Planners OK manufactured home amendments
An ordinance that would overhaul Siloam Springs’ manufactured home development code is one step closer to approval after planners recommended approval by the Board of Directors on Tuesday. This week’s Planning and Zoning Commission meeting featured an agenda with a single item that contained an array of amendments to the city code on manufactured homes.
In May, a preliminary plat permit request for a manufactured home development at the southern edge of city limits led staff to realize it had been around 20 years since the city’s manufactured home development code was last updated, said Senior Planner Ben Rhoads. City staff examined other city ordinances to get ideas for the code update, Rhoads said.
If the suite of code amendments are approved, manufactured home developments will be established by special use permit only, which requires extra oversight by the Board of Directors. The code amendments would also introduce updated definitions, simplified setback requirements, address add-ons like porches or lean-tos, and require a building permit to be issued in order to set a home in place.
During the public comments portion of the meeting, Ron Homeyer, who was the civil engineer representing the manufactured home development that was proposed in May, spoke about some problems he saw with the amendments.
Several of the amendment’s provisions are stricter for manufactured home developments than for other residential developments, Homeyer said.
Single-family and multifamily developments aren’t subject to as stringent standards as it relates to required open space, fencing and additional parking, Homeyer said.
“The crux of the issue is that we seem to be adding additional restrictions to manufactured homes that we don’t add to anything else, and I don’t understand why,” Homeyer said.
Homeyer also said that some of the landscaping standards were vague and
I don’t want anyone to think we are against manufactured homes. (This) ordinance is to restrict them and make them look neat. Karl Mounger Planning and Zoning Commission chairman
would make it difficult for developers.
Planning and Zoning Commission chairman Karl Mounger said he thought the specifics should be decided during a project’s initial planning phase. City Attorney Jay Williams invited Homeyer to work with city staff to clarify language before the amendments are considered by the Board of Directors later this week.
The city has a zoning designation set aside for manufactured home developments, designated M-H. Rhoads said there were no unused M-H zones, and any additional sites for manufactured home developments would first need to to rezoned.
“I don’t want anyone to think we are against manufactured homes,” Mounger said. “(This) ordinance is to restrict them and make them look neat.”
After the Commission’s approval on Tuesday, the amendments will go to the Board of Directors meeting on Sept. 19. The amendment is on an accelerated schedule that would keep it on pace to be approved one day before the city’s moratorium on manufactured home developments ends, Rhoads said. The amendments will be accompanied by a building code amendment that relates specifically to manufactured homes, but was not subject to consideration by commission members.