Mobile Home Changes In Resort Cruise By Council

OCEAN CITY – Monday evening’s Mayor and City Council meeting brought the first reading of an ordinance to amend the Mobile Home (MH) Residential District Code regarding the allowed height of homes.

City Manager David Recor submitted the Planning and Zoning Commission held a public hearing on Sept. 16 after a request by residents of MH communities to consider a code amendment to minimize light, air and ventilation restrictions and hazards that might be associated with such narrow lots and minimum setbacks in these districts. The commission favorably voted to present the amendment to the Mayor and City Council for consideration.

During last week’s work session, the council voted unanimously to move forward with an ordinance amending language pertaining to a specific standard of measurement.

The ordinance states, “The area above the maximum building height under a sloped roof not exceeding a 7/12 roof pitch may be used for habitation subject to dormers not exceeding the ridge line, which shall be determined by the narrow width (and not the length), of the main building and in compliance with all applicable life safety regulations.”

The council approved the amendment on first reading by unanimous vote with no discussion.

The item was discussed at length during a work session prior to bringing the amendment to first reading.

According to Zoning Administrator Blaine Smith, the MH District has evolved since 1970 when Ocean City first adopted a MH zoning law. The building height allowed in the MH District has always remained 15 feet. However, with the evolution of mobile homes, Ocean City has amended its code accordingly.

The most recent change to building height was to allow habitable space in the attic of a sloped roof as long it is developed in accordance with life safety regulations. At that time, Ocean City restricted the MH District to a 7/12 roof pitch, meaning every 12 feet horizontally, height gains seven feet.

In August, Isle of Wight Mobile Home Park petitioned the Planning and Zoning Commission to consider amending the code to prohibit lengthwise roof pitches due to the chance homes in the Mobile Home Residential District could be built two-to-three stories high that would tower over neighbors.

As a result of the council’s work session discussion, the legislative body agreed to move forward and to further investigate allowing a 9/12 roof pitch to give mobile home parks with smaller lots more flexibility.