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Archive for Friday, January 3, 1992

MOBILE HOME PARK ORDINANCE READY FOR PUBLIC DEBATE

January 3, 1992

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Lawrence city commissioners will discuss at Tuesday's meeting a proposed ordinance that would protect residents of mobile home parks from the negligence of their landlords.

The four-page draft of the ordinance contains specific rules for landowners on water pressure, storm shelters, lot licensing and city inspections.

The commission meeting is scheduled to start at 6:35 p.m. in the commission meeting room in city hall, Sixth and Massachusetts.

The ordinance comes after a dispute dating to 1990 between the owners and tenants of a local mobile home park over who was responsible for providing adequate utilities.

Residents of Green Acres Mobile Home Park, 1045 E. 23rd, lost water pressure for two weeks in December 1990 and later didn't have enough pressure to bathe or wash dishes. The park owners were slow to respond.

A city-mediated agreement in March quelled the dispute.

Commissioners asked city staff members to draft an ordinance addressing the health and safety problems with mobile home utilities, said Dave Corliss, city management analyst.

The hands of city officials were tied in the Green Acres dispute, because few state or local regulations could be used to force the park's owners to make the necessary repairs.

PROVISIONS contained in the proposed ordinance include:

A requirement that park owners maintain a city license to operate a mobile home park. A license fee would also be required.

The water supply to mobile homes would be at least 30 pounds per square inch.

The water supply would be capable of supplying a minimum of 250 gallons of water per home per day.

All water equipment would be maintained in accordance with state and local regulations.

The city's building inspector would be authorized to inspect a mobile home park's utility standards annually. If a violation is found and the problem is not corrected, the city could revoke an owner's mobile home park license.

Any person convicted of a violation of the ordinance would be fined between $25 and $500, or jailed between five days and three months, or both fined and imprisoned.

THE ONLY change in the ordinance since park tenants and owners reviewed a draft in November is a more detailed definition of "manufactured home and mobile home park," Corliss said.

Commissioners may suggest further changes to the ordinance at Tuesday's meeting, he said, depending on public comment and their own feelings.

The city has sent notification of Tuesday's meeting to 27 people who attended previous meetings on the ordinance, Corliss said.

To approve the ordinance, commissioners would place it on the consent agendas of the next two commission meetings for first and second readings, Corliss said.

Although commissioners can pull items from the consent agenda for further discussion, the majority of the items are passed in one motion.

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