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Re: SG-W:/ Manchester Township grapples with mobile home plan
- Subject: Re: SG-W:/ Manchester Township grapples with mobile home plan
- From: Smileysmlc@aol.com
- Date: Thu, 22 Jul 1999 18:18:24 EDT
I suspect that Barry's comment was half in jest. Of course, no one has
enough money to buy up all essential agricultural land--either fee simple or
development rights. We need to have effective land use zoning so that
long-term interests of the people of the State of Michigan are protected.
Unfortunately, too many of our state legislators are invertebrates...and the
others just don't know any better.
All zoning in Michigan is a power of the state. Instead of merely delegating
that authority to local units of government, the state should exercise its
authority to protect the public health, safety and welfare through state
"overlay" zoning (or whatever one would wish to call it). It would be easy
to designate those areas--from a statewide perspective--which would be most
desirable to retain in agriculture. Statewide zoning would better withstand
the legal challenges of developers. The zoning could even have voluntary
enrollment provisions with specific tax benefits--much like P.A. 116 and/or
the Commercial Forestry Act. That's just one idea.
The other needed tact is to change the state laws which practically mandate
trailer parks be built in any community where a developer chooses to do so.
The Commission overseeing the trailer park industry is comprised almost
exclusively of people who have a financial interest in building mobile home
parks. By law, anyone with a financial interest in developing trailer parks
should be EXCLUDED from the Commission....or at least relegated to minority
Two legislative changes should be done immediately:
1) Remove the property tax advantages of trailer parks. The term "mobile
home" is truly a misnomer. Although, theoretically, mobile homes can be
moved--and therefore are not an "attachment" to the land, subject to ad
valorem (general) property taxes--most are no more "mobile" than any house
which could be relocated. Have them pay property taxes and developers lose
the financial incentive to build them.
2) Enact a state law to empower local communities to PROHIBIT any and all
trailer parks if the population of such "parks" would exceed 10% of the local
communities population. As an example, Superior Township already has two
trailer parks and a third one is being threatened by a developer. If this
third trailer park is constructed, nearly half of the Township's residents
would reside in trailer parks!
Incredible, isn't it!?
Remember, trailer parks are not "affordable" housing. They are not
economical at all, but merely a clever guise to unjustly enrich certain
developers. In fact, if someone lives in a mobile home park...that's
probably the best way to keep them poor (since they are paying rent--for the
lot--and paying a mortgage on an asset--the house--which will most likely
Well, that's my two cents worth for today. If anyone has some good contacts
with legislators...maybe you could broach these suggestions with them.
- Jack Smiley
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