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NIMBY? Fear? Ignorance? MHC Proposal on Hold

May 4th, 2017 Comments off
NIMBYnotInMyBackYard

Credit: OHRC.ON.CA, under fair use.

In Smyrna, North Carolina, landowner Carolyn Floyd-Robinson thought she had “checked all the boxes” when she was ready to contribute to the community. The response she received from city commissioner was not what she expected.

According to the Red Springs Citizen, Robinson appeared before the commissioners this week, seeking a conditional-use permit that would allow her to establish a 43- site manufactured home community on 24 acres she owns.

The property, which Robinson has owned for more than 10 years, is farmland and located in an area zoned residential/agricultural.

This land has always been family owned and I want to enhance the community,” Robinson told commissioners.

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Carolyn Floyd-Robinson. Credit: Red Springs Citizen.

It will be phased in in sections, the homes will all be new, and the leasing will be done through a property management company. There will be background checks, references will be required and there will be a property manager on site.”

Robinson did not receive the response she expected.

Three nearby property owners said that they are concerned a “mobile home park” would be a magnet for criminal activity. All three cited drug use and other criminal activities they have witnessed at a nearby community.

We don’t want that around our children,” said property owner Antionette Thompson.

We don’t need drugs in the area,” said Dematrius Hill. “It only takes one person with the wrong mindset.”

The responses were enough for commissioner Berlester Campbell to make a motion to table the request for the permit after hearing Robinson and opponents of the park argue their cases before the commissioners.

I know where the property is and I know it is all family land,” said Campbell. “I want us to sit down and discuss Wiregrass Road before this goes any further.”

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Smyrna, North Carolina (red marker). Credit: Google.

For Robinson, she believes that people had an opportunity to voice their opposition prior to her taking costly action.

I object,” said Robinson.

I’ve invested money in the project since the Planning Board approved my plans and no one came to that board’s meeting to voice objections.”

The commissioners say they will revisit the request in June.

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Danny Feagin. Credit: Aiken Standard.

The Daily Business News has covered a number of potential NIMBY (Not-In-My-Back-Yard) stories recently, where current residents appear to be working to keep manufactured homes or communities out. Most notable is the case in Aiken, South Carolinawhere Councilman Danny Feagin was quoted as saying “As long as it keeps the mobile home parks [sic] out, I think the folks would be satisfied,” in relation to a proposed rezoning ordinance.

For more on the myths and facts surrounding manufactured housing, and the opportunity for millions to achieve the American Dream of home ownership, click here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

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RC Williams, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

MHC Expansion Proposal Makes Progress

May 1st, 2017 Comments off
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A home in Big Maple. Credit: Remax.

In a story that the Daily Business News originally covered last October, the Sechelt, British Columbia council has given second and third readings to a proposed community plan and zoning amendments for expansion of the Big Maple Mobile Home Park.

According to the Coast Reporter, developer Chapman Creek Holdings Ltd. wants to rezone two lots adjacent to Big Maple Mobile Home Park to R-5, a designation that would expand the park by 1.55 hectares to accommodate about 28 additional manufactured homes.

Back in October, directors with the Sunshine Coast Regional Districts’ (SCRD) planning and community development committee in British Columbia, Canada addressed a referral from Sechelt on the expansion, which was met with a positive response.

I really wish that people would search out locations in OCPs where mobile home parks [sic] could go in, because it is one solution for people to have affordable housing,” said Lorne Lewis of Elphinstone, who is also a big proponent for manufactured housing as an affordable option.

During the readings, Sechelt Mayor Bruce Milne pulled no punches.

We plan to apply tough environmental standards to the project,” said Milne.

We need to hold the mitigating geotechnical and environmental factors to the highest standards. The district wants to use standards set by its own Water Resource Center for design of the mobile park’s [sic] new sewer system. The standards of Vancouver Coastal Health and the Ministry of Environment may be considerably lower.”

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Big Maples (red marker). Credit: Google.

At a March 22nd public hearing on the matter, members of the public expressed concerns about potential flood hazards, loss of wildlife habitat and impacts from traffic.

Complaints about a recurring smell from the original Big Maple wastewater treatment plant were also expressed, but Milne says that the new owners have committed to installing a new system and connecting all of the current homes to bring the community up to standard.

It will be an overall improvement,” said Milne.

Council member Noel Muller agreed, and also spoke to the need for affordable housing.

There were a lot of things to weigh for this, such as what’s going to happen to Chapman Creek. That hinges on the septic system,” said Muller.

We have a desperate need for affordable housing in this district and that’s why I’m voting in favor.”

The council did not provide additional details on next steps regarding the proposal during the readings, but the Daily Business News will continue to monitor its progress. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

 

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RC Williams, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

MHC Residents Hear Proposal for Superstorm Sandy Relief

February 8th, 2017 Comments off
MHCResidentsHearProposalforSuperstormSandyReliefcreditBayShoreHomeSales-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

The entrance to Ba Mar MHC in Stony Point, New York. Credit: Bayshore Home Sales.

