Mobile homes must meet tougher standards

By Brandon Evans | Published Sunday, January 23, 2011

In order to clean up the appearance of neighborhoods, the Newark City Council unanimously passed an ordinance regarding used mobile homes Thursday night.

The new law requires that all pre-owned mobile homes must pass certain requirements before being moved into city limits. City hall and council members had received complaints about dilapidated trailers being moved into neighborhoods over the past year.

“We’ve had people begging for attention on this issue,” said mayor pro tem Laura Pixler.

The mobile homes sat for long periods of time before being repaired and renovated, creating eyesores in neighborhoods. The goal of the ordinance is to have homes be ready to be lived in when they are placed on a lot in town.

“There has been a long-term adverse effect on our residents because they’ve had to live next to refurbishment lots,” said council member Chana Massey.

The law ensures pre-owned homes must meet minimum health and safety standards before being issued a permit or certificate of occupancy. It also requires all used mobile homes placed in town to have a minimum 60-day warranty.

“This ordinance tries to keep condemned property from coming into Newark,” said city secretary Diane Rasor.

Run-down mobile homes moved into Country Living Estates have drawn a slew of complaints from residents over the past year. Some are missing windows, doors, skirts and even chunks of outside walls.

Steve Eaton, owner of Country Living Estates, said the ordinance would prove a burden to his business.

“This will affect us profoundly,” Eaton said. “When we buy a used home, we’ll have to pay for a place to stage it while we rehab it. That’s a major deterrent to bringing homes in. It will increase the cost substantially.”

“What if you shut down mobile homes coming into Newark?” he asked the council.

Council member Bob Wells said that was not the intention of the new law.

“This is not a punitive measure,” Wells said. “There are homes going in now that are junk. We’re not trying to hurt you or your business. If you see something in this ordinance that is not working, come back and tell us, and we can look at amending it.”

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