donaldsonville. We had to do something.”
Councilman Charles Brown Sr. said the ordinance originally set a limit of 15 years of age, which was later dropped to 10 years and then raised back to 12 years.
“Every law is subject to change,” Brown said.
Councilman Lauthaught Delaney Sr. said he felt that amending the ordinance again would weaken its purpose.
“If we change it every time someone asks us to, there’s no use for the ordinance,” he said.