For the residents of Ba Mar Manufactured Home Community in Stony Point, New York, Superstorm Sandy is still fresh in their minds from the damage it inflicted in 2012.

On January 26th, residents packed Stony Point Center to learn about what options would be available to them through the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR).

According to the Rockland Times, this is not the first program offered, but it may very well be the last.

The problem is that the limit on what can be offered and spent by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is capped. Under the new proposal, those with a family of four or more would receive up to $125,000; three people, up to $115,000; for one or two people, up to $105,000.

Funds can be used to either buy a new home in another manufactured community, receive homeownership assistance for a single family house or condo, or receive 42 months of rent, made in two payments, based on household composition and eligibility.

For those who choose to take advantage of one of the three options, they would have their Ba Mar home demolished with installation costs for only a new home located outside the flood plain zone at no charge to them.

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A home in the Ba Mar community. Credit: Bayshore Home Sales.

Moving costs would be covered by the Federal Highway Administration, with a standard relocation rate of $1,000-$2,000.

But many of the residents at the meeting expressed concerns about a number of potential issues.

Those that have children in the North Rockland School District had concerns about finding a new manufactured home in the same area, or not being eligible for homeownership due to poor credit.

Other residents said that rent offers most likely would not likely cover the average rental fees.

And comments from a resident who has already moved seemed to validate some of the concerns.

The cost for both a deck and a shed cost me $5000 out of pocket,” said Nancy McErleane, who had already moved to a new manufactured home in Stony Point under a previous GOSR offer.

You need a deck to get into the house.

Supervisor Jim Monaghan reassured the audience that the Ba Mar property is zoned for manufactured homes and will remain that way. For those who want to stay put, they can.

The GOSR provided caseworkers at the meeting to help residents get the process started if they wanted to take one of the relocation options, and would have someone on site at the community 2 to 3 times per week to help residents as needed.

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Credit: Bayshore Home Sales.

I hope things will work out for people still living here,” said Ba Mar spokesperson Millie Garcia.

Manufactured home communities are few and many residents will have difficulty finding decent housing, whether in North Rockland or elsewhere.

For at least one former resident, it’s not that easy.

We lost everything,” said Andy Lopez.

And there is no help out there for us.

The Rockland Action Coalition is working with GOSR to help Ba Mar homeowners and renters decide the next step. RAC can be reached at 845-708-5799 Ext. 202. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Proposal to Keep Manufactured Housing Out Sent Back to Planning Commission

January 17th, 2017 Comments off
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Nimby comic credit as shown, used here under fair use guidelines.

In another case of NIMBY (Not-In-My-Back-Yard), a South Carolina County Council is asking for more clarity.

The Aiken County Council has sent a proposed rezoning back to the planning commission to review alternate zoning of some or all of the area.

According to the Aiken Standard, last month the County Council passed the first of three readings on a proposed amendment to the Aiken County Official Zoning and Development District to rezone 362 tax parcels, or approximately 1,935 acres.

The Council decided this month to continue second reading on the ordinance until its Feb. 21 meeting to allow for review of alternate plans.

The reason that residents wanted to rezone the area? The potential for a large manufactured home community.

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Stephen Strohminger. Credit: Aiken Standard.

The reason residents wanted to rezone the area is to keep mobile home parks [sic] out,” said Aiken County Planning Director Stephen Strohminger.

Residents in the area had reached out to former County Councilwoman LaWana McKenzie and District 3’s new representative Councilman Danny Feagin, concerned with the possibility of a large, manufactured home park.

They wanted some protection,” said Strohminger.

Strohminger shared that Residential Use Zoning (RD) limits the uses to single-family and multifamily residential, including manufactured homes but not manufactured home communities. It also included crops, bed and breakfast inns, day cares, and uses complimentary to residential such as parks, churches, elementary schools, utilities, and police/fire.

During the council meeting, Strohminger said Rural Development District (RUD) zoning allows for manufactured home communities.

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Danny Feagin. Credit: Aiken Standard.

When asked how the residents would feel regarding potential zoning changes, Councilman Feagin provided an ominous answer.

As long as it keeps the mobile home parks [sic] out, I think the folks would be satisfied,” said Feagin.

 

Potential MH Impact 

As readers of the Daily Business News may be aware, South Carolina has the highest percentage of manufactured housing in the U.S., with nearly 19 percent of all housing in the state falling into the MH category.

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Ed Schafer. Credit: MHISC.

The potential zoning actions by Aiken County could have far reaching impact.

For the last three or four years, the South Carolina association’s focus is to move beyond killing bad zoning proposals and working to reopen areas that have been closed to manufactured homes for many years,” said Ed Schafer, Government Affairs Director for the Manufactured Housing Institute of SC.

