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Town Takes Up Manufactured Home Ordinance

May 8th, 2017 Comments off
TownTakesUpManufacturedHomeOrdinancecreditRealtor-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

A manufactured home in Kilgore, Texas. Credit: Realtor.

In Kilgore, Texas, an ordinance that has stopped the inclusion of new manufactured homes outside of specific communities is now under scrutiny.

According to the Longview News-Journal, the ordinance was front and center for officials during a council workshop last week.

In 2008, the city council approved an ordinance that restricted new manufactured homes from being placed outside of select communities. But according to City Manager Josh Selleck, manufactured homes have been allowed outside such communities during the past nine years anyway.

Unfortunately, we’re bound by state law to enforce our code as written,” said Selleck.

And city staff no longer will allow exceptions to the code.”

Selleck suggested that the council hold a joint meeting with the planning and zoning commissions to discuss clearing up zoning ordinance issues. A date for that meeting was not set.

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Credit: Google.

Aside from mobile home parks [sic] that are licensed with the city, there are at least three other locations that appear to be mobile home parks [sic] but aren’t licensed,” said Selleck.

The question is whether they can expand or replace, and that’s part of what I think what we’re going to have to go through is how are they able to replace a mobile home [sic] if one burns, and what are the rules for the permit process.”

Based on discussions at the workshop, Selleck believes that the City Council could be in a position to formally pass any proposed changes as early as their June 27th meeting.

 

A Trend?

The case in Kilgore potentially provides hope for manufactured housing, and could signal a stop to a recent trend of limiting manufactured homes to select communities.

In December, the Linton, Indiana City Council voted to move forward with a manufacturing housing ordinance, which will require all future manufactured homes to be in a manufactured home community. The Daily Business News covered this in a story, linked here.

MobileTrailerHouseStillCreditCBSNews-SunshineHomeModernManufacturedHomeManufacturedHomeLivingNews-InsideMHVideo-575x278

Too many cities and towns have an outdated view of manufactured homes, or are being pushed by residents who don’t understand the modern MH reality into taking actions like those noted in this town in IN. When more of the public understands what inspector Becki Jackson does about modern manufactured homes, the incidents of such cases will continue. To see the Becki Jackson video and interview, click here or above.

The controversial motion passed with a 3-2 vote.

Shortly after, Indiana Manufactured Housing Association (IMHA) President Ron Breymier responded.

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Photo credit: TheLegisGroup.com

IMHA sent a letter to Mayor Wilkes and members of the Linton City Council advising them that their proposed ordinance would not be permissible under Indiana law.

Breymier shared Indiana Code IC 16-41-27-32 (b) which states the following:

A governmental body other than the state department of health may not regulate mobile homes or manufactured homes regarding habitability or minimum housing conditions unless the regulation is applicable in the same manner to other forms of residential housing in the jurisdiction.

Rather than an outright ban on the future placement of manufactured homes in Linton, which would be counter to Indiana law,” said Breymier, “IMHA recommended the city enforce the existing state law and make certain any additional manufactured homes seeking placement in Linton meet the same regulations that apply to other forms of residential housing.

Obviously, Mayor Wilkes and the Linton City Council chose to ignore that advice and adopted the new ordinance. IMHA will discuss the matter with its board of directors and determine if there is anything further we can do to address this situation.”

The Daily Business News has covered a number of NIMBY (Not-In-My-Back-Yard) cases recently, including one in Hutchinson, Kansas here.

It should also be noted that a close reading of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 provides for enhanced preemption, which ought to limit such local zoning efforts.

MHARR and state associations are often raising this issue, with one example in a case linked 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.

Town Amends Manufactured Home Ordinance

April 9th, 2017 Comments off
TownAmendsManufacturedHomeOrdinancecreditRealtor-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

A home in McCrory, Arkansas. Credit: Realtor.

In McCrory, Arkansas, manufactured home residents were faced with an incredibly difficult situation.

