[StBernard] St. Bernard Parish eyeing FEMA trailer removal deadline

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Wed Oct 8 23:50:11 EDT 2008

St. Bernard Parish eyeing FEMA trailer removal deadline
by Chris Kirkham, The Times-Picayune
Wednesday October 08, 2008, 5:22 PM
Months after the last group trailer sites were closed in St. Bernard Parish,
government officials are eyeing a Jan. 7 deadline for residents to vacate
the remaining FEMA trailers in front of private homes and businesses across
the parish.

The Parish Council gave an initial nod to the trailer removal plan Tuesday
night, but members still need to work out details on how residents can apply
for extensions. The January deadline would be a significant milestone for
the storm-battered parish, which has had up to 7,241 trailers since
Hurricane Katrina, not counting group sites.

The number is down to 810 trailers, according to the latest count by FEMA.
The trailer sunset in St. Bernard follows on the heels of deadlines enforced
earlier this year by New Orleans and St. Tammany Parish, and last year by
Jefferson Parish.

The parish would be tasked with enforcing the deadline, which would require
residents to work with FEMA to have the trailer carted off. Similar to New
Orleans, the parish has an ordinance banning recreational vehicles such as
trailers from being parked in residential front yards.

Once the January deadline has passed, the parish would begin enforcing that
ordinance for the first time since Katrina. Over the next few weeks, the
Parish Council will decide what constitutes an exemption from the removal

Councilman Mike Ginart questioned the quick turnaround needed to get
residents out of trailers and into more permanent housing, in the midst of
the approaching holiday season.

"How are we just going to mechanically do that in that period of time?" he
asked. "The timeframe's pretty quick."

Parish President Craig Taffaro said the government and council will craft
guidelines to "identify those who have a legitimate need to have a trailer
in front of the property."

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