County says no to rezoning for trailer

Published 2:53 pm Tuesday, January 2, 2024

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By Mike Barnhardt

Enterprise Record

County commissioners unanimously denied a rezoning request for placement of a mobile home at their December meeting.

Jessica Bledsoe had asked that one acre at 1886 Angell Road, Mocksville,   be rezoned from residential R-20 to RA, residential agriculture. Single wide mobile homes are allowed in RA zones, not in R-20.

That one acre would have come from an 8.5 acre tract owned by Jerry Vandall.

The planning board had unanimously recommended the request be denied, as well, citing among other things, the absence of Bledsoe and Vandall at the meeting. Neither was at the county board meeting, either.

It turns out that Vandall has been contacted by the county for potential violations, including burying a burned residence and operating a junk yard next to a creek, according to Davie Developmental Services Director Johnny Easter.

“Noone showed up to address any questions,” Easter said about the planning board meeting. It was his understanding was that an acre would be cut from a larger tract for placement of a mobile home.

He confirmed that the mobile home is not new, and the owner is looking to locate property.

That concerned neighbor Cindy Stevenson, who also outlined some of the problems.

“Deny this rezoning of just one acre for an older trailer to be put on it. I don’t think that’s the vision for Davie County to move forward,” she said.

A house on the property burned and was bulldozed into a hole, she said, and it appears that someone is living in a camper without electricity.

“It’s not very attractive and to me, it’s not the vision we should have for Davie County,” Stevenson said, adding that the owners use a creek for  a landfill.

“It’s been an ongoing controversy with this property,” she said.

Local attorney, Hank Van Hoy, spoke on behalf of another neighbor, Robbie McCoy, also asking that the rezoning be denied. The proposal fits the meaning of illegal spot zoning, he said, and “is clearly not consistent with your land use plans.”

Rezonings, Van Hoy said, should be for the betterment of the public, not just an individual or individuals.

The board got more support for a denial from its own attorney, Ed Vogler, who also said it would be an illegal spot zoning.

Commissioner Benita Finney said she wished that Bledsoe or Vandall had attended the meeting, “to get their side of the story.”

“At this moment, we’re living in a world in this county where housing is unaffordable, and to even pretend that a housing alternative would be in the same price range as a mobile home is ridiculous.”

After hearing about reports of the property, the rezoning could be an improvement, she said.

“There are a lot of mixed houses on that road which to me, is what Davie County is, what Davie County was before we exploded in growth, a mix of modular homes and stick-built homes, which was based on their occupations.”

Easter said there are other sites along Angell Road that allow manufactured homes, even property across the road from this site.