According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, officials in the city passed an ordinance that placed a ban on manufactured homes that were worth less than $7,500. If owners were non-compliant, they faced fines of up to $500 per day.

Residents David Watlington and Lindsey Hollaway decided to take action. The couple lives below the federal poverty line.

They sued the city of McCrory and its Police Chief, Paul Hatch, saying that the city “can banish some of its poorest residents simply because they are poor.”

The 31-page complaint says that the city ordered them to leave because they cannot afford a more expensive home and that this banishment is a “drastic punishment” that essentially criminalizes poverty and is forbidden by the Arkansas State Constitution.

The Ordinance contains no defense based on non-willfulness and no mens rea [intention or knowledge of wrongdoing] or intent requirement, meaning that simply being too poor to afford a more expensive home is sufficient for a violation,” the complaint stated.

Further, the lawsuit alleges the defendants’ order does not stem from any legitimate government interest and, despite listing four justifications for its passage (relief of overcrowding, promotion of orderly growth, health, and notification to builders), includes no justification for the wealth-based provision.”

McCrory, red marker. Credit: Google.

The complaint also stated that even if the ordinance’s authorizations were indeed civil, the law would still lack sufficient process to deprive violators of their protected property rights.

Within a few days of the lawsuit being filed, the city amended an ordinance to remove the ban, and an attorney for the city intends to ask a judge to dismiss the lawsuit in light of the ordinance’s amendment.

Equal Justice Under Law, a Washington, D.C. based group who helped to file the lawsuit, allege that the city’s intentions weren’t necessarily pure.

Defendants are hurriedly rushing to amend their Ordinance, not because they concede it is unconstitutional, but because they wish to evade any preliminary order from this Court.”

Federal Judge Price Marshall ruled that the request for a restraining order against the ordinance was moot because the city had promised not to enforce the ordinance.

 

(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.

Town Decides on Manufactured Home Ordinance

March 28th, 2017 Comments off
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The original area for the proposed community. Credit: Daily Iberian.

In a follow up to a story that the Daily Business News originally covered in February, the Iberia Parish, Louisiana Parish Council voted last week to adopt a new ordinance to regulate the development of manufactured home communities and subdivisions. This appears to be the end of the road for the development of new manufactured home communities in the parish.

Per the Daily Iberian, the ordinance has been passed back and forth between the Iberia Parish Zoning Commission and the council for months, with the Zoning Commission approving an amended version of the ordinance.

That ordinance is the one that was up for discussion last week.

The Zoning Commission decided to add two new zoning classifications, T-1 and T-2, specifically for manufactured home communities and subdivisions. One of those classifications would have to be obtained before a developer could establish a community.

There are no T-1 or T-2 districts in the parish.

This means any property to be used as a manufactured home community will need to be rezoned. Rezoning will  require public hearings that will allow neighboring landowners the opportunity to quash any proposed development before it gets off the ground.

I think this will kill mobile home park [sic] development in Iberia Parish,” said Council Chairperson Natalie Broussard.

If it requires a zoning change, it’s never going to happen.

Broussard said that her comments are based on a long running battle between the landowners of the proposed Safe Haven Mobile Home Park and nearby neighbors.

Neighbors managed to stall the development, even though many of the homes in the neighborhood already have manufactured homes on site.

On of those neighbors commented on the new regulations.

This would eliminate the problems we had,” said Emily Ransonet Kyzar.

The stalling prompted the developer, Shawn Pourciau, to file suit against the Iberia Parish Government after his preliminary approval was denied. That case is still pending in state court.

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The ordinance is discussed. Credit: Daily Iberian.

In addition to the zoning requirement, the ordinance also calls for all manufactured home communities to secure an occupational license.

Does this regulation duplicate existing laws that stated mobile home parks [sic] were required to have a license?” asked District 10 Councilman Eugene Olivier.

They are, but they don’t,said Parish Legal Counsel Andy Shealy. “Most don’t bother to get an occupational license.

