Lincoln court OKs P&Z's mobile home amendment

December 15, 2004|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - A planning and zoning amendment passed Tuesday by Lincoln County Fiscal Court will help protect mobile home buyers from unknowingly breaking the law. Those now being held responsible should know better, said lawmakers.

Retailers are now under the gun to make sure their customers have obtained an installation permit before the mobile home is delivered and set up on property.

"All of the retail sales in this county are aware of the need for an installation permit, and some of the consumers are not," said county building inspector Rhonda Brown. The county was having difficulty with a retailer setting up mobile home illegally on the weekends or evenings without the $225 permit. The permit is required for built homes as well.

The amendment will protect buyers from incurring heavy fines when retailers fail to insure an installation permit has been obtained for them to deliver the home. But the measure also saves lives, said Lincoln County Judge-Executive Buckwheat Gilbert.


By enforcing the permit code, the county is able to assure the mobile homes are being installed correctly.

"The foundation has to be right, the underpinning has to be right, the porches have to be right, and the tie-downs so the wind don't blow it up," Gilbert explained. "It saves lives."

The amendment went into effect immediately with unanimous backing by the fiscal court.

Not so supportive of second amendment

Fiscal court magistrates were not so supportive of a second mobile home amendment discussed, one set to let owners not conforming to minimum lot sizes replace their homes without penalty.

Mobile homes that were placed on lots smaller than the mandatory minimums listed by the planing and zoning ordinance were grandfathered into the law, meaning allowed to remain legally, if they were already established before the ordinance passed in earlier this year. But questions arose over allowing owners to replace that mobile home and remain on the non-conforming lot.

Magistrates voted 4-1 Thursday to approve the first reading of an amendment that would allow owners to replace old mobile homes on small lots yet remain grandfathered into the planning ordinance.

Waynesburg Magistrate Earlin Cress supported the motion.

"It's just going to be an eyesore. The longer it goes, the worse it will get ... if you don't let them update," said Cress.

Stanford Magistrate Mark Denham disagreed. The amendment "doesn't conform to planning and zoning as it was designed," he said. Plus, there is the possibility of ground water contamination, should there be more than one mobile home on a small lot, though the amendment stipulates that the health department must approve the change as well.

The amendment goes against the spirit of the zoning ordinance, Denham added. There are several guiding factors in deciding where a mobile home can legally be placed, and the minimum lot size of one acre was determined sufficient by the fiscal court. "There are rules and regulations you have to adhere to, and that's one of them."

But the proposed amendment had already become an issue in Crab Orchard, Magistrate Bill Dyehouse said, and should be passed to help their constituents improve themselves.

"We can't just make people live in an old trailer for years, if they want to upgrade it, they should have the right to do so."

The second reading of the amendment will be at the next fiscal court meeting at 9 a.m. Jan. 13 in the old Kentucky Utilities building.

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