The River of Life Ministries has until Thursday, July 11 to meet city codes for a residential mobile home on property it owns at the far west end of Louisiana.
The ministries have also applied to expand the area behind its Georgia Street thrift shop where the mobile home stands into a mobile home park, according to City Administrator Bob Jenne.
“There’s a lot of requirements,” to switch the land to a mobile home park, Jenne said. “They’ll have to have individual sewer lines and each one has to have a pad. I don’t know if they have enough room back there,” to do it.
Mobile home dweller Bob Shepard said Monday the ministries have applied for the mobile home park but has not decided on a size.
“We’re still deciding that right now,” Shepard said. He and his wife, Sharon Shepard, live in the controversial mobile home behind the ministries’ thrift store that they run.
Shepard said he expects the plan to end up with the city planning and zoning board for a recommendation. Zoning would have to be changed to allow it and Louisiana has strict rules and regulations for mobile homes.
“We’re working on something with the city and until then, we’ll have no comment,” said Jill Sheppard, who runs River of Life Ministries with husband Mark Sheppard.
The mobile home park idea is yet another chapter in the controversial mobile home’s history.
Last year, area residents and Stark Bro’s owner Cameron Brown said the mobile home detracts from the beauty of the nearby Stark Cabin at the highway rest area at the west edge of town. Brown went as far as to say he would move the cabin if the trailer stayed.
At an emotional meeting in May, the Shepards said they were told by city officials they could move the mobile home onto the property because it is located in the county.
After they erected it, they said they were told the were within the city limits and would have to adhere to the city mobile home law that calls for sewer hookups and not septic tanks.
A move by councilman Bart Niedner to deal with the situation with a letter to all sides outlining alternatives was struck down in a split vote on May 13. Mayor Wallace broke the tie by voting against the letter.