You Can Still Ride the Bus; You Just Have To Sit in the Back

Here we go again. Our county commissioners are using the same tactic they did last time: “Let’s sneak in new land restrictions during the holiday season when everyone is busy with other things. Then when they notice the new ordinances it will be too late to say anything.” They’re steamrolling the legislation into place as quickly as they can, again dictating how the county should be run instead of asking what you think first.

The war on mobile homes has been renewed. Hidden among the requirements for building a new neighborhood, apartment complex, or condominium development, we’ve got a complete ban on any mobile home that you can see. That’s right: your choice of home on your property is inferior to your neighbor’s choice, and you must hide it from their view in shame. That’s after you meet the county’s other arbitrary standard requiring that over 50% of the nearby homes also be mobile homes.

“Keep it out of sight” is the same approach drug dealers use for their meth labs. It’s also a common theme with legislation here. In the failed IPMC attempt, being able to see something from a neighboring property was frequently cited. Just what is their fascination with being able to see something from next door? Since when is anyone obligated to visually please their neighbor? If it’s not your property you don’t have any say-so as to what happens on it. If you want to live where plants and paint colors are regulated, go live in an HOA neighborhood.

The idea that you would be able to house your family in a 3br/2ba home for the same price some commissioners would pay for a new car seems like an affront to them. How dare you not be ashamed of your hovel and not wish to hide it from the stick-built home next to it?! Why do the rights of the stick-built homeowner override yours? Never mind whether the properties actually adjoin — if they can just SEE your mobile home from any distance, you can’t have it. Know your place, serf!

I offer this as proof that it is simple snobbery: Have you ever seen an ordinance in the other direction, where building stick-built homes is prohibited near existing mobile homes? I thought not!

The most chilling part of this is the absolute way Mr. Tobar and the commissioners state these requirements as if they’re common-sense things everyone should believe already. Housing discrimination seems to be totally ok with them. If you can’t afford a piece of land big enough to totally conceal your mobile home, you can’t have it. Even if you can buy a half-acre property and put a new mobile home on it, you shouldn’t be allowed to because their sensibilities override your fiscal responsibility. You should keep renting instead of becoming a homeowner because they don’t approve of your type of home.

Mr. Craig owns at least 33 properties in addition to his $500,000 home, either directly or via a trust, and stands to benefit from higher rent costs since many of his holdings are rental units in lower-cost areas. One of those is *gasp* A TRAILER! But it’s ok because it’s relegated to being next to other trailers. It knows its place.

Why won’t they admit the truth: they make more tax revenue from stick-built homes than they do mobile homes. That’s what it’s about — the almighty dollar. If you don’t want to pay that tax rate you should go live somewhere else. We don’t want your kind living here and we’ll legislate you out of existence.

Funny how hundreds, if not thousands, of people in this county once made a good living building mobile homes. That factory is still open today, producing homes and employing many people. Their product just isn’t good enough for Baldwin County anymore. We’re “above” that now. Keep your peasant housing to yourself!