The North Wilkesboro commissioners approved a temporary ordinance on Oct. 5 that would allow a Wilkesboro resident to move her family’s trailer into the Hidden River Mobile Home Park off Armory Road.

The board authorized Town Attorney Danny Johnson to temporarily amend the town’s Planned Development Conditional District (PC-CD) ordinance to permit Brenda Hernandez to move her home into Hidden River, formerly known as Maplewood Court.

“I’ve been a Wilkesboro resident for several years but I’ve bought a mobile home and want to move it” into Hidden River, said Hernandez via Zoom during the board’s regular monthly meeting. “I have family living in the park and it’s a safe, clean place.”

Hernandez explained that she need to make the move by the end of October or would be charged monthly storage fees to keeping her trailer where it is currently.

The board also tabled the requested rezoning of Hidden River from PC-CD to R20 (rural residential), which would allow developer Rick Del Carlo of Cocaris Real Estate Group Inc. to replace up to seven homes on sites that have historically been filled at the park.

“We want to bring more affordable housing” into the 20.55-acre parcel that he bought about six months ago, said Del Carlo. “I just want to replace six to seven homes that used to be there” which would add to the 23 mobile homes currently at Hidden River.

Del Carlo was informed by Fire Chief Jimmy Martin that he needed to install several more fire hydrants in the park to comply with code that regulates at least one hydrant per 1,000 feet. The park currently has only one hydrant, he added.

“I didn’t realize that was a condition, but I’m willing to work with you,” responded Del Carlo. “I’m not adding more homes that haven’t been there before, so I feel we’re making a mountain out of a molehill.”

Commissioner Debbie Ferguson said that Maplewood Court used to be “derelict, filled with trash and debris. It was disgusting but now it is very clean compared to what it used to be. It’s a different world.”

Commissioner Michael Parsons asked, “R20 is rural zoning and not usually within corporate limits, so are we setting ourselves up for more requests?” He added, “I’m all for getting Ms. Hernandez into her spot.”

Commissioner Andrew Palmer said he was also concerned for what precedence it would set for the town. “I’m not ever voting for changing it to R20.”

Town Manager Wilson Hooper noted that if the board later approves the change to R20, it would make the development at Hidden River “less restrictive but (Del Carlo) still has to follow building and fire codes.”

Others matters

Also on Tuesday, the board:

• swore in Charles “Rob” Thornburg as the town’s new police chief, succeeding the retired Joe Rankin;

• approved a request for the N.C. Department of Transportation to create a speed limit of 45 miles per hour on a section of N.C. 268 East from the town limit near Aaron Call Road to the Infusion Points building at 613 Elkin Highway;

• approved the acceptance of $25,000 from the Duke Endowment, via the Wilkes Health Foundation, for the creation of a new Yadkin River Greenway gravel-style section along an unopened portion of the Euclid Avenue right-of-way; and

• approved a local match of nearly $500,000 to purchase a new aerial fire truck for about $1.3 million total. Last month the town accepted a $952,185.71 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to replace its 35-year-old aerial fire truck.

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