HARKER HEIGHTS — Mobile home parks in Harker Heights could soon get a facelift.

The City Council voted 4-1 at Tuesday’s meeting to allow mobile home parks to apply for planned development permits, which could allow more design flexibility.

City zoning law mandates 35 feet between new units.

“We’ve had a number of parks that have pulled out two or three older units to put one in,” said Planning and Development Director Fred Morris.

Planned development permits could tighten spacing requirements in certain parks.

Mayor Pro Tem Rob Robinson questioned the downsides and upsides.

Compared with zoned mobile home parks, planned developments will allow the city to have more input in the types of homes that go in, Morris said.

“The downside of it is that we will prolong that land use as a mobile home park,” he said. “I’m not sure the reasoning behind adopting the standards that are in place right now. I can’t really speculate on that.

“But it appears to put a damper on the expansion of mobile home parks and possibly the transition to a different type of use if we allow the replacement. We’re stabilizing that and continuing that for a while.”

Some mobile home parks sit empty; others are dilapidated, said City Manager Steve Carpenter.

Permits can raise maintenance standards.

“If you do not have a PD, that condition will continue,” he said.

Councilman Pat Christ cast the only dissenting vote.

“I’m just afraid we’re kicking the can down the road,” he said. “If we actually want to change the property use in any fashion, this will prevent it from happening.”

Country Squire Mobile Home Park General Manager Tamara Morris said she is planning with other managers to install new homes and upgrade sewer, water, fencing and landscaping, if developer Kip Lewis gets a permit.

“Instead of an eyesore, it’s going to be a very beautiful community,” she said. “We need to utilize every lot in our community to make it the biggest and best we can make it.”

Broken Bow Mobile Home Park owner Mary Horn said she doesn’t plan to add any mobile homes, but isn’t ruling it out.

“(The amendment) will set a precedent for all mobile home parks,” she said. “There is a place for them in Harker Heights.”

Contact Brian Bradley at bbradley@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7567

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