With Moscow City Council approval, modular homes and certain tiny homes will be permitted in mobile home parks and the six-month stay limitation for recreational vehicles in RV parks will be eliminated.

Bill Belknap, Moscow deputy city supervisor of community planning and design, addressed the proposed changes to the city code regarding mobile home and recreational vehicle parks at a Moscow City Council Administrative Committee meeting Monday at City Hall.

Belknap said conversations about the proposed changes started when the Moscow Planning and Zoning Commission approved a proposal in August 2018 to allow RV spaces at the Abiel Mobile Home Community on West Palouse River Drive.

In November of that year, the same mobile home park owner requested that the Planning and Zoning Commission consider removing the six-month limitation for RV occupancy.

Belknap said his office has received inquiries in the past from individuals who wished to stay in an RV that exceeded the six-month limitation. Those inquiries have included individuals working on construction projects that take longer than six months to complete.

The Planning and Zoning Commission asked city staff last year to prepare an amendment to remove the six-month limitation and examine the mobile home park and RV park regulations in the city code, which have not been updated since the 1980s.

If the six-month limitation is eliminated, park owners would decide how long RVs can stay, Belknap said.

Belknap said the commission also looked at recent housing trend examples, such as tiny homes and modular homes, that might fit in manufactured housing parks and provide an opportunity to better utilize the older and smaller-scale manufactured home parks in the city.

“I think the commission felt this was maybe opening the door to allow for repurposing of some of the older mobile home parks with some different housing options and certainly those that may be considered to be more affordable as well,” Belknap said.

Besides allowing modular homes, or prefabricated buildings, in manufactured home parks, tiny homes that are on a chassis and wheels would be allowed at RV parks and manufactured home parks.

At the next city council meeting, which is scheduled at 7 p.m. Jan. 21 at city hall’s council chambers, a public hearing will take place on the proposed city code amendments and then the council will make a decision on the proposed changes.

“I find myself broadly in favor of it just because it encourages flexibility and smaller housing that people might want to take advantage of,” said Administrative Committee member Art Bettge.


Garrett Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to gcabeza@dnews.com.

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