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Re: SG-W:/ manufactured housing

Tina has it right about the mobile home problem. Sharon Township (just north
of Manchester), is a likely poster child for the damage that can be done in
a solidly agricultural township. Local planning and other government
functions have already been severely disrupted, and the small township
budget is decimated, just by the demands of the case so far. By the way,
Judge Schwartz is hearing the case. Does anyone know how he feels about

Here are excerpts from my letter to Garcia's House committee meeting today.

 "Sharon Township is presently in court, being sued by the Landon Companies,
on details in our zoning ordinance. They wish to more than double the
population of our township, which numbers 1769 (SEMCOG est.), by building a
698 unit mobile home development, on poorly drained farm land four miles
from the nearest sewer and public water supply, and seven miles from village
police and fire protection. Employment, shopping and entertainment are 20
miles away, with no public transportation. In our entire township, there is
one blinking traffic light, one gas station, one lunch counter (at the stock
yards), and no severe-weather shelters or pizza delivery. We have several
active churches. We also have near-by mobile home parks with lots of

"We urge the Michigan House of Representatives to have the courage to fix
this law that was aimed at providing affordable housing for low income
families in locations that needed an affordable labor supply, but now just
enables greedy investors to create instant sprawl, benefiting no one but

"An industry that is responsible for regulating itself needs to be in a
power balance with consumer representatives, in this case residents of
mobile homes. Neither of these groups can be expected to do an adequate job
of determining local land use policy because they do not participate in the
municipal planning process or take responsibility for the results. The local
official representatives on the MMHC should be sent back home, where the
individual mobile home developers would deal with them, like every other
entrepreneur who wishes to do business in their local jurisdiction."

"Put an equal number of industry reps and resident / consumers on the MMHC
to deal with trade practices, and return the zoning and permitting to local
control. Lawmakers who are concerned about discrimination and environmental
issues, could sponsor an amendment to remove the discriminating tax
inequities between mobile home dwellers and property owners, and they could
create state level initiatives for assisting municipalities with regional
land use planning that balances environmental issues with room to grow."

"Any measures short of these are recognized by voters as band aids, accepted
by industry lobbyists as remedies that will not harm them, hoping they will
have the appearance of a cure. 1987 PA 96 is not fixed until the mobile home
industry in Michigan has to behave like the homebuilders they say they are,
and we can get on with planning for our future, rather than wondering how to
survive Landon's assault."

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