Nixon nixes mobile homes within city limits

Nixon City Council has taken action prohibiting any new mobile homes from being installed within Nixon city limits. At their Monday, May 9, meeting, council members approved this housing amendment in the hopes of increasing Nixon’s property values within city limits. 

“Our structures that we get property taxes on per the amount of people who live here is one of the lowest in the state,” Councilman Justin La Fleur said. “We get more income off of sales tax revenue than we do property tax revenue because a lot of mobile homes are dilapidated and they don’t increase in value; they decrease in value.” 

According to the amendment, any mobile homes that are already in place in the city will be grandfathered in and will not be affected, unless they are not up to code and in compliance with the city. This can include any deficiency within the home that may be a hazardous environment such as plumbing, heating, and electrical systems that are not in working order or faulty walls, floors, and roofs that are not structurally sound. 

“If they are not up to code and a code enforcement official says that it’s not up to the international building code, plumbing code, electrical code, then they would have to bring that to compliance or they would be limited on what kind of utilities they can receive because it’s not up to code,” City Attorney Eddie Escobar said.

Other occupancy requirements and maintenance of a manufactured home in the amendment include owning smoke detectors, safe water drainage, and grounds must be free of debris and not have an overgrowth of weeds, brush or grass. Use and occupancy shall be limited to single-family residence only. Alterations or additions shall not be made to manufactured homes that make the home uninhabitable, according to the amendment.

The city will notify individuals who are not in compliance. Owners will have 30 days to abate the violation, according to the amendment. When a serious threat to life or substantial damage to the property may exist, the individual may need to provide immediate compliance.

This amendment will not affect modular homes, which are different than a mobile home in that they are kit homes that come in pieces, built at a location other than the permanent site.

“What we’re trying to get people to do is get a modular home or build a metal Barndominium type home for probably cheaper and it’s going to appreciate in value,” La Fleur said. “They can still have affordable housing, but do it a different way.” 

A modular home is designed to be used as a permanent residential structure when the module or the modular component is transported to the permanent site and erected or installed on a permanent foundation system, according to the amendment.

“The only problem people have is it’s quick and easy to get a manufactured home and put it somewhere, but is it cost effective? Probably not,” La Fleur said. 

The amendment also states that if any resident wishes to own a new mobile home in Nixon City, the only place the mobile home would be able to reside is in a mobile home park.

Readers with any concerns about the new policy can email the Gonzales Inquirer at publisher@gonzalesinquirer.com to share their comments.

Posted 5/11/2022