Starke County Commissioners Discuss Manufactured Homes Ordinance

Starke County attorney Martin Lucas this week provided his interpretation on a proposed amendment and its associated Indiana code in regards to the applicability of manufactured housing. Lucas addressed the county commissioners at their meeting Monday night, and said that the basic issue under consideration is that the Planning Commission wants to review a provision that was placed into the county ordinance code in June 2010 stating manufactured homes can only be set by Indiana licensed set crews.

Lucas said he believes “set crew” really means “installer,” an individual who contracts to install or installs a manufactured home. However, that raises the question of whether or not this applies to owner-installers – and Lucas said he believes it does.

Lucas said the requirement to use state licensed installers is set forth clearly in the code and the statute also prevents counties from having separate licensing for installers. Counties can add additional requirements but are prohibited from reducing them.

On the other hand, however, Lucas said no statute creates a penalty for installing a manufactured home without a license, nor is there any specific rule requiring a county to enforce this. The code does require licensed installers to carry liability insurance, Lucas explained.

Ultimately, Lucas said this language does not have to be in the county code because it is already in effect through the state. Commissioner Kathy Norem, however, said she felt uncomfortable taking it out, even though the state law covers it. A motion was approved unanimously to leave the ordinance as it is.