2. What is
a Manufactured Home
3.City Zoning Ordinances
3.3 Great Falls
4. Code Requirements
5. Objectives of Zoning Ordinances
6. Appearance Comparisons
7. Value Considerations
8. Suggested Zoning
|| 5. Objectives
of Zoning Ordinances
Review of the various zoning ordinances
reveal a wide disparity in the understanding of manufactured housing
and the role it plays in the housing market. Few of the ordinances
fully conform to the language of applicable Montana State Codes.
To better understand the role of manufactured housing, the primary
objectives of zoning should be re-visited, particularly those
areas that involve (1) construction and safety, (2) appearance,
and (3) property values.
The issue of construction and safety
as applied to manufactured housing is resolved in the language
of state law and case history. So long as the manufactured house
meets the requirements of state law and each house is certified
to comply with the standards of the national Manufactured Housing
Construction and Safety Standards, the issue becomes moot. The
HUD-referenced CABO standards are considered equivalent to any
adopted building code. Local codes, such as the Uniform Building
Code, may apply only to those additions to a manufactured home
that are constructed on-site or without CABO certification such
as foundations, porches, decks, and garages.
Issues of appearance can be and are considered
in a variety of ways. The Billings code defines issues of appearance
in a Class A manufactured home but severely, by comparison, restricts
placement of manufactured homes. The Great Falls code addresses
appearance, but departs from the language of Title 70-2-203(6)
by being both more and less lenient.
Appearance standards can be impacted
positively or negatively regardless of the type of construction.
They should be developed carefully and applied equally to all
types of construction with the intent of establishing the aesthetic
value of neighborhoods.
Property value issues are valid and are
a necessary part of zoning regulations. There is, however, a need
for caution in assuming that manufactured housing will negatively
values. Title 70-2-202(3) refers to a —rebuttable presumption‚
that the placement of a manufactured home will not adversely affect
property values of conventional housing. This would suggest that
manufactured housing should not be —assumed‚ to reduce property
value. Appraisal comparisons should be made to demonstrate whether
property values will be affected or not.
Manufactured housing is directed toward
the affordable housing market, a sector that comprises a significant
number of home buyers in the State of Montana. Restricting the
use of quality affordable housing without due consideration is
a disservice to those that need access to this market. When there
are valid reasons to restrict placement of manufactured housing,
efforts should be made to provide opportunities for siting these
homes elsewhere. This can be achieved through the use of Manufactured
Home Park districts and transitional zones between districts.
Some areas may be expanded to allow manufactured homes that demonstrate
their ability to match other types of permitted homes in appearance