Grovetown officials are rewriting an ordinance regulating mobile homes based on age after a new state law deemed it unenforceable.
Trying to prevent dilapidated structures from being brought into the city, the Grovetown council approved an ordinance in April 2009 that bans mobile homes more than 10 years old from being brought in.
However, Georgia Senate Bill 384 states that no municipality can restrict previously owned mobile homes based on the age of the home.
"There is no question that Grovetown needs to have some control over mobile homes coming into the city," Councilman Sonny McDowell said during a meeting Thursday with area mobile home park owners, movers, installers and home inspectors. "We just want your ideas, your thoughts, before we finalize anything."
McDowell said city officials are considering an inspection-based system to regulate incoming mobile homes. According to an initial draft, mobile home owners wanting to move their trailers into the city would need to have it inspected based on habitability standards set by the city.
Because home inspectors are not regulated or licensed by the state, the inspectors and others at the meeting recommended the city allow mobile homes to be moved in for a grace period, when residents are not allowed to live in them. During that time, the owners could choose from a list of city-approved inspectors to perform the inspection. When completed and approved by the city Planning and Zoning department, then residents could move in.
"Consistency will make it a whole lot more successful," said Ryan Peel of Peel Home Inspections.
The regulations need to be strict enough, McDowell said, so someone won't attempt to move in a home that they don't think would pass the inspection.
The proposed city standards checklist addresses the home's exterior, including the roof, underpinning, decks, porches and tie-downs. The checklist would include water, sewer and electrical connections and the appearance of the interior floor holes, central heat, windows, wiring, mold and mildew, and the water heater. The kitchen and bathroom plumbing, appliances and ventilation also would have to meet habitability standards.
"Everything I saw on this list, you'd want to do anyway," said Joe Edge of Sherman and Hemstreet, which manages a mobile home park in Grovetown.
Suggestions on how to regulate mobile homes and what to do about violators also were presented at the meeting.
McDowell said he expects to have a draft ordinance reviewed by many who attended the meeting. He expects to have the first of two required readings at a called July 26 meeting, or possibly at the council's first regular August meeting.
The city could have an approved ordinance in place by Sept. 1.
"We really are trying to do the right thing," McDowell said. "The city is not against mobile homes. ... But if one is not fit to live in, I want it to go."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.