MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A disabled homeowner is searching for answers after a recent zoning violation could cause him and his family to up and move.
As a double amputee, Margarito Sotelo’s life has already been challenging but he feels this recent issue has only added stress.
For the past few years, Sotelo has gotten inside his van to get around by going up a ramp in his wheelchair and then in through a sliding door after 50,000 tons of metal fell on him 15 years ago.
His carport gives him enough space and shade to get in and out.
“Two times already, I almost fell. That’s why I put up this carport,” he said.
But Sotelo said Memphis-Shelby County Planning and Development told him three months ago that his metal carport had to go and called it a “zoning violation.”
“They tell me I give you a month and I don’t wanna see again in one month or I take you to court,” he said.
Sotelo said he went downtown to turn in a letter from his doctor stating that he is a double amputee battling cancer who needs a carport, but even that was another obstacle.
“All the way down and I have to cross the street in my wheelchair,” he said.
We reached out to Shelby County for answers. They told us Sotelo was given time to file for relief from the zoning regulations under what’s called a variance, but right now, they don’t see an application in their system.
Sotelo claims he’s done his part and now he is hoping Shelby County has him covered. He said if not, he would go ahead and sell his house.
Shelby County told us they will be reaching out to see if he needs assistance filing the paperwork.