Proposal could do away with new manufactured homes in mixed use Bryan neighborhoods

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - The City of Bryan is proposing an ordinance that could do away with the addition of manufactured homes in mixed use areas. The city’s planning and zoning board wants your feedback before they take the recommendation to the council.

Bryan District Two Councilman Prentiss Madison says he’s received several calls and texts from residents who live in and around mobile homes.

“I’m hearing from both sides of the issue,” said Madison.

If the proposed ordinance passes, manufactured homes would not be allowed on vacant lots going forward. Those already living in a manufactured home would be grandfathered into the ordinance.

In Bryan, there are roughly 3500 manufactured homes. A little more than half are in mobile home communities, which would not be affected by the proposed change. The rest are in mixed-use neighborhoods like Kemp Carver and Castle Heights.

Kemp Carver's neighborhood association president, Ray Arrington, says it's an ordinance his neighbors should consider.

"When we want curbs and gutters and improvements in our neighborhood, we have to look at what our tax base is,” said Arrington. “They are paying less taxes, so that calls for less services.”

Arrington also wants residents to vote on the idea as opposed to the council making the decision. Castle Heights association president Rafael Pena says manufactured homes are necessary.

"It’s a price point issue. Not everybody can afford a stick-built home,” said Pena. “I think we would love to be in a stick-built home, but a lot of times a lot of people don’t have enough money, they don’t earn enough at their jobs.”

City of Bryan officials say the council requested staff come up with a recommendation and proposal.

"This is about the community of Bryan,” said Madison. “What do the citizens and the community wants to look like going forward?"

Madison is hosting a town hall meeting Saturday, March 23 at Hope Crossing located at 1401 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Street at noon.

Property owners and those who own property within 20 feet of a manufactured home are invited to express their opinions at the planning and zoning meeting on March 28 at City Hall. Citizens can also attend the council meeting on April 9 to share their thoughts.

City officials say planning and zoning only makes recommendations. The council has the final approval, but public testimony is part of the information council considers in making the decision.