Objections convinced the North Platte City Council Tuesday to delay new regulations for mobile homes that are moved around or into the city. A council work session will be held sometime in the next five weeks to work out problems in the wording of the ordinance.
The ordinance was up for a second reading of three.
Councilman Andrew Lee moved to suspend the rules and pass the ordinance, with Martin Steinbeck seconding.
That was stifled by further discussion and objections from the council. The motion didn’t make it to a vote. Lee was convinced to withdraw his motion.
“We need to work through the issues with the ordinance and bring it back to the council later," City Administrator Jim Hawks said.
Much discussion was sparked by an e-mail from a citizen pointing out that by the way the ordinance is written, many of the requirements are too restrictive. The council agreed that the email brought up some valid problems with the wording of the ordinance, although not all the things mentioned in the e-mail were valid.
Under the proposed standards, a mobile home must have at least 900 square feet of floor area, solid roof, straight walls, be rust free, with solid floors and utility lines that meet code, among similar requirements.
The regulation is considered to be a step in combating substandard housing in North Platte.
But councilman Jim Carman said it is too restrictive.
“It seems to me this is so tightly written that many of the mobile homes already in North Platte could not be moved because they do not meet the standards,” Carman said. “Even older ones that are in good condition could not be moved. I have no problem regulating mobile homes, but the wording of this ordinance needs to be thought out more carefully. It is too much of an imposition on citizens and I disagree with it.”
“Why are we applying 2012 standards to older trailers?” asked councilman Tim Barrett. “We are applying new codes to older homes. We need to re-look at this.”
Douglas Nelson, manager of Riverside Park, told the council that he has only two trailers in his park, but his empty lots are too small for a mobile home that complies with size requirements of the new codes.
Judy Clark of the Development Department reminded the council that if someone wants to move a stick built house in North Platte, even if it was built in 1947, it has to meet the today’s standards when it is moved.
Clark also agreed that the issues need to be ironed out and given to her so she has a direction to go with changes.
Councilman Glenn Petersen moved to table the ordinance until the first meeting in March so a work session could be held. The council unanimously agreed.
Also, the required three-reading rule was suspended on a new city ordinance imposing a uniform surcharge for 911 services, which passed on second reading.
The new ordinance has become necessary due to changes to state statutes and new telephone technology.
A law change has caused some telephone companies to take the position that they do not have to forward the 911 surcharge to the city.
The revised ordinance will address that. The existing surcharge of $1 a month will not change.
Also, the three reading rule was again suspended and an ordinance was passed on the second reading to create an airport hazard area with minimum distances for airplane traffic at North Platte Regional Airport/Lee Bird Field.
The ordinance limits the height and location of structures within the airspace, in a 10-mile runway approach area and inside a three-mile radial turning zone above the airport.
At the previous council meeting, Airport Manager Mike Sharkey said this is primarily to protect the airspace over and around airports to stop construction of structures that would be so tall as to extend into required safe zones.
The Nebraska Legislature enacted a revised statute the requires every political subdivision that has a comprehensive plan and zoning regulations, and has an airport hazard area, to adopt, administer and enforce regulations for airport hazard areas.
This ordinance received a unanimous recommendation on Dec. 17 from the planning commission.
In other business, the council:
Unanimously approved requests from Adams Bank & Trust, Bank of the West, Equitable Bank, Farmers State Bank of Wallace and North Platte, First National Bank of North Platte, Great Western Bank, NebraskaLand National Bank, Nebraska Public Agency Investment Trust, Sandhills State Bank, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. to be designated as depository banks for city funds for 2014.