OAKLAND CITY — The Oakland City Common Council worked in special session Tuesday toward creating a single ordinance focused upon mobile homes in the city.
With Mayor James Deffendall participating by phone, council president Charlie Cochren led the meeting as council members discussed parts of the standing ordinances they may like to keep, or amend, or remove.
Building inspector Butch Corn suggested that the determination of whether or a not a mobile home be set up be a full-council decision. He was referencing Ordinance 2014-12, which he said states it is the building inspector’s decision.
Corn said the decision should not be on one person, whether that be the building inspector or mayor.
Council member A.J. Cooper said he thought the best practice would be for Corn to make an assessment and then present a report to the council for the members to vote.
“That would be fine, I would be happy to inspect, do anything, and give you a report or whatever,” Corn said. “But whenever the final decision is made, I firmly believe it should be made by the council as a whole.”
The existing ordinance states the building inspector would have to first be provided photos of the unit by the applicant for approval, and then 10 days prior to set up, they would inspect it in person.
Corn said he still felt it would be best if he and the council members all inspected it at some point.
Cooper said they have to have someone who can go inspect the unit and then give a report back to the council.
“We can’t have the whole common council travel somewhere and inspect a mobile home,” Cooper said.
The board also discussed portions the members agreed should remain in an ordinance, such as requirement that the electric meter be on a pedestal of its own and not on the unit.
Unit size was also discussed, with Deffendall telling the council he believed some communities’ requirements go by the size of the mobile home and not by the size of the lot.
Deffendall said they could look at other communities’ ordinances as well in the process of combining the city’s current regulations.
“One thing that I’m very concerned about is making sure in this ordinance that we put that it has to be so many feet off the property line and can’t be so close to a non-attached building,” he said.
Deffendall said he would also like to run some information by City Attorney Roman Ricker, as well.
Cochren said he felt the timeline laid out for set up of the mobile home could be shortened from 90 to 60 days.
“Basically 60 days to get the new one in, and 30 days to get it all hooked up, for a total of 90 days,” he said. “That’s three months, they can surely make some arrangements in there without many hardship, I would think.”
Cooper made the suggestion of 60/60.
“I think it would be all right to take that number down, but I don’t want to take it down too much,” he said.
Cooper also said he also liked Corn’s point in regard to a clause that would allow for some leeway if there are issues that arise for the community members, such as illness or other unforeseen circumstances.
Deffendall said he would like to have another special meeting in regard to the ordinance to have everything in order before it is taken to a regular council meeting for a decision.
The goal is to make a document that allows the ordinances to be better understood by the public, as well as city leadership, he said.
The conversation regarding mobile homes started discussion on mobile home parks, and the board decided it was a different conversation than the one scheduled for that evening, but that it did need to be discussed.