06/10/05 — Mobile home park owner complains about county plan

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Mobile home park owner complains about county plan

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on June 10, 2005 1:48 PM

A Wayne County mobile home park owner told county commissioners Tuesday that the county's plan to ban the movement of older mobile homes is unfair.

Lonnie Casey Jr. said mobile homes are being unfairly targeted for regulation.

"During the last commissioner meeting, I was offended," he said. "The only thing they classified as junk was mobile homes or manufactured housing."

Casey was referring to the county's proposed mobile home ordinance, which was the subject of a public hearing in April.

The proposed ordinance would not permit any mobile home more than 15 years old to be moved into the county's unincorporated areas.

The ban would apply to homes moving from other counties and to those that are currently located inside the county's municipalities.

If an owner wanted to move a 15-year-old home that is already set up in the county, he or she would have 30 days to do so under the proposed regulations.

Dealers and representatives from the manufactured housing industry objected to the age requirement and told commissioners to go back to the recommendation of the county Planning Board, which would have nearly doubled the age limit.

In December, the Planning Board recommended that no mobile home that was manufactured before June 15, 1976, be allowed to relocate within the county. Planners chose the date because that is when the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development established a building code for manufactured housing.

Commissioners discussed the ban during several work sessions over the past few months, but decided on April 5 to change the age requirement.

Casey said he conducted a "windshield survey" of buildings around the county, looking at both site-built structures and mobile homes that could be classified as dilapidated, or unsafe.

He said that out of the 771 buildings he looked at, the majority of those run down and beyond repair were site-built structures. He said there were less than 50 mobile homes in similar shape.

"Somebody has tunnel vision," Casey said. "You disrespect citizens when you make comments like that."