Officials – Ordinance will make rebuilding easier

tornado

By Traci Chapman

Mustang residents who have suffered the loss of their home will now have the opportunity to stay on their property while repairs are completed.

The city ordinance change goes into immediate effect, thanks to a unanimous vote by city council Feb. 18. The new ordinance allows a resident who has suffered significant damage – such as fire, storm or other issues – to stay in temporary housing on their property while repairs or replacement of the original home are completed.

Ordinance No.1100 allows residents to permit a travel trailer for a limited amount of time, which would allow them to stay on their property – something that could help residents both financially and emotionally, City Manager Tim Rooney said.

The ordinance came about after Ward 6 Councilman Donal Mount was approached by Dale and Kim Duncan, whose house was damaged in a January fire. The couple attempted to stay in a travel trailer on their property, then learned it was against Mustang ordinances.

“These people are hurting and need some help,” Mount said. “I see a real need for something like this.”

Rooney said his staff and City Attorney Jonathan Miller looked at ordinances in Piedmont and El Reno. Robert Coleman, Mustang community development director, said El Reno passed a similar ordinance after a structure fire.

In the past, Mustang residents had to go through the city Board of Adjustment to put a travel trailer on their property.

“That can take a lot of time,” Rooney said.

Temporary occupancy permits are valid for up to a year, and city officials may extend the permit another six months, if needed. City council must approve any extension beyond that time, to a maximum of two years. Residents must fill out an application and provide site plans, photos of the travel trailer and a statement stating residents intend to rebuild a permanent home on the site, Miller said.

While the ordinance includes RVs, travel trailers – such as fifth-wheels and pop-up campers – it does not include mobile homes, the city attorney said.

The ordinance, which was passed with an emergency clause allowing it to go into effect immediately, would help people who need help after a disaster.

“This is a good thing, it’s a way for people to remain with their home and oversee the rebuilding effort, as well as defraying the expense of having to stay somewhere else,” Mayor Jay Adams said last week. “It’s difficult enough to deal with a situation like this – whether it’s a tornado, a fire or anything else like that.

“It’s good that we can help give our citizens some relief,” he said.