KIB Assembly Amends Mobile Home Park Code

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Jackson Mobile Home Park once again made it onto the agenda at the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly’s regular meeting last week. These same ordinances have been through two work sessions and a regular meeting, and borough assessor Bill Roberts stood in for the borough manager in explaining the ordinance.

“It is changing some of the title 17 sections on mobile homes to make it less stringent, to lessen some of the impact of making a new mobile home, and also allowing mobile home parks in areas that they weren’t allowed in before, namely R2 and R3.”

The changes in the code include removing the definition of a mobile home as being a “single-story” structure, relaxing restrictions on how much space mobile homes can occupy, and adjusting the required size of play areas.

Assemblyman Dan Rohrer asked about mobile home dimensions.

“In travel mode, it says they need to be 8 feet or more in width and 40 feet or more in length. I just kept thinking about that fact that as we’re looking at evaluating what trailers exist in Jackson Mobile Home Park, there’s at least 3 or 4 that are about 33 feet in length, and that’s how they came from the manufacturers, so you’d need to tell me what impact that would have as we look at moving some of the mobile homes.”

Community Development Director, Bob Pederson, explained that wouldn’t be a problem.

“I think we’ve made it very clear on the record from the get-go and specifically in the non-conforming ordinance that you adopted a month or so ago that we don’t want to in any way impede the folks that are able and can find a place to move their mobile home from Jackson from going elsewhere in the borough either in a lot or in a mobile home park, so under the nonconforming part – they’re covered there.”

The motion carried 6 to 0.  

Roberts also gave a semi-annual update for the assessing department of the borough.

“First of all, what is the basic function of the assessing department? That is to find, to discover, and to catalog all real and pursable, taxable property in the borough, and we do this so that we can value it for ad valorem taxes. We also administer programs like exemption programs that are mandated by the state or any that are mandated by our own local codes.”

He says this year he’s closer to his goal of training staff.

“So, what has that given us? Well, of the three field operatives, the three appraisers, two of them currently are certified by the state of Alaska Association of Assessing Officers. This is an association that’s similar to a lot of fee appraiser associations. They require certain hours in classroom, certain hours of experience, and a proficiency.”

Roberts says they’re also doing well in producing revenue.

“We have increased the assess value of the borough approximately 33 percent. Now, some of that is from natural growth, but quite frankly, since the collapse of the financial markets we haven’t had a lot of growth for new construction here, so a lot of it has been due to the reassessment. What does 33 percent mean? It’s roughly 3.2 million dollars a year in revenue for the borough.”

He says they’re working towards the goal of every assessing department, which is to be 100 percent fair and equitable. The next assembly work session is scheduled for September 24 and the next regular meeting for October 1.

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