(American Press Archives)
Last Modified: Friday, August 23, 2013 10:33 AM
Calcasieu Parish police jurors on Thursday unanimously denied amending a zoning ordinance to allow for a manufactured home on Coffey Road in Moss Bluff amid opposition from neighboring residents.
The panel denied a request by Kenneth and Caroline Nichols to have the mobile home placed at 2026 Coffey Road, upholding a July 23 recommendation by the parish Planning and Zoning Board.
Kenneth Nichols said the request was made so his daughter could live in the mobile home temporarily.
The property was rezoned in 2003 from R-1 residential to A-1 agricultural with the stipulation that the property be used for single-family use and exclude manufactured homes.
Nichols said he has owned 26 acres of property on Coffey Road for the last 12 years and has lived there for six years.
Nichols said he agreed to place the mobile home 600 feet north from Coffey Road and “somewhat hidden in the trees.” He said he agreed to have the mobile home there for up to three years and would remove it within 30 days of it being unoccupied.
Cedrick Champeaux, who lives at the 1800 block of Coffey Road, said a trailer would have “a negative impact” on the value of neighboring homes. He said the neighborhood has “an excess of $250,000 homes.”
“This, to us, is a standard issue,” he said. “These restrictions in zoning were put in place to develop a level of quality for this whole neighborhood. One property owner in the center of all of our properties now wants to change those standards.”
Dr. Eric Jacobs, who lives in the same area, said the planning board recommended the request be denied because of “concerns about the standards that needed to be upheld.”
“There (are) a ton of trailer parks right around the area to put them in,” he said. “What is the problem?”
Nichols said he felt that placing a trailer in the neighborhood would have “little to no effect on property value.”
“I didn’t feel like this was a big deal, but evidently it turned out to be a big deal,” he said.
District 5 Police Juror Nic Hunter said he “would think twice” about building a home of that value in the neighborhood if a mobile home was placed there.
Both District 11 Police Juror Sandy Treme and District 14 Police Juror Hal McMillin talked about the difficulty of making the decision. The Police Jury on July 25 deferred taking action on the item for 30 days.
Treme represents the district where the request was located.
Police jurors approved expediting funds to help pay for repairs to the Calcasieu Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC), which suffered fire damage after being struck by a stolen van Aug. 12.
Dane Bolin, parish Juvenile Justice Services director, said earlier in the week that he wants the facility to reopen within four to six months. The center is located at 3581 E. Prien Lake Road.
The MARC is now operating out of the Juvenile Justice Services’ training and education center next door.