HARKER HEIGHTS — About 75 percent of mobile home parks in the city are not in compliance with code requirements that are crucial to the health, safety and welfare of residents, according to a survey recently conducted by the planning and development department.
The City Council heard the results of the survey at a workshop Tuesday.
The survey came about after several park owners approached the city about adjusting some standards to help them remodel and renovate their properties, Assistant City Manager Patty Brunson said.
“We thought this would be a good opportunity to just go through all the mobile home parks and us look at all the issues as a whole.”
Twenty mobile home parks that are registered businesses with the city were surveyed, said Fred Morris, planning and development director.
Some of the biggest code violations were the requirements for spacing between houses and two off-street parking spaces per unit and the restriction of structures like carports and storage buildings within 10 feet of the houses.
“Code calls for 35 feet clearance between the units, and almost three-quarters of the parks did not meet those requirements,” Morris said.
These codes are in place for safety reasons, as emergency vehicles need to have ample room to get into the parks to fight fires and attend to health issues, the city said.
However, the codes are also keeping some park owners from making much-needed renovations and improvements to their properties by taking out older, unsightly homes and replacing them with new models. As the codes stand, most of the parks would have to be redesigned to be in compliance.
“One of the problems they seem to indicate is that 35-foot spacing,” Morris said. “They have units on the ground right now that don’t comply with that and they’re not allowed to replace those units one for one.
“There’s a large number of units that need to go away or be replaced.”
The City Council will continue to address the mobile home park problems in future workshops.
For more on the story, see Friday’s Harker Heights Herald.