The Salt Lake County Commission revived a mobile-home ordinance previously rejected by the Planning Commission allowing trailer homes and manufactured homes to occupy individual lots throughout the county.
Under a previous ordinance, mobile homes were prohibited in Salt Lake County except in parks or subdivisions specially designated as mobile-home locations.The new ordinance permits pre-fabricated home construction in residential areas but imposes the same code standards governing conventional homes as well as other guidelines regulating home width and other features.
The commission decision is a result of an appeal of a March vote by the county's Planning Commission rejecting the measure because it was unenforceable and would violate the spirit of zoning ordinances.
The ordinance would also permit placement of mobile homes (manufactured homes) on vacant lots if the dwellings meet federal housing standards set in the National Manufactured Housing Construction & Safety Standards Act of 1974. Existing illegal mobile homes would be legalized.
Under the ordinance, mobile homes also must have permanent foundations, sloped roofs, approved exterior siding and be at least 20 feet wide.
Additionally, the ordinance would tax mobile homes as real property rather than as personal property as they were previously taxed.
Several mobile-home industry representatives and owners spoke in favor of the measure, saying it would promote affordable housing in the area without jeopardizing aesthetics of county neighborhoods.
Nationally, manufactured homes cost $20.61 per square foot to construct while site-built homes cost $53.28 per square foot to build, a Utah Manufactured Housing Association official told the commission.
"We're talking about aesthetically pleasing manufactured homes, not mobile homes," the official added.
Although voting in favor of the measure, Commissioner Bart Barker said he was concerned the ordinance would permit inexpensive manufactured homes to be built adjacent to expensive homes in, for example, the prestigious Mount Olympus Cove area.
"I suspect we will revisit this issue again," he said, referring to the possibility that angry homeowners may object to the ordinance permitting construction of pre-fabricated homes in their neighborhoods.