She’s a widowed grandmother with a grown son who has not been on the most pleasant journey for the past few years. And all she wants to do right now is go home.
But for Nancy Edwards O’Barr that prospect is quite complicated. From 1999-2011, she stayed in an aging trailer at 7121 W. Meadow Lane, which is located outside the city limits of North Little Rock.
She loved her mobile home even though it was getting older. She recalls her last years in it with her late husband who died in 2006. But in 2011, it became too rough to live in and she vacated it. She now is staying in a HUD-assisted residence in Little Rock.
She planned on vacating it for a short stint because she planned on buying another mobile home and having a family member buy the property at 7121 W. Meadow Lane. All seemed to be working out quite well in 2012 because she paid for in cash a $15,000 mobile home to put back on Meadow Lane land.
The new mobile home was set up and all seemed to be fine until she was advised by city code enforcement officers that the mobile home was not in compliance with the city’s zoning code.
Even though the mobile home is not within the city limits, it remains within a five-mile radius of the municipal boundaries, which means it is within the city’s planning jurisdiction.
On Monday, the North Little Rock City Council heard the first reading of a proposed ordinance that would reclassify 7121 W. Meadow Lane from R-1 to R-2 and grant a special use to allow a manufactured house to be located there.
“They told me I couldn’t turn my electric on,” said O’Barr. “After tearing down my old manufactured home, I was unaware of breaking any laws. My family is in need of this home.”
O’Barr said she wants to reunite her family back on her old property but needs to be able to leave in her new mobile home.
The issue was brought before the North Little Rock Planning Commission on April 9. The planning commission forwarded the request onto the city council.
“This will likely be a difficult case as the owner placed a manufactured home on the lot without checking on zoning restrictions,” reads the planning commission’s staff recommendation.
The issue is expected to be brought up at the next regularly scheduled city council meeting of Tuesday, May 28.