Manufactured homes not allowed in the City

Just a reminder that sometimes it helps to read the actual City ordinance language. I spoke to a city planner yesterday about expanding an existing MHC to add new homes. The planner told me that manufactured homes are not allowed in the City. When I pressed she explained that the City Council had passed an ordinance banning “trailer homes”.

That sounded unusual to me, so I read the zoning ordinance for myself and it turns out the ordinance language said “Mobile homes, as defined herein, are prohibited within XXX City.” Per the ordinance, mobile homes are defined as “A transportable factory built housing unit built prior to June 15, 1976, in accordance with a state mobile home code which existed prior to the Federal Manufactured Housing and Safety Standards Act (HUD Code).”

However, directly above that definition was one for Manufactured Homes, which are not prohibited in the City. I called to ask the planner about the possibility of adding new “manufactured homes” to the existing park, but I haven’t got a call back yet.

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I strongly agree with Clearwell Engineering. Many people, especially with online forums, take advice from others as gospel and do not go directly to the source. I strongly urge everyone to research from the source, in your case the local ordinance. Often what happens is one person tells another who tells another and it becomes a rumor. The rumor is spread like a truth. It’s a classic kindergarten game of “telephone” and can lead to very bad decisions.

City planners are not “the source.” Many of them are overworked and underpaid and they tell you what they learned over the years by hearing what others in the office have said in similar circumstances, which again is a game of telephone. They cite laws that are untrue all the time, and usually it is because they are unaware.

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It appears to me that you can even have “trailer homes” as long as they were manufactured after June 15, 1976.

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