by Geoff Fox
Town officials will be holding a workshop on Monday, August 15 at 6 p.m. to discuss and receive public input pertaining to the town’ s ordinance on Mobile Homes and Vehicles.
The workshop comes after Mayor Tim Smith was questioned if someone was able to put a camper on private property while a person lived there.
He was also told Town Attorney Ed Kuczynski notified him of other locations where there were violations of the ordinance.
Smith said it was his job to let those places know of the violation.
The ordinance in question reads, “No tractor-trailer, portable building or structure, trailer, mobile home, recreational home, recreational vehicle, camper, or similar vehicle or unit shall be placed, located, maintained, occupied, or utilized within the corporate limits of the Town of Hancock for dwelling, sleeping, storage, conduct of any business, profession or occupation, or any other reason whatsoever, except as set forth herein.”
The ordinance recognizes there is a mobile home residential park in the corporate limits of the municipality and those trailers or mobile homes are connected to utilities and are considered residential uses and nonconforming uses up to and including the date the ordinance was adopted.
According to the town’ s website, Chapter 277 about Mobile Homes was adopted May 10, 2006 as Chapter 25 of the 2006 Code of Ordinances.
The code says if any of the mobile homes in Hancock’ s residential park become untenantable, destroyed, or removed, they cannot be replaced with consent of the Planning Commission and the Mayor and Council and be subject to and in compliance with all federal, state, county, and municipal acts, ordinances, and regulations.
There are a number of temporary use permit requirements, exceptions, and other articles.
The ordinance can be read at https://ecode360.com/36062642.
Smith asked his council to look at the ordinance. He charged them with making a list of what amendments could be made to the ordinance as a lot of the ordinance could impact “a lot of things.”
Smith said the town wants to be transparent and let everybody know what can and cannot be placed inside the town limits, and to know those rules will be enforced.
Town officials did not make any decisions on the ordinance except to put a 60-90 day moratorium on any changes to the rules. Those 60 days started Thursday, July 28.
During discussion at the town meeting on July 28, April Davis told town officials that allowing the non-brick and mortar stores to remain could allow them to grow and possibly occupy one of the empty store fronts.
She pointed out the ordinance is 16 years old and the officials at the time probably saw a different future for Hancock when it was adopted.
“The ordinance should be updated to the way things actually are now,” she said.
She added the officials at the time might have seen food trucks and other vehicles blocking businesses and taking up parking spaces or even temporary businesses coming in and taking people’s money and leaving just as fast.
“None of these businesses affected by this ordinance are doing any of that,” Davis said. “These business owners chose here.”
Currently, there are at least two food truck businesses operating consistently in town.
Davis said they should be able to stay and add to the town instead of being taken away from the people. Town officials did not address Davis’ comments.