The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

February 8, 2013

Permit me


Friday, February 8, 2013 — On Sept. 4, 2012, I received a letter from Stanly Co. Office of Planning and Zoning. Thus began a string of four office visits to obtain information that could have been provided sooner. Its origin, a complaint letter by a so-called neighbor, bent on a little mischief.

With one exception, (environmental), everyone I dealt with was knowledgeable and courteous, especially the counter staff brave enough to face customers that don’t want to shop there. Though helpful, I feel the staff decided on overbuilding and misapplied safety requirements to a storage unit.

The letter stated that I had to remove my abandoned manufactured home or face penalties. On visit one, I advised that I did not have a manufactured home. I had a single-wide schoolroom on wheels, used for storage, for 10 years. Further, this old unit was purchased by a (real) neighbor at auction (sold by a N.C. county) for storage.

During visit two, I submitted picture and diary evidence that the storage unit had indeed been on my property for over 10 years. This seemed important to the staff and I saw a waiver looming. It was important but not for me. Turns out that the staff was more interested in responding to a complaint than about my property.

Visit three, brought up Environmental, and visit four, a permit with six months to prepare 12 2x2x12 concrete supports pits, six more for six cross supports and 10 tie downs.

It is reassuring to know that my horse harness, dog cages and lumber are entitled to the same standards and protection shown to school children and families living in manufactured homes.

Craig Hobaugh