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West Memphis extends mobile home moratorium


Amendment expands ban to entire city limits


In a bold move the City of West Memphis has amended and extended the moratorium prohibiting the installation of mobile homes in the area behind the schools on East Broadway to now prohibit new mobile homes citywide.

In last week’s special session called to approve the moratorium the city council initially approved a six month moratorium pending a study to be conducted by the Panning and Development Department on the effects of trailers in the area. This has now been extended citywide, but the timeframe has been reduced to 90 days.

This may be in response to outcries from citizens echoing the sentiments of Councilwoman Lorraine Muhammed when she said last week that she was not comfortable voting to pass the moratorium because she felt that the city was “picking on the people in that area” and that “if you don’t want those people in that area, just say so” implying that the city was hiding behind the proposed study.

Councilwoman Helen Harris was much more direct in her response saying “We don’t need no more trailers because the only thing moving there is low income people. We going to do the study to justify it but we just don’t want the trailers.”


An example of the kind of mobile homes the city is attempting to clean up. Abandoned and rundown trailers can foster criminal activity and decrease property values.


From page A1

Mayor Marco McClendon, fully in support of the initial moratorium, further justified this by saying, in part, “How can we clean up the city if we are not allowed to clean up the city?” and that “If nothing changes, nothing changes.”

Councilwoman Muhammed asked city attorney Mike Stevenson if citizens were likely to sue and after once again, for the third time in as many weeks, bringing up individual property rights protected under the Fifth Amendment responded, “People are litigious and can sue for any crazy reason they wish but that the three month moratorium, this restriction is the least restriction we can do. We are trying to move forward as quickly as we can and I think we have the right to do that as a municipality.”

The question was then brought up if at the end of the 90 days would the city be able to extend the moratorium further to which the response was by consensus, “yes”.

A motion was made and the 90 day moratorium extending to the entire city was passed unanimously by the council except for the two members absent, Mondy and Hutchinson.

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