Originally created 08/04/98

Mobile homes may be banned in area



Developers who want to place manufactured homes in south Richmond County will have fewer properties to choose from if the Augusta Commission rezones a large area to prevent future mo-bile homes.

The county's planning commis-sion will hold two public hearings before it decides whether to rec-ommend rezoning the land, be-tween Old Savannah and Peach Orchard roads, from agricultural to single-family residential, pro-hibiting much-maligned mobile home developments.

This area, about 1,300 parcels of land, is the second to be considered by the planning commission. In May, about 700 parcels near Windsor Spring and Tobacco roads were rezoned for single-family homes, or R-1.

A third area, south of Bobby Jones Expressway toward Tobacco Road, is set for rezoning consideration next.

Some south Richmond homeowners say manufactured homes depreciate their property and detract from the neighborhood.

"I've got nothing against mobile homes, themselves. I've lived in one," said Danny Aldridge, who now owns a home in the Goshen area. "But they look horrible in a few years. They'll take my home value to nothing. They need to be stopped."

Rezoning large parts of south Richmond would help prime the area for managed growth, Planning Commission Director George Patty said.

"What's there will get to remain. And we won't aggressively enforce small-scale agricultural activity," Mr. Patty told a meeting of Hephzibah-area homeowners. "Making the land R-1 is the best way we have to preserve south Richmond County and prevent the kind of development we know people don't want to see next door."

But rezoning large parts of south Richmond is "based on old prejudices," said Sam Evans, president of Apple Homes, which sold 639 mobile homes in Georgia and South Carolina last year.

"It's almost like telling everybody who's bought a manufactured home that they're a second-class citizen and they should move to Burke County," Mr. Evans said. "Impressions change very slowly. These are high-quality homes for people who can't afford site-built homes, and there's a big market in Richmond County. We'd support making requirements for how the homes look and beautify the area. But just out-and-out banning them is wrong."

Public hearingPlanning commission public hearing

Tonight at 7 p.m.

Goshen Elementary School cafeteria

4040 Old Waynesboro Road

Planning commission regular meeting

Monday at 3 p.m.

Municipal Building Room 803

530 Greene St.