P&Z Commission considers manufactured housing

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One element of city planning that drew particular focus from local officials this month was Single Family Manufactured Housing.

The City of Kilgore has enough zoned acreage to yield 7,000 mobile home lots, Kilgore City Manager Josh Selleck told a joint meeting of the Kilgore City Council and the Planning & Zoning Commission last week. The future of such lots probably needs to be considered in advance of the comprehensive plan.

“There’s more mobile home district zoning than anything else,” he said. Numerous SFMH residences have been installed since the 2008 Comprehensive Plan was created but often out-of-line with its vision and with current guidelines. “The current code actually says they can only go in mobile home parks.

“Because that’s what our code says and we haven’t been doing it, we think we should probably evaluate it,” and determine how future installations will fit with the vision for the city.

According to Planning & Zoning Board member Fallon Burns, manufactured homes installed beyond the city’s parameters are examples of “Solving the now,” and the task is to assign them in an appropriate location.

Acknowledging the rapid depreciation in value of such housing, “Obviously they have a use in our society because they wouldn’t exist if they didn’t have a use,” she said. Granted, “As P&Z, aren’t we really supposed to be protecting property values?

“I feel like we should give mobile homes a home somewhere, in a park.”

Finding a permanent solution, Selleck said, is going to take some effort.

“This is a big project. We need to get started on it now. As we get talking about the future of Kilgore, this is a problem for me” from a finance perspective, he added. “If we’re not going to build sustainable residential development, if we’re not going to require that of people that live here...

“I don’t know the solution. I don’t know if we leave it as is.”

There’s no easy answer to it, P&Z commission member and realtor Randy Renshaw echoed.

The two groups agreed residents who want and need the option of manufactured housing should have the opportunity, albeit in line with city codes.

To make that happen, aligned with an ultimate vision for the future, council member Victor Boyd said, the issue needs to be evaluated immediately.

“We can’t sit on it for a long time and just let it pass us by. Before we know it we’ll have all these mobile homes moving in that we had a chance to put some regulations on,” council member Victor Boyd said. “We need to be proactive, do our research, find some information and at the same time act on it in a timely manner.”

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