Four Mobile Home Codes Under Consideration

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Codes to relax limitations around mobile homes and mobile home parks are in motion in light of the Jackson Mobile Home Park closure, and the Kodiak Island Borough Planning and Zoning Commission is examining a few new codes it could change.

At the Kodiak City Council work session last night, community development director Bob Pederson went through the code changes P&Z is considering. He said the first code has gone through one P&Z public hearing and is set for a second one.

“The recreational parks, again similar to the mobile home parks, [are]  looking at easing those regulatory standards to make it a little easier for folks to start a recreational vehicle park in the community. [There]… is occasionally some talk about those as another tool in the box to address affordable or work force housing or temporary  housing for construction workers up here in the summer season or so forth.”

He said the second code is one P&Z has yet to discuss. According to Pederson’s memorandum to the city, it would “allow accessory dwelling units on residentially zoned properties.” Examples of this would be an apartment over a garage or a basement apartment.

“Two we’ve got a first work session on. That’s accessory dwelling units. It’s a land use movement that’s sort of been sweeping the country. Mother-in-law apartments created in the flats traditionally called to allow these in residential properties under certain standards being that they’re subordinate to the main dwelling.”

He said P&Z will continue to refine that in its November work session. Pederson also presented the first draft of a code that would create a new zoning district for single-family dwelling units on smaller lots which could accommodate a standard size home, a mobile home, or even a tiny home as part of the movement where people live in compact spaces.

“As drafted, it’s an entirely new zoning category. So, if you had four acres at the end of XYZ street and were interested in pursuing that type of development, you could come in and apply for a rezone of that property and go through that public process and then if it were indeed rezoned, then you could develop it with smaller lots than the current minimum lot size.”

Pederson said lastly, P&Z is talking about the concept of planned unit developments, which would allow more flexibility in development standards not allowed by conventional zoning regulations.

“That’s a planning tool that’s been around for decades and decades. It often involves clustering houses, say on one piece of the property with smaller lot sizes. If you’re trying to avoid wetlands on another piece of property would be just one example that leaps to mind. And you keep the density whole, but you’re not impacting the wetlands. So, that’s another tool that’s not in our code currently.”
Following the P&Z review on the code changes, they will be sent to the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly for legislative action. The next P&Z work session is scheduled for November 11 and its next regular meeting for November 18.    

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