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Trailer swap OK'd

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Belfast Community man is being allowed to replace a 26-year-old single-wide mobile home with a six-year-old mobile home because of a vote last week by the Marshall County Board of Zoning Appeals.

"They've got a five-year replacement rule," says Charles Hobby who approached the BZA on Tuesday evening last week when his explanation for the variance from strict enforcement of the county rule was that the replacement is in excellent condition.

"It's neat as a pin," Hobby said of the house trailer he wants to move in to replace one that's 20 years older than one he's bought from a banker who lived in it while he was building a house.

"I've got one that's just one year over the limit," he said."If I buy a new one, the price is high. They sell for $38,000 new."

Hobby got the six-year-old mobile home for $24,000, he said.

Hobby, of 2625 Fayetteville Highway at Belfast Hill, says he's been leasing the old trailer on his property "to somebody in the family."

His relative wants a new trailer and Hobby could buy one, "but it wouldn't be the class of this one" if he spent the same amount of money, Hobby explained.

County Zoning Administrator Don Nelson told the zoning appeals board that he does not have the authority to authorize Hobby's proposed replacement of one trailer with the one Hobby wants to use, so the matter was presented to the Board.

The board unanimously approved the request.

"I wouldn't have to do this in the city" of Lewisburg, Hobby said, explaining that the city's zoning code does not have such restrictions. Furthermore, the county requires 80 square feet of decking on two sides and prohibits metal or plastic "skirts" around the area below a trailer's floor. Brick, block or rock are required, he said.