Jury adopts new mobile home ordinance

After months of delay, East Feliciana Parish has a new ordinance regulating the placement of mobile homes in unincorporated areas of the parish.

The Police Jury on Monday chose a version supported by the parish’s Planning and Zoning Commission over a proposal jury official Joe Rouchon said he developed in consultation with a Tallahassee, Fla., firm that incorporates governments’ ordinances into codified form.

Rouchon clashed with Planning and Zoning Chairman Mike Salmon during a public hearing before the jury’s meeting, with Salmon saying the document before the jurors was not what the commission approved.

Rouchon replied that Salmon and another commission member had refused to help jury administrators prepare the changes in ordinance form after delivering the document six months ago.

He said the staff document was essentially the same as the commission’s version.

Jurors accepted the commission’s version, with District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla suggesting the jury nullify the old ordinance in its entirety because the new one has numerous changes.

Salmon said the old ordinance did not offer variances for mobile home placements or temporary permits and contained the wrong technical standards for manufactured housing.

Other topics before the jury included:

HAZARD MITIGATION: Jurors voted against pursuing federal funds for hazard mitigation purposes after learning that the Federal Emergency Management Agency likely will not approve requests submitted by a consultant hired in 2006. The jury discussed the matter behind closed doors because members said the consultant has threatened to sue them.

SECTION 8 HOUSING: The jury tabled a request by George Turner, of Ethel, to endorse his People’s Workshop organization’s application for federally subsidized mortgage or rent assistance for individuals. Some jurors questioned whether the so-called Section 8 program results in lower property values for neighboring owners.

Turner said he was not trying to obtain Section 8 aid for a housing project.