Mobile home destroyed in 2016 fire will stay put until village comes up with money

A mobile home, mostly destroyed by a fire in 2016, will stay next door to a popular Pickaway County restaurant until the village comes up with the money to fight the owner in court. (WSYX/WTTE)

A mobile home, mostly destroyed by a fire in 2016, will stay next door to a popular Pickaway County restaurant until the village comes up with the money to fight the owner in court.

ABC 6 On Your Side first reported the story last month.

Last week, a Pickaway County Court Mediator told the two sides, it was up to Williamsport to enforce its own zoning laws.

Chance Sowers and his wife Allison have been trying for two and a half years to get something done about the trailer, even offering to pay the owner, Elmer Hines, for it.

"We've told him we'd remove the trailer, pay for the removal, then the easement," said Sowers. "There's really nothing he wants to do."

Hines owns the trailer, but it sits on land partly belonging to Sowers, and stays there because of an easement.

An easement is the legal right for someone else to use the property for a specific purpose.

After the fire in 2016, the Village of Williamsport cited Hines for zoning violations.

They said the trailer was more than 50-percent damaged, and under village code, had to be removed- an order they say Hines ignored.

Pickaway county health inspectors recently found several violations as well- trash in and around the trailer, as well as numerous holes, broken windows and punched in doors.

We tried to ask Hines about it, but he told us his layer told him not to talk.

As far as Williamsport taking Hines to court to force him into complying, Mayor Edward Cox said the village has no way to do that.

"At this point, we don't have the money in our general fund to pursue it legally," said Cox. "And if we did win that, to get rid of the trailer itself."

The Sowers were upset with the outcome of the hearing.

"All these councils and nothing can get done," said Chance Sowers. "And then we get into mediation and they tell us well you guys pretty much wasted your time over the past year fighting each other."

A fight where there will never be a clear cut winner.

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