Jury grants permit on ‘camp’ definition
The fate of a building permit was decided during a special meeting of the Acadia Parish Police Jury Tuesday night by defining the difference between a single family house and a camp.
The special session was called prior to a round of committee meetings because the request for a building permit was initially denied by the state fire marshal’s office due to the fact the building in question was a former FEMA park trailer and did not meet building code standards.
However, Juror Julie Borill noted the Jury could override that ruling.
Architect Ron Lawson, who serves as a third party inspector under the Jury’s ordinance and Lee Hebert, who serves as rural building inspector for the Jury disagreed. Both contended the trailer originally used to house people displaced after a hurricane was never intended to served as a permanent home.
Lawson cited a resolution by the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code Council which noted such trailers were not exempt from the state construction code.
Juror Borill replied she knew of several such trailers in the Egan area being occupied as permanent homes, and Juror Robert Guidry wondered about the status of a row of such trailers along the highway near Mamou in Evangeline Parish.
Lawson answered, “My hands are tied.”
He and Hebert explained such trailers, even if refurbished, cannot be properly inspected to be certified they met code standards.
When Juror David Savoy interjected he saw no difference between a former FEMA trailer and a mobile or manufactured home, Lawson explained the Louisiana Manufacturing Housing Commission requires those builders to meet code requirements.
Lawson asked jurors to table the permit request until state officials and manufacturers could be consulted.
Several jurors rejected that option, with Juror A.J. “Jay” Credeur remarked, “You’re discriminating against park trailers.”
Though the trailer in question had been refurbished, Lawson noted, “There’s no definition of refurbished.”
When Stan Keyes stepped forward and noted a permit was needed because the trailer was being moved to a mobile home park south of Crowley after it had originally been set up as a camp on a relative’s land, jurors found their answer to the dilemma.
Juror Credeur quickly informed Keyes, “If it’s a camp, we have no restrictions on where it can be placed.”
Lawson and Hebert quickly agreed with Credeur’s assessment.
Though the designation as a camp resolved the issue regarding a building permit for the Keyes’ trailer, jurors did adjust the permitting process after Elaine Credeur, parish permit clerk, asked for guidance on how to proceed with permits in the future.
In the future, if a trailer has been remodeled and intended to be used as permanent housing, a third party code inspection will be required.