The license question became an issue for another councilman.

If they are required to get an occupational license, won’t this apply to existing developments?asked District 5 Councilman Warren Gachassin Jr.

Yes, they must be reviewed yearly,” said Shealy. “That is the key.

Then it does not affect just new developments like we have been told,” said Gachassin.

There are teeth in the law. It will affect existing trailer parks [sic].”

When Shealy confirmed that it would have an effect, Gachassin made his point clearly.

When we started this, it was about public safety,” said Gachassin.

It wasn’t about the all-out war on trailer parks [sic] it has become. It is an overreach in government regulation. It is a bit much.

The eventual motion passed, 9-4. Before the vote, one community owner voiced his concern.

You can’t overregulate, or parks [sic] will leave town,” said community owner Randy Theriot. ##

 

(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.

Town Battle for Modular Inclusion

March 22nd, 2017 Comments off
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An unrelated Coastline Modular Home. Credit: Coastline Homes.

In the town of Independence, Louisiana, an intense battle has been brewing around allowing modular homes within town limits.

According to The Daily Star, Independence Mayor Angelo Mannino asked the town board last month to consider allowing modular, saying many young couples have asked to live in the homes in town.

And residents opposed to the idea were quick to give their opinion.

Resident and former council member Dale Brouilette put together a presentation for the council, saying that he does not consider modular and manufactured homes the same thing.

Years ago, about 1980, a mobile home weighed about 36,000 pounds. A modular home the same size weighed about 80,000,” said Brouilette.

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Dale Brouilette speaks to the town council regarding modular homes. Credit: The Daily Star.

Tangipahoa Tax Assessor Junior Matheu and two real state agents told me that the addition of a modular home might actually increase property values in some parts of town, but areas with $200,000- $350,000 homes would be negatively impacted.

Brouilette’s research showed that a 1,200 square-foot modular home costs $80,000, which comes out to $62.60 per square foot, while a manufactured home with 1,800 square feet would cost $145,000, which is $80.56 per square foot.

Now you can buy three-fourths of the homes in Independence for $145,000, said Brouilette, who pointed out an example of what a bank would require to finance the modular homes.

The bank requires these homes must be immobilized on a slab and the property must be owned by the person buying the home. The bank is willing to finance only 75 percent if the home is new,” said Brouilette.

The bank would only finance $108,750. You would have to have $36,650 in your pocket, not to mention closing costs,” he said. “The idea of you giving a young couple a chance to buy a home, or get in a first-time home, I don’t see it. I don’t see where you gain.

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Independence, red marker. Credit: Google.

As Daily Business News readers are already aware, the myths, and the facts surrounding manufactured housing abound. To learn more, including why manufactured housing is the solution hiding in plain sight for many to achieve the American Dream, click here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

rcwilliams-writer75x75manufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Town Council Overhauls Zoning, MH in Crosshairs

March 8th, 2017 Comments off
TownCouncilOverhaulsZoningMHinCrosshairscreditRelator-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

A manufactured home in Winterville, NC. Credit: Realtor.

In Winterville, North Carolina, the Planning Commission and the Town Council tackled zoning issues this week.

On the subject of manufactured housing, it was very clear on which side of the line some officials fell.

According to the Reflector, in dealing with permitted residential uses, the planning board voted 6-2 with planning board members Robert Briley and Dawn Poaletti dissenting, to remove class B single-family homes, which are classified as single-section manufactured homes from the list completely.

Everyone needs somewhere to live. You’re not thinking about that,” said Briley.

Having no singlewides [sic] is stupid. Land is land. No one is making any more land. I’m a country boy and can’t go along with this. It don’t make no sense. It’s a restriction on half of Pitt County.

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Mayor Doug Jackson. Official Photo.

The County has restrictions on mobile [sic] homes, too. It requires a permit,” said Mayor Doug Jackson.

Then, board member Peggy Cliborne made a motion to remove class A single family homes, classified as multi-section manufactured homes from the list as well.