In some areas it’s been easy. Progressive planning officials in several towns have been very interested in using manufactured homes for ‘urban’ infill.

You can find the full commentary from Schafer and others on zoning linked here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Zoning Changes on Tap for Manufactured Housing

September 27th, 2013 Comments off

A new proposal from the Columbus Junction (Iowa) Planning and Zoning Commission to the city council would create a manufactured housing (MH) district, and delete MH from R-2 and R-3 residential districts. According to muscatinejournal.com, current ordinances require any MH outside of a community to be placed on a permanent foundation and converted to real estate. The proposed map will be presented at the Oct. 9, 2013 public hearing. MHProNews understands before the changes can go into effect they must be read and passed three times by the city council.

(Photo credit: Pine Grove Manufactured Homes)

Shipping Containers Re-purposed as Modular Storefronts

September 17th, 2013 Comments off

The 12-story rundown, vacant Plaza hotel on the southside of downtown Dallas is getting a makeover in the form of a 220-room Holiday Inn, part of a $34 million project. Included in the plan is 1,800 square-feet of commercial space at the edge of the motel’s parking lot that will be comprised of shipping containers re-purposed as modular units. According to the Dallas Morning News, the developers are seeking $2.3 million in tax increment financing district funds to help defray infrastructure costs. If the Dallas City Council Economic Development Committee approves, MHProNews has learned the proposal will be on the Dallas City Council’s agenda at their next meeting. Completion is anticipated for next year.

(Image credit: treehugger–shipping container modular apartments converted by Sea Box)

Town Turns Down Manufactured Housing

September 9th, 2013 Comments off

A petition to rezone a subdivision to allow manufactured homes to be sited in Lake Hamilton, Florida, just east of Lakeland was denied on second reading at the town council’s meeting Sept. 3, according to theledger.com. Lee Saunders wanted to put conventionally-built homes on five of the 3.5 acre lots, and two manufactured homes on each of the other two parcels, but the council rejected the proposal. Noting it’s affordable housing, Saunders said, “If you make $32,000 a year and need a 2,000-square-foot house, you don’t have a lot of options. People will buy what they can afford.” He added the town is facing a tough budget year, and that undeveloped the land only brings in $120 in property taxes because it is zoned agricultural, as MHProNews has learned.

(Image credit: Wikipedia)

Request to Re-zone from Manufactured Housing to Apartments Set to Be Denied

September 4th, 2013 Comments off

A developer’s plan to rezone 19 plus acres platted for 73 manufactured homes, to 19 apartment buildings with 154 units, is being nixed by Iowa City (Iowa) planning staffers. Although there is already a concentration of multifamily housing on that side of town, the primary reason for denying the proposal, according to Jeff Davidson, director of planning and community development, is one private street that now goes through the manufactured home community would be insufficient to serve all the residents. The city says the road is too narrow, a public safety concern of the fire department. Developer Steve Gordon of AM Management, Inc. says the project would bring “much needed new rental units for working individuals and their families,” and generate $215,000 annual property taxes for the city and add $11 million to the city’s tax base. According to thegazette.com, the city’s comprehensive housing plan seeks small, affordable multifamily buildings on corners adjoining main streets. The planning and zoning commission will meet Sept. 5 to consider the application. MHProNews understands developers typically alter their plans when they know planners are lined up against them.

(Image credit: Wikipedia)

New FHA Proposal could Cost Lenders more

August 15th, 2013 Comments off

It will more expensive for lenders to do business with the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) if a new method for determining lenders’ liability for poorly written loans that default is adopted. Currently, when defects are discovered lenders have to eat the losses on those loans. Under the new proposal, FHA would conduct a sampling of loans, determine the percent that have underwriting errors, extrapolate that number to the portfolio and the lender than pays an “estimated total risk” to FHA. Phillip Schulman of K&L Gates law firm, and a former lawyer with HUD, says, “If this goes through, it means it will be a lot more expensive to be an FHA lender. If a lender runs the risk that every time he makes a mistake it will be multiplied against his entire portfolio, he has to be very cautious.” In June 2013, of 6,251 loans FHA reviewed from the first quarter, only 19 percent had no mistakes, while 44 percent were unacceptable, and 37 percent were deficient, according to nationalmortgagenews. In addition, if the percent of loans with defects crosses a particular line, MHProNews has learned it would automatically trigger more scrutiny.

(Image credit: hansafx)

HUD Issues Ground Anchor Proposal for Manufactured Homes

July 29th, 2013 Comments off

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has published a proposed ground anchor testing and installation rule for manufactured housing in the July 26, 2013 edition of the Federal Register. The proposal would adopt recommendations made by the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee to determine ground anchor performance. Since there is no national test method for rating ground assemblies in different soil classifications, the proposal would establish a uniform test method to be used by all states. As MHProNews has learned, comments from interested parties are due by Sept. 24, 2013. For the Federal Register text, please click here.

(Image credit: Department of Housing and Urban Development)