TROUTVILLE – If Town Council members had questions about revising this town’s zoning codes, answers came at their Nov. 16 meeting with a request to convert an ambulance-type vehicle into a residence.
Only minutes after the town’s zoning commission recommended denying a special exemption permit, council unanimously followed the commissioners’ suggestion to deny Dennis Edwards’ request to live in a C-class motor home on his property along Valley Road. A C-class motor home is similar to a small utility truck or ambulance, explained zoning member Kerry Edwards.
Edwards, who did not attend either the zoning commission’s public hearings or the council meeting, stated in his request he intends to build a home on the property. The request was to place a C-Class motor home on an approximately one acre of land zoned for a single-family dwelling.
“To me approving this would open up a can of worms,” said Commissioner Edwards.
The commission is about to begin revising its decade-old zoning regulations to reflect the new trends in housing and business, but the town has allowed mobile homes for years and doesn’t allow motor homes to be lived in full-time.
When the request made its way to Town Council, it was quickly rejected. “We don’t know very much about it,” said Mayor David Horton. “That’s what bothers me.”
Council also discussed its recent rent increase on a local garage. A couple months ago, council voted to increase the garage’s rent from $500 to $750 a month. Recently, the owner spoke with a council member about the increase and asked if the town would take over utilities.
The request shocked council members. “I don’t think the town should have to pay for his utilities,” said the mayor.
The council did decide to have utilities at the property switched over into the town’s name and decided at a later meeting if another rent increase is merited.