Monday, February 3, 2014

Cody, WY City Planners Dumb about Modular Homes

The denial of a variance to put a modular home on the North Fork near Cody, Wyoming could lead to re-evaluating county building regulations.

The county commission denied Brian McDaniel’s request Tuesday for a variance to install a 3,000-foot modular home northeast of 62 Green Creek Road due to a regulation in the North Fork Planning Area that prohibits mobile homes, including manufactured and modular homes.

This is the proposed site for the modular home

McDaniel says 70 percent of the home would be constructed off-site and would save him $150,000-$250,000 plus the building time.

“When it was first suggested to look into a modular home I said, ‘No way. I do not want a trailer house,’” he said. “But then I checked it out. A modular home has to meet or exceed the local building code, and I can’t put it anywhere unless is meets code.”

While the county assessor said the installation of the home would not devalue any of the other homes in the neighborhood, neighbors, like Donald Frisbee, say the county needs to uphold its current regulations.

“We need to stick to what planning and zoning came up with (regulation denying mobile and modular homes on the North Fork) in 1998,” he said. “I’m strongly against approving this because it opens up the floodgates to more and more (modular homes in the area).”

Other neighbors said the home would be as good or better than homes already in the area.

But the commissioners were warned by County Attorney Bryan Skoric that granting a variance in McDaniel’s case could open the county up to legal action.

“But you can decide to change the rules and it becomes a public process, where everybody has a say,” Skoric said. “Budgetary issues alone do not allow you to grant a variance and it would set you up to have homes in here on a case-by-case basis.”

The commissioners voted unanimously to deny the variance request to protect the county from legal action.

“There’s no reason I can come up with to grant the variance, other than it will cost a little more money,” Commissioner Joe Tilden said. “Also, if enough people opposed it up there, they could take legal actions against you and us.”

Linda Gillett, county planning director, said all modular homes are prohibited on the North Fork and South Fork under current regulations.

McDaniel said the county needs to update its regulations to fit the changing times and advancements in modular home production.
“I wanted a 3,000-foot home and it is hard to make that happen any other way,” he said.

“Everybody has to live within a budget, but a lot of people aren’t able to do what they want – build their dream homes – because of regulations like this.”


Anonymous said...

Typical political response based upon a NIMBY contingent of neighbors.
Maybe Mr. McDaniel can find an attorney willing to take legal action on his behalf and/or take politics in hand and replace the commissioners with those who are more enlightened to modern construction techniques.

Doug Stimpson said...

This is not unusual on the west coast. There has been and continues to be a lack of understanding regarding the differences between, mobile homes, manufactured homes and modular homes. They are all grouped together when viewed by the various state and local agencies. This is a challenge that our industry should take on and get resolved.

Harris said...

Help get this one resolved. Write a comment to the local paper:

More voices = more results.