It is a wise statement to remove both,” said Jackson.

I agree,” said Mayor Pro-tem Mark Smith.

I think we still should move class A doublewides to conditional use,” said Cliborne.

If I were moving to the community, I wouldn’t want to move next to a mobile home [sic].”

The motion died for a lack of a second.

Mayor Pro-tem Smith said that he is not against manufactured homes, but he does think the planning board should determine if they are allowed.

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Mayor Pro-tem Mark Smith. Official Photo.

I have no issued with mobile homes [sic] in our town. My grandmother lives in a mobile home park [sic], but we must look at where they are allowed. Now they are allowed next to $200,000 to $300,000 homes,” said Smith.

People ask, ‘Why would we allow that?’ It is a legitimate question.

Cliborne again made a motion to move class A doublewide manufactured homes to a conditional use in a joint session. Her motion did not receive a second.

We must know the condition,” said planning board member Doug Kilian, making reference to a Board of Adjustment process that requires applicants to prove the special requirement.

That would keep our housing consistent with similar housing together, which adds to the community and makes it look good,” said Winterville Councilwoman Veronica Roberson. She supports conditional use.

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Councilwoman Veronica Roberson. Official photo.

We must clarify the difference between modular homes and doublewides [sic], so it says modulars and doublewides [sic] under conditional use,” said Cliborne, agreeing with Kilian.

Moving class A homes into a conditional use would allow the development of a modular home subdivision or a doublewide [sic] subdivision,” said Roberson.

Kilian then made a motion to make class A housing as a conditional use, which Cliborne seconded.

The motion then passed unanimously.

NIMBYnotInMyBackYard

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

 

NIMBY?

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. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

rcwilliams-writer75x75manufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

MHC Gets Assistance From Town Council

March 1st, 2017 Comments off
MHCResidentsFaceEvictionUncertainFuturecreditHamptonCountyGuardian-postedtotheDailyBusinessNewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

The L&L Mobile Home Park. Credit: Hampton County Guardian.

In Hampton, South Carolina last night, Mayor John Rhoden and the Town Council extended a hand to a group of manufactured home community residents in an effort to make the best of an unfortunate situation.

According to the Hampton County Guardian, residents of L&L Trailer Park got word late last year that they would be forced to relocate their homes.

 

The Town of Hampton obtained the property from the Forfeited Land Commission during a December delinquent tax sale.

The town then sold the property to a group that plans to use the land to generate solar power.

Residents were then given 30 days to relocate, which is required by South Carolina law.

The council gave the residents a 30-day extension after hearing their concerns last month, but a handful of residents were at last night’s meeting to ask for additional time.

We are trying to find out where we stand as far as time,said resident Natasha Thomas, a spokesperson for the group.

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Hampton, South Carolina Town Council. Mayor Rhoden, center. Credit: Hampton SC.

I still haven’t been able to move my mobile home [sic] and I need more time. Most of us haven’t been able to move.

Thomas also said that she has found space in another community, but the cost of moving her home is $3,500, which she does not have.

I’m just a cook,” said Thomas.

We are just trying to find out if there is any kind of assistance.

What happened next surprised some of those in attendance.

Unlike their last meeting, Hampton officials had more answers and ideas this time, including assistance from a Palmetto Electric Cooperative community trust fund.

I have talked to Palmetto Trust and I have the applications, but you all will have to fill them out,said Rhoden.

If you fill it out and bring it back to me, I will hand deliver it for you.

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Hampton, South Carolina. Credit: Google.

Officials told residents that they they could pick up applications at the town hall, and that they had been in touch with the Lowcountry Council of Governments to see if there were any assistance funds available from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The mayor and council then took an additional step. They unanimously approved a second 30-day extension for the remaining trailer park residents.

We will work with you,said Rhoden.

We aren’t going to leave you out in the cold,” said Mayor Pro Tem Pete Hagood. ##

 

(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.