© 2024. Randolph Hub. All Rights Reserved.


RCC's plan to retrofit a building into the Applied Industrial Artificial Intelligence Center of North Carolina (AI2C) will cost just under $6 million. 

County residents voice concerns about influx of manufactured homes

Janet Imrick

Randolph Hub


ASHEBORO — Randolph County Commissioners approved updates to the county’s development guide policy manual at its April 1 meeting, amid concerns from some residents about a growing influx of manufactured homes in rural parts of the county.


Commissioners also approved work for a new center at Randolph Community College (RCC) and an increase in fire inspection fees.


Development ordinance

Planning and Zoning Director Tonya Caddle presented the updated County Unified Development Ordinance for a public hearing before approval.


Commissioners said most of the changes are to align with new requirements from North Carolina legislation. The Planning and Zoning Board approved the ordinance updates on March 5.


During both public comment and the public hearing, some residents shared their concerns that the ordinance was too lenient on allowing manufactured homes. They said they are afraid of their neighborhoods becoming saturated with mobile homes or mobile home parks instead of encouraging more stick-built homes. 


Chairman Darrell Frye said most of these changes come from the General Assembly.


Rhonda Carreras said that 16 manufactured homes were recently built in her neighborhood compared to 22 stick-built homes. She said, “I don’t think the General Assembly meant for it to be as open as it is. I’ve seen the description of someone analyzing what the General Assembly meant, and then I see what’s coming to Randleman and Randolph County.”


Tonya Hayes said her community in the Northeast Randolph Corridor is not asking for the exclusion of manufactured homes, but for more thought to be put into their placement.


“I think everyone recognizes that people need homes, and need homes at all levels of attainability and affordability,” she said. “By oversaturating manufacturing homes in the corridor, our county runs the risk of negligibly impacting the community.”


County attorney Ben Morgan explained that the Planning Board is limited when it comes to regulating what individuals do with their owned property.


“The problem we’re having is a person who is not the individual going to reside there, purchasing a tract of land and leasing a mobile home or renting it, or doing a land package sale,” he said.


RCC’s new AI2 Center

As part of its 2024-2030 strategic plan, RCC plans to retrofit one of its buildings to become the Applied Industrial Artificial Intelligence Center of North Carolina (AI2C). Dr. Shah Ardalan, president of RCC, said, “It focuses on three important areas: Advanced manufacturing, agri-business programs, and building trades.”


Commissioners unanimously approved the request of $8,517,000 for the AI2C and other campus renovations. 


Commissioner Hope Haywood said, “You have this building already on campus. It seems to be resource to renovate it and use it some way other than storage. I think that’s a wise use of funds.”


The AI2C is projected to cost $5,895,000. Another $1,721,000 will go toward expanding RCC’s Emergency Services Training Center (ESTC) so that it can serve about 1,400 more students each year. Ardalan said the ESTC served 12,400 students in 2023 for 80 agencies.


The final $901,000 in RCC’s request is for other campus repairs and renovations around the main campus and the Archdale Center, such as roof repairs, boiler replacements, HVAC repairs, and parking lot repairs and repaving.


The money will come from the RCC capital project and the Article 46 sales tax fund.


Inspection fees increase

Fire Marshal Erik Beard asked to increase municipal fire inspection fees by $15, from $75 to $90. Commissioners approved his request.


Beard said this accounts for the growing costs associated with inspection services.


Since 2015, the Fire Marshal’s Office has done fire inspections for Franklinville, Ramseur,and Staley. In 2016, it began doing inspections in Seagrove. The Fire Marshal’s Office broke it down into a list of proposed costs per municipality:

- Franklinville: $3,420.

- Ramseur: $14,220.

- Staley: $2,070.

- Seagrove: $7,470.