County officials have killed a proposed ordinance amendment that would have allowed mobile homes to occupy individual lots throughout Salt Lake County and required them to meet the same code requirements as site-built houses.
The Salt Lake County Planning Commission's rejection of the proposed change Tuesday is a victory for mobile-home residents in the Herriman area who said the ordinance was aimed specifically at them, and a defeat for mobile-home dealers and manufacturers, who supported the change.Under current county ordinance, mobile homes are prohibited in Salt Lake County, except in parks or subdivisions specially designated as mobile-home locations.
The proposed change, which would have allowed a mobile home to occupy any vacant lot in the county if certain conditions were met, was part of a settlement of a 1987 suit filed against the county by the mobile-home industry. Industry officials are expected to appeal the Planning Commission's rejection of the ordinance to county commissioners.
The change would have required mobile homes placed on any lot to meet the same subdivision, zoning, flood control, building code, fire safety and health standards that apply to all other homes.
It also would have allowed owners of mobile homes now illegally occupying lots outside designated parks or subdivisions to legally remain at their current locations if they met certain standards. Those owners would have been required to meet by 1991 the codes that were in force when the mobile home was first illegally placed at its present location.
In addition, the proposed change would have taxed mobile homes as real property rather than as personal property as they now are taxed.
Herriman-area mobile-home dwellers had opposed the change, saying meeting the new requirements would cost more than they could afford and force them to give up their homes. They saw the amendment as a plot by county officials and owners of nearby exclusive homes to remove mobile homes from the Herriman area.
Although county planners Tuesday asked Planning Commission members to consider relaxing some of the tougher requirements of the proposed change, members instead voted to reject the amendment.
The purpose of zoning ordinances is to set apart dissimilar uses, but the proposed change would have allowed dissimilar uses to exist side by side, said commission member James W. Smith.
"The needs of the few should not take precedence over the majority of county residents," Smith said in moving for denial of the change.
Planning Commission Chairwoman Madelyn Player said county planners now should seek information on how planners in other states are addressing mobile home zoning concerns.
Herriman-area resident Ken Barkwick, an opponent of the proposed change, was unmollified by the Planning Commission's decision in favor of his position. Barwick berated members following their vote, accusing them of violating state laws and the Constitution.