Mobile home park rezoned to allow expansion

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Mark Wineka
The Salisbury Planning Board voted unanimously Tuesday for a rezoning that will allow Oak Haven Mobile Home Park to expand by 20 units.
Pat and Kevin Davidson seek to rezone Oak Haven’s 18.5 acres at 775 Airport Road from Urban Residential to a Manufactured Home District.
The Davidsons also are applying for a Conditional District overlay on the new zoning to allow for an expansion. The overlay requires site plan review.
There are 62 mobile homes in the park at present, and there are no vacancies.
Pat Davidson said all of Oak Haven’s mobile homes are owner-occupied, and the park is “managed for families.” People wanting to locate in the park go through criminal background checks, and those with felony records are not allowed, she said.
“We try to keep a clean park,” she added.
With the expansion, the park will be hooked onto city water and sewer services, which are being extended through this Airport Road area.
Tim Smith, owner of the Matika Villa mobile home park across Airport Road, spoke in favor of the Oak Haven request and said he’ll be looking to expand in the future onto about 20 acres.
His current mobile home park includes 110 lots. When mobile home parks are run correctly, they provide affordable housing that people are proud of, Smith said.
When Smith expands, he will have to follow a rezoning procedure similar to what Oak Haven is doing.
Smith asked why. When he was annexed by the city, Smith said, he assumed the county’s mobile home park zoning would transfer into a comparable city zoning. Instead, he’s in an Urban Residential zone, he noted.
Senior Planner Preston Mitchell said under the city’s previous zoning, mobile home parks were allowed in two-family residential-A (R-6A) districts. When the new Land Development Ordinance conversion map was adopted, the city tried to do like-for-like conversions, Mitchell said.
R-6A areas were converted to the new Urban Residential district, he added.
Smith has a legal non-conforming use, Mitchell noted, but he agreed if Smith wants to expand, he’ll have to go through a similar rezoning process as Oak Haven.
The Planning Board approved the Davidsons’ request by a 8-0 vote. The board’s recommendation goes to the Salisbury City Council, which will take up the rezoning Oct. 7.
In another zoning matter Tuesday, the Planning Board unanimously supported the establishment of a Conditional District for most of the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College campus in Salisbury.
The Conditional District overlay will be placed on the part of the 100-acre campus that is zoned Institutional Campus.
The overlay will allow for construction of a two-story, 39,000-square-foot classroom building with a “mechanical penthouse.” It will be known as the North Campus’ Classroom Building 400.
The development will include a new parking lot, landscaping, detention pond and sidewalks.
The reason for the college’s having to seek the Conditional District overlay is connected to the use of “alternative building materials,” mainly prefinished ribbed metal paneling and smooth metal panels on some aspects of the structure.
The college needs to have approval for these “secondary materials” because they are not mentioned in the Land Development Ordinance, which basically was trying to avoid corrugated metal as a primary material.
Salisbury City Council will act on the overlay for the college at its Oct. 7 meeting, too.