Sunday, October 8, 2017

Dagsboro, DE Neighbors Fight Against Manufactured Housing Applications

More than a dozen residents of Hoot Owl Lane near Dagsboro came out to a Sussex County Board of Adjustment meeting on Oct. 2 to voice their opposition to a special-use exception application filed by Oakwood Homes.
hoot owl lane.jpg

The company was seeking a special-use exception to permit a manufactured home on a lot less than .75 acres. Gil Fleming of Oakwood Homes said his company was informed that the home had been placed on an undersized lot after the manufactured home had been placed. He noted the County had provided his company with a permit to place the manufactured home there.

“My salesperson called to do due diligence before we purchased the lot and was told by a County person that it was AR-2 and was fine for modular homes. There is no roof-pitch restrictions, there were no other restrictions mentioned.

“Then, before we closed on the property, Mr. Hitch, who started this subdivision, signed off… We acted upon that and built the house.”

Fleming said he wasn’t aware there was an issue until he was contacted by the County on Sept. 13, informing him of the problem and stating they would hold all inspections until the matter had gone before the Board of Adjustment.

“At this point, we already had the house constructed on-site… We spent tens of thousands of dollars to put a house out there. I don’t see grounds of malice at this point. We were given a permit … and now we’re stuck in this position.”

Fleming also testified that he believed the home would not negatively impact neighboring properties, adding the modular home in question was permanently anchored, with all utilities connected.

“It’s a fine-looking home. It’s a display home,” said Fleming. “We don’t think that counts in any way as detrimental.”

Two people in the audience said they were in favor of the application but chose not to speak during public comment. Another 15 people in attendance said they opposed the application, with the County having received five additional letters of opposition.

Board Member John Mills noted that, since the .75-acre lot restriction was enacted, the board has only given one or two special-use exception approvals — emphasizing that the applicants in those cases had showed extreme hardship.

“It is not conducive to our neighborhood,” said Kenneth Leib, whose home is next to the property. “It’s not constructed like any other home in our neighborhood.”

CLICK HERE to read the entire Coastal Point article


Mannymanbo said...

Coach, Is it a manufactured home or modular? The article confused me?

Coach said...

That seems to be the question of the day. If it's a HUD home it should not be allowed as zoning doesn't permit it.

However, it could be an on-frame manufactured home built to IRC standards and that puts it into the grey area of zoning. It can be permitted but at what cost to the neighbor's appraised home values.

This is what my Roundtable at the BSC on Oct 10th will feature.

Join us in Hershey to participate in it.