Missouri: Lake Ozark Officials Listens to “Pros and Cons” of Prefabricated Housing

Lake Ozark Planning and Zoning Commission asked to reconsider their denial of a Special Use Permit for a new modular home.

Missouri  – The City of Lake Ozark Planning and Zoning Commission recently recommended to the Board of Aldermen that a permit request by Jeanne Harshman to place a modular home in an R-1 zoned district be denied. A typical NIMBY (not in my backyard) opposition, some cited apprehension that placing a manufactured home in the city’s traditional R-1 zoning could have a negative impact on the nearby property values.

Even in 2017, the NIMBY fear lives on…

The denial was apparently based upon objections voiced by panicked NIMBYs. The rejection of this modern form of housing ignored the simple fact that this factory built home would be built to the IRC (International Residential Code). Which meets or surpasses Lake Ozark’s current building codes for residential housing, and meets all the ascetical requirements of a traditional site built home.

Typically, the recommendation a denial would be accepted and the applicant would not proceed any further. But thanks to perseverance and knowledge of the applicant, and the retailer from whom the home was purchased, this would not be the end of the quest.

According to a report on line by Lake News Online, the subsequent board meeting to review the P&Z denial recommendation was attended by several individuals on each side of the issue. The meeting provided an opportunity for all concerned to share their thoughts during the Public Comment portion of the meeting. A fiscal and philosophical debate on the pertinent issues, each side was allowed to pick one representative to speak for five minutes in favor or in opposition to the modular placement in the City of Lake Ozark.

The following are some thought-provoking highlights of that debate:

Lake Ozark: The opposition argument

Scott Barnes represented about a half-dozen residents near the proposed modular home location. Barnes said he and his group fear a decline in their property values: “This is just what we do in a city, a community in a neighborhood trying to establish the idea of quality. “A modular home is inexpensive, but that doesn’t mean it’s not quality, but we all know that when a realtor comes to sell your home, and if the home up the street sold for less per square foot that affects your property values and all of the houses on the block go down in value.”

Lake Ozark:  The argument in favor

Admitting she’s passionate about the issue, Jennifer Bolton, an Ozark manufactured home retailer in Laurie — who’s been working with Harshman — was quick to point out “this is a modular home, not a manufactured home.” Bolton noted the proposed 1,531 sq.ft. home meets national electrical, IRC and IECC codes and is built to highest standards in a controlled environment.

“As far as value, my homes are built to the same appraisal of a site built home,” she told the board.

The proposed home will cost $135,671, will have a single car garage and a 12’ by 16’ roofed deck, with color-coordinated shingles to match the house. 

“Our application meets your requirements!”

Bolton told the board, “This is a brand new home and when we’re done with the landscaping and every thing, it will have a value of $200,000.”

Thankfully, the Board of Alderman opted to remand the issue back to the Planning and Zoning for further consideration.

Photo of “Independent/SH I 1684-239” by Sunshine Homes

Recommended Posts