SOMERS, N.Y. – Darryl and Lora Atkinson bought a small travel trailer last May and asked the Somers Zoning Board of Appeals at last week's meeting to grant a special permit so the trailer can be parked in a corner of their property on Elmer Galloway Road.
Darryl Atkinson explained to the board that the vehicle is not a large mobile home, but simply a pull-along trailer, measuring roughly 33 feet long and eight feet wide, with a height of about 11 feet. He showed photographs of the vehicle as it is now situated and produced letters of agreement from four of his neighbors.
Automobile trailers are covered in Article X, Section 170-57 of the Town Code. “No automobile trailer designed to be used for human habitation shall be stored or parked in any district, except that such trailer may be stored or parked inside a public or private garage or automobile salesroom. No automobile trailer may be occupied for living or sleeping purposes, nor shall it be used as an accessory use or building under the terms of this chapter.”
The board asked if the trailer was intended to be used as a guest house, whether it was hooked up to services such as water and electricity, whether it would be used for storage and how long it would be parked in the yard.
Atkinson said, “It’d probably be there throughout the winter, from, say, November through February or March. But in good weather, we’d use it almost every weekend. We got it in May and we’ve already made four or five trips. The only thing it’s hooked up to is electricity to keep the battery live and we don’t store anything in it.”
The board briefly discussed the possibility of camouflaging the vehicle with a shed or tarp, but quickly agreed that it would simply create a larger eyesore.
Another concern voiced by the board was, “Even if the current neighbors agree to having the trailer on the property, what about future neighbors?”
It was agreed that no decision could be made until the Zoning Board members made a site visit, planned for Sept. 8, between 9 a.m. and noon. The issue will be further discussed at the board's Sept. 18 meeting.