Council nixes mobile home move

By Gus Bode

Councilwomen Flanagan announces retirement at meeting

George Everingham uses the money he earns from renting his four mobile homes for a retirement fund, and after the City Council denied an ordinance 5-2 at Tuesday’s meeting he will be able to keep earning that income but Mayor Brad Cole said the issue is not over.

“The issue is not going to go away because we did not act on it tonight,” Cole said.


The proposed ordinance would have required the removal of non-owner occupied nonconforming mobile homes in zoning districts other than low density residential over the next two years. If the proposed ordinance passed, there would have been five districts in Carbondale that allowed for the use of mobile homes.

Cole and Councilman Chris Wissmann voted in favor of the ordinance.

“They just stand out as something likely unsafe, out of place and not given the attention that other properties receive,” Cole said.

Mobile homes are not built like normal housing or apartments, Wissmann said.

When studying the financial impact of the ordinance the city found the property owners would experience a loss of rental income but said in some circumstances the removal would allow for new development to occur.

However, the proposed ordinance did not offer any type of compensation. It would have required the property owners to pay to move the mobile homes off the property or destroy them.

Because the city bought the old American Tap building from Henry Fisher because it was an eye sore, Everingham said he does not understand why the city would not offer mobile home owners any compensation.


Two other property owners, Greg Szubartowski and Jeff Woodruff, also spoke in opposition of the ordinance at the meeting.

“We’re all interested in beautifying Carbondale,” said Woodruff and explained he understands not every mobile home in Carbondale is kept up.

Woodruff and Everingham both expressed that their properties are well kept and up to code. However, Szubartowski said it should not matter how esthetic his mobile homes look because they are his property.

Cole said he realized they were “painting the properties with a wide brush” and noted some of the properties are well kept-up, but insisted that even though the ordinance did not pass this is something that will continue to be looked at.

The council also denied an ordinance 4-3 to prohibit parking in the alley east of South Poplar Street and west of South Beveridge Street between West Elm and West Cherry streets.

“Alleys weren’t designed or intended for parking,” said Jeff Doherty, Carbondale city manager.

Several tenants renting apartments at 406 1/2 Beveridge St. spoke concerning the lack of parking within a safe walking distance to the building. The building sits in the back of a lot.

However, the property owner, Kathryn Pappelis, was not in attendance and had not notified the city of any parking problems. In a Monday interview she told the Daily Egyptian that she provides five parking spaces for the five apartments she rents in that building.

Because none of the property owners who rented came forward, Councilman Steve Haynes said it makes reviewing the situation difficult.

The council agreed to have the city look into a solution that would not only help the tenants at 406 1/2 Beveridge St., but also other residents in the area, who have come to the city and complained about the parking situation in the alley.

Councilwoman Maggie Flanagan announced she would not be running for re-election for City Council after her term expires next year.

“After 12 years, I am ready to step aside and let someone else experience this important activity,” Flanagan said. “I believe the more people experience working within our government, the more dynamic the City of Carbondale will be.”