Knowledgebase-Can a Municipality Require Double Wides in Residential Areas to Have a Foundation?


Information Product

Title:Can a Municipality Require Double Wides in Residential Areas to Have a Foundation?
Summary:MTAS was asked whether a municipality can require double wides in residential areas to have a foundation.
Original Author:Hemsley, Sid
Co-Author:
Product Create Date:10/20/93
Last Reviewed on::03/06/2017
Subject:Building codes; Mobile homes; Zoning; Zoning--Laws and regulations
Type:Legal Opinion
Legal Opinion:

Reference Documents:

Text of Document:
October 20, 1993

I realized this morning that I forget to answer one part of your question relating to the regulation of mobile homes: Can a municipality require double wides in residential areas to have a foundation?

The answer is yes. Such a regulation is a probably a reasonable police power regulation not prohibited by Tennessee Code Annotated, section 13-24-202. In fact, statutes in other states specifically permit municipalities to enact foundation requirements for mobile homes located in residential areas (for example, Iowa, California, Colorado, Florida, etc), and the broad general authority given to municipalities in most states to regulate mobile home installation standards undoubtedly includes the authority to regulate mobile home foundations. As far as I can determine, foundation regulations that apply to mobile homes located in residential areas have nowhere been successfully challenged. Even the Michigan cases I cited in my letter of October 19 would have upheld them.

In addition, Tennessee Code Annotated 13-24-201 permits municipalities to require that double wides located in residential areas have the same general appearance as required for site-built homes. That authority is probably broad enough by itself to permit municipalities to impose foundation standards.

Sincerely,

Sidney D. Hemsley
Senior Law Consultant
SDH/

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