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Hotchkiss considers changes in mobile home regulations

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The Hotchkiss Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on proposed changes to mobile home regulations within the town of Hotchkiss, on Wednesday, Jan. 27, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The commission will hear public comments on a draft ordinance amending the town's "Mobile Home and Travel Home Regulations." Commission member and town trustee Tom Wills has presented a revised draft of the regulations, which reflects discussions held during the Oct. 28 planning meeting.

Under the draft, importation of mobile homes 25 years or older at the time of the adoption of the ordinance will not be allowed. Previously installed mobile homes manufactured after June 15, 1976, shall comply with the requirements of the National Mobile Home Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974; existing mobile homes manufactured prior to June 15, 1976, shall comply with the Colorado Housing Act of 1970.

Existing non-conforming mobile homes will be required to undergo periodic inspection by the town building inspector, and when change of ownership occurs or when utility bills are transferred to a new resident. The town shall set a reasonable fee, and "ensure that safety is being maintained and the degree of nonconformity is not being increased." If violations are detected, owners will be given 30 days to correct them or to have the unit removed.

In addition, all non-conforming mobile home parks shall undergo periodic inspection to ensure they are being well maintained and that the degree of nonconformity is not being increased.

The main concern behind the changes is the safety and well-being of the citizens of Hotchkiss, said Mayor Wendell Koontz.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, incidences of fires in manufactured homes built after regulations were put in place in the 1970s decreased; from 2007-2011, the death rate for post-standards manufactured homes was 57 percent lower than those made prior to the standards.

Public comment will be taken at the hearing, and written comments may also be submitted to the town clerk prior to the meeting.

At the meeting, planning commissioners will also discuss the annual Master Plan and Appendixes Review. According to a memo from Wills, four years have passed since the last update of the main body of the plan. That revision recommends that the next update be completed no later than 2017. While basic updates can begin anytime, Wills recommends getting data and actions updated to allow for a "full community survey," as well as public meetings, in 2017.

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