City creates mobile home placement fee

Chad Frey
The Kansan

With little discussion and fanfare, the city of Newton created a new permit process — and fee — for mobile homes placed within the city limits. 

"We did not have mobile home placement or movement ordinance on file," said city Commissioner Clint McBroom. "I was surprised we did not have one already." 

The commission approved an ordinance last week establishing a permitting process for the installation of mobile homes, with a $50 fee to "recoup the costs of city staff time for processing the permit and completing any related inspections."

There are state statutes to regulate the licensing pertaining to the installation or relocation of mobile homes. The city cannot impose any additional licensing requirements or require the payment of an additional or separate fee as a condition for the installation of a mobile home by a state-licensed installer.

"Our permitting process can not be anything more strict than the state has, and they have a process," McBroom said. 

However, city staff raised a concern that without additional licensing the installations are unregulated and may not be compliant with city code. State statute does not prohibit cities from requiring a building permit  for the placement of a mobile home. 

According to statute, the city can charge a "reasonable fee" for a permit.

The ordinance passed stipulates that mobile homes can only be placed within a licensed mobile home park, and those parks must be maintained and operated in conformance to city zoning ordinances. 

The ordinance also stipulates that a mobile home building permit can only be obtained by a state licensed mobile home installer.