Lyon County zoning unaffected by new state law on manufactured housing

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YERINGTON - Current standards for designated manufactured home zones will not be affected by new state housing regulations.

Following considerable debate, Lyon County Commissioners Thursday adopted amended language in the county's ordinance covering single family dwellings that will leave trailer overlay zoning requirements unaffected by Senate Bill 323.

Approved during the 1999 legislative session and effective January 1, 2000, SB323 mandates local governments allow manufactured homes meeting specific standards be allowed in residential areas. SB 323 requires the home must be placed on a permanent foundation and not be more than five years old on the date it is affixed to the residential lot.

Current county "trailer overlay" zoning does not require a home to be placed on a permanent foundation and the home may be a 1976 or newer model.

Despite a letter of opinion from the Legislative Council Bureau to the contrary, and being pressed by manufactured housing representatives to alter his view, Lyon County Assistant District Attorney Steve Rye did not back away from his opinion that he believes SB 323 requires all standards for manufactured homes set forth in the bill must apply to the county's current "trailer overlay" zones, making future placement of manufactured homes in these zones subject to stricter guidelines.

"This remains my interpretation. SB 323 will cover trailer overlay properties," Rye said during Thursday's public hearing on amendments to the county's residential housing ordinance. "The county commission may chose to support the council bureau's opinion or not."

Commissioners originally appeared reluctant to differ from Rye's opinion. Commissioner LeRoy Goodman, noting there were problems with the bill said "This is the county's purview."

In a written response to a request from Senator Mark Amodei, (R-Capitol District) primary sponsor of the bill, the Legislative Council Bureau's research concluded the intent of SB 323 is to govern the placement of manufactured homes only in residential zoning districts where they were not allowed before the enactment of the bill.

Supporters of the manufactured housing industry spoke strongly against Rye's interpretation.

Property owner Joe Metzger said "If no other county is taking this position, why would Lyon County. This will literally kill business for dealers in the county. It was not the intent of the law"

State Manufactured Housing Association President and Silver Springs resident Jim Snellings said the letter from the council bureau stating the intent of SB 323 "Shows it has absolutely no affect of zoning currently in place for manufactured homes."

Following a short recess, the board adopted minor changes in the bill affecting roof pitch and roof overhang and approved language that will insure "trailer overlay" zoning will be unaffected.

A request from the Mound House Advisory Council to include "watchman's quarters" located within "manufacturing" and "commercial" zoning under SB 323's residential guidelines was determined to be a separate issue.


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