LUMBERTON — A plan to establish a mobile home park on Wiregrass Road in Smyrna was tabled Monday at the request of Commissioner Berlester Campbell.
Campbell said he wants to meet with the developer and three opponents of the proposed park before the project moves forward.
Carolyn Floyd-Robinson appeared before the commissioners seeking a conditional-use permit that would allow her to establish a 43-trailer mobile home park on 24 acres she owns on Wiregrass Road. The property, which Robinson said she has owned for more than 10 years, is farmland and located in a Residential/agricultural district.
“This land has always been family owned and I want to enhance the community,” she told the commissioners. “It will be phased in in sections, the homes will all be new, and the leasing will be done through a property management company. There will be background checks, references will be required and there will be a property manager on site.”
But Floyd-Robinson’s assurances didn’t satisfy three nearby property owners who said they are concerned that a mobile home park would draw be a magnet for criminal activity. All three of the park’s opponents cited drug use and other criminal activities they have witnessed committed by residents of a mobile home park about -half mile down Wiregrass Road from where Floyd-Robinson proposes establishing her park.
“We don’t want that around our children,” Antionette Thompson said.
Dematrius Hill, Thompson’s brother, agreed.
“We don’t need drugs in the area,” Hill said. “It only takes one person with the wrong mindset.”
Campbell made the motion to table the request for the permit after hearing Floyd-Robinson and opponents of the park argue their cases before the commissioners. The commissioners will revisit the request when they meet in June.
“I know where the property is and I know it is all family land,” Campbell said. “I want us to sit down and discuss Wiregrass Road before this goes any further.”
Floyd-Robeson objected, telling the commissioners she has invested money in the project since the Planning Board approved her plans and no one came to that board’s meeting to voice objections.
In other business on Monday, the commissioners approved a request for a conditional-use permit that will allow a solar farm to be built on Wiregrass Road. The request for the permit was made by Jersey Holdings LLC.
The solar farm is planned for 40 acres of a 79.76-acre tract. The property, owned by James Ryan Taylor, Faye Huggins Taylor and Sally Wilkerson Rice, is located in a Residential/Agricultural District.
In other business, the commissioners:
— Passed a resolution freezing all hiring and department purchasing until commissioners can work on a county budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The first budget work session will be on May 15.
— Agreed to change the title of the county General Services manager to assistant county manager and advertise to hire an assistant county manager.
— Agreed to hire an assistant director of communications.
— Heard a presentation from Greg Cummings, county economic developer and industrial recruiter, concerning the county’s new economic development marketing portfolio. Cummings emphasized that in recruiting industries a good portfolio and good location are the keys to success.
“Robeson County has an advantage when it comes to location,” he said.
— Passed a resolution to apply for a state Department of Commerce grant to help fund work on a facility referred to as Project RV. This project calls for the current facility to be expanded and the creation of at least 34 jobs that will exceed a minimum wage of $10 per hour with benefits.
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.