Originally created 04/10/03

County law will ban single-wide trailers



JEFFERSON, Ga. - The newly rewritten Jackson County code would do away with single-wide trailers - and tighten regulations on larger ones - in a community where nearly one-third of the population lived in manufactured homes in 2000.

The Jackson County Commission soon will consider a totally rewritten county code that will lay down laws for land use and development and set the standards for manufactured homes.

The proposed code has drawn comments from the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association and a host of concerns from at least one manufactured home dealer, who says the law would place homeownership out of the reach of some prospective buyers.

"Obviously, manufactured homes are what the people are asking for," said Thomas F. Collins, the general manager of Flamingo Homes in Athens. Citing the U.S. Census Bureau's 2000 finding that nearly 31 percent of Jackson Countians live in mobile homes, Mr. Collins asked why county leaders would consider a law that would eliminate a housing choice.

The law, as proposed, would require all new houses in Jackson County - whether stick-built or manufactured in a factory - to be at least 1,400 square feet. Because the largest single-wide mobile home is 16-by-80 feet, or 1,216 square feet, they would become a thing of the past.

"What we are trying to do is upgrade the quality of the housing stock," commission Chairman Harold Fletcher said. "You take those houses - a single-wide doesn't really afford you the space that I think the average person would need in a house."