Don’t come around here no more

Keep out.

That’s the stance Buncombe County Planning Board members took last week to stop people from bringing old mobile homes into the county.

The board voted unanimously Aug. 4 to recommend to the county commissioners that manufactured homes — a.k.a. mobile homes — built before July 1, 1976 should not be allowed to be placed on lots (or parcels of land) in Buncombe County. Under the plan, existing old mobile homes wouldn’t be affected — though only a surviving spouse could move one to a new spot in the county.

If the ban is adopted, Buncombe County won’t stand alone: Polk, Rutherford and Scotland counties also prohibit old mobile homes from putting down roots within their borders, Planner Jim Coman said later.

However, board members weren’t quite ready to rule on how best to get rid of the existing crop of deteriorating mobile homes around the county, often slowly succumbing to the eager grasp of kudzu. One option, noted Coman, is requiring folks who want a county permit for a new mobile home to first dispose of the old one.

In other business, Planning Board members unanimously agreed to accept a guarantee of $127,500 to ensure that roads are built in phase four of the Hawks Landing subdivision in the Reems Creek community, Coman reported.

And at least for now, it looks as though the Planning Board’s current makeup isn’t slated to change. On July 8, the county commissioners had postponed a decision on whether to re-appoint three sitting board members after accountant Scott Hughes applied for a seat on the board. Although the commissioners had said they planned to take up the issue again at their Aug. 5 meeting, the item never showed up on their agenda. And unless they hear otherwise, Planning Board members whose terms are listed by the Planning Department as having expired seemed inclined to continue reporting for duty as usual.

When asked why the Planning Board item had disappeared from the commissioners’ agenda, Chairman Nathan Ramsey told Xpress that there wasn’t a consensus among any three commissioners to bring the issue up for a vote. Until there is, the three Planning Board members in question — Chairman Jim McElduff and members Jay Marino and David Summey — will continue at their posts. (Actually, Ramsey also noted that there’s some question over whether McElduff’s term really has expired.)

“Jim’s doing a good job,” said Ramsey. At the same time, Ramsey said he thought applicant Scott Hughes (who lives in the area represented by McElduff) would also be a capable member of the Planning Board.

– Tracy Rose

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