PIEDMONT – Manufactured homes were a major topic of discussion at Tuesday’s Piedmont City Council meeting.
The council voted not to allow a de-annexation request for Jackie Black, who approached the council at its May 4 meeting following a dispute with the city zoning board.
The dispute concerned his mother’s trailer, located off of Highway 9 North behind the Church of Christ. At that meeting, Black requested de-annexation if he was not permitted to move her trailer into the city limits.
Along with turning down Black’s de-annexation request, the council also voted to dismiss an amendment to Ordinance 549 concerning manufactured homes until, as Mayor Bill Baker said, the council meets with the zoning board and “bring(s) some information back to see what corrections we need to add or delete toward the council’s liking.”
The amendment in question reads in part: “The City of Piedmont will not permit manufactured homes within the city limits except in the MHP (manufactured housing projects) Zoning District of the City of Piedmont. All manufactured homes shall comply with the relevant and applicable standards contained in Article IV, Section 3 of Ordinance # 549 (7-26-2004) and HUD Building Standards. Also, note that Article IV Section 1.7, sub section D (one-year period) will be amended to six months.”
District 3 representative Jubal Feazell believes the council “should just the let system work the way it’s designed.”
“That would be someone going to the zoning board and saying ‘Hey I would like to move something in.’ The zoning board says ‘OK, these are your requirements. If you can’t meet these requirements, then you can’t come in.’ That’s the way it’s supposed to work. If people don’t know that, I feel like it’s a communication issue, not a we-need-to-just-ban-it issue.
“Mr. Black had every right to ask for an exception. He had every right to ask for de-annexation. There’s a process for that, but very few people actually go through those other steps. They’re usually are told by the zoning board these are the requirements. I just don’t see a need to actually amend a change on an existing, long-standing ordinance that’s been in place.
“A lot of thought was placed into this (ordinance) and I don’t think we should change it now and then maybe have to backtrack for legal reasons down the road. I get what the sentiment is. I just think we can follow the system and keep it in place.”
District 5 councilman Greg South agreed with Feazell on his point on communication, so “everybody knows up front before it’s allowed to be carried down the road for somebody else to say no,” South said.
South is also in favor of the zoning commission discussing the issue more in depth to “find out exactly how we need to write this amendment so that it best fits everybody going forward in the most positive way.”
In other business, the council voted to amend Ordinance No. 631, Section 4-12 (the keeping of domestic or farm animal or fowl). That section of the ordinance reads “No person shall keep or maintain any domestic or farm animals or fowl within the corporate city limits in any such manner.”
“We’ve had a lot of conversation here lately about chickens,” Baker said. “I know our last animal control ordinance spoke to no fowl at all. I think a lot of us have talked and we kind of felt we could allow some hens, but no roosters. Hens for egg purposes, feeding families, we can look at that.”
A motion was also made by the council to appoint South as the City of Piedmont’s representative at the Alabama Municipal Electric Authority meeting. The council will make that official at the next meeting with an ordinance prepared by city clerk Michelle Franklin.
Minutes from the previous meeting, as well as bills for payment in the amount of $377,794.95, were also approved.
In their closing comments, Baker and several members of the council commended the arts and entertainment committee and organizers for the Memorial Day celebration events at Veterans Park and downtown held over the holiday weekend.
Baker also updated those in attendance on upgrades to piping at Veteran’s Park. Baker said he talked with engineer Rodney McKay, who said the project should begin in the fall.
Baker also said the paving of the road between MAPCO and the new Burger King on Highway 278 should take place within three to four weeks.
The next council meeting is scheduled for June 15.