SEVIERVILLE — The Board of Mayor and Aldermen granted an extension to a man living illegally in a camper on his family’s property.
Lynn Wilson, 1180 Mechanics Way, Sevierville, appealed the decision of the codes enforcement officer that found his living situation in a recreational vehicle was in violation of the city ordinance. In a letter dated Jan. 4, he was informed he had 30 days to vacate the trailer and disconnect from public utilities or face the possibility of receiving a citation from the Sevierville Police Department.
Wilson told the board he was residing in the camper to help and be near his uncle, Powell Wilson, who lives in a one-bedroom home next to the camper.
The codes enforcement officer visited the property in January after a complaint was made. Lynn Wilson said he has been living there since 2015.
“I’ve lived there for eight years and nobody’s ever said a word,” Wilson said.
The board gave him an extension until April 1 to move.
“We just live there and try to be simple and get along. We have a rutted, muddy road. We don’t have no trash pickup. We don’t have no paved roads. We’re just sitting back up out of the way. We ain’t bothering nobody, and we don’t deserve this, it’s as simple as that,” Wilson said. “I guess it’s all whatever you want to do. If you want to put me out on the street, by all means, I can’t stop you.”
The letter sent to the property owner quotes the city ordinance, stating, “It shall be unlawful and a misdemeanor punishable by fine up to fifty dollars ($50) per day for any person, firm, corporation, or entity to place upon, park, locate, or occupy a trailer, motor home, camper trailer, designed for conveyance after fabrication, either on its own wheels or otherwise, for the purpose of residing in sleeping in, transacting business therein or therefrom, storage, on any street, lot, or parcel of land within the city limits of the City of Sevierville.”
Board members asked if there was any way to bring the camper into compliance so that Wilson could continue to live there without being in violation, but was informed by staff that wasn’t possible because the city ordinance does not allow for a camper to remain a permanent residence.
“It’s our ordinance, we passed it, and we’ve got to do that, but we also understand that every once in a while you’ve got to have a little mercy,” Mayor Robbie Fox said.