Planners want manufactured home limits

Published on Thu, May 3, 2001
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Planners want manufactured home limits

by Meg Olson

Blaine’s planning commission is recommending to city council a pared-down ordinance prohibiting manufactured homes as residential infill but allowing them in special subdivisions and parks.

“We regrettably felt allowing manufactured homes in residential neighborhoods would reduce those neighborhoods,” said planning commission chairman Brad O’Neill.

At their April 26 meeting commissioners accepted the advice of land-use committee members who have spent dozens of hours gathering public input and reviewing staff proposals to clarify the rules for manufactured housing in Blaine.

The ordinance, which city council will consider on its May 14 agenda, eliminates a proposal to allow manufactured homes on any single-family lot if they meet a standard of “acceptable similarity” with neighboring homes and are within ten percent of their value.

“We thought there might be a domino effect of diminishing values,”said O’Neill. “The product is inherently not equal in value. We became convinced that enforcing similarity standards would be extremely difficult and could degenerate into a pissing match between neighbors,” he added.
Under the proposed ordinance, manufactured home subdivisions, not defined in the existing code, and manufactured home parks could be created in the planned residential zone, located east of Lincoln Park.

The subdivisions would contain ten or more lots sold to residents., required to conform to city subdivision regulations for setbacks, lot size and roads.

Manufactured home parks would allow higher density, up to 150 percent of the density allowed in other developments. Manufactured and mobile home owners would rent, not own, their space and the park owner would be responsible for utilities, landscaping and site maintenance.

O’Neill said he did share the concern of some members of the public that the proposal would ‘ghettoize’ east Blaine. “My experience in that area is that it doesn’t have as much to do with the product as with pride of ownership,” he said. O’Neill recalled affordable housing projects he had worked on that drew fire for similar reasons. “Some of those neighborhoods had a sense of pride and community and turned out fabulous,” he said..

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