Council looks at house moving controls

Published 11:59 pm Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Andalusia City Council took the first step toward avoiding future problems with house moving, which became a major issue in last year’s city elections, especially in District 4.

The issue dates back to 2007, when a house was moved to the corner of Sheraton Drive and Lindsey Bridge Road, near the Meadowbrook subdivision. The lot is zoned B-1for business, but the owner hoped to have it rezoned residential. He was turned down twice, and the house currently sits vacant and still in need of repairs.

In the aftermath of the controversy, the Planning Commission wrestled with a proposed ordinance that would govern standards for improving moved houses and the city council has established a moratorium that, at least temporarily, prohibits the moving of houses within city limits.

Tuesday night, the council had the first reading of an ordinance that would require council approval to move a structure, and the council would hold a public hearing with residents within 1,000 of the proposed location before considering the request. The ordinance also would require the owner to provide a security deposit of at least $10,000 in the form or a certified check or a bond to the city before the structure is moved.

Director of planning and development Andy Wiggins said the owner would have to bring the structure to occupancy standards within 12 months.

“If they don’t, we can take the bond and remove the structure, finish it, or whatever you deemed necessary to happen,” he said.

The council will consider the ordinance again at it next meeting, set for April 21.

In other business, the council:

Appointed Wayne Holmes to the Board of Zoning Adjustments and Ethel Robertson to the Housing Authority.