County adopts new mobile home standards

Published 6:36 am Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A citizen addressing Decatur County commissioners Tuesday night asked them not to unfairly burden people who buy and sell mobile homes.

At their Tuesday meeting, county commissioners adopted new minimum health and safety standards for pre-owned manufactured homes, a move Chairman Earl Perry said was prompted by changes in Georgia law.

However, Orris Smith, who said he has been in the business of renovating and selling mobile homes for more than four decades, was in opposition to increased regulation concerning mobile homes.

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Chairman Perry said a new Georgia law prohibits counties from imposing health and safety standards based upon the age of a manufactured home. The law states that after Sept. 1, 2010, any person who owns or has the right to real property may install a pre-owned manufactured home on their property, provided they are in compliance with applicable local zoning ordinances.

Smith said there are several existing fees and regulations at different levels of government that he believes discriminate against mobile homes. He noted the City of Bainbridge’s ban on placement of mobile homes within city limits and said he finds it hard to locate properties in the county on which people are permitted or financially able to place a mobile home.

County Planning Director Paul Souti said the newly adopted requirements are already found in the county’s building code. Souti said no permit fees are being changed and explained a $200 refundable deposit is to ensure the safety and quality of manufactured homes being moved in from outside the county.

County ordinance requires a minimum of 1.5 acres for the placement of any residential unit, which Souti said is to ensure compliance with Environmental Health Department standards related to water wells and septic tanks. Minimum acreage for housing units reduces to three-fourths of an acre when either public water or public sewage is available, and to 10,000 feet if both are available, he said.