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Clearance Height Typo in Local Code Raises Issues

FLORENCE COUNTY  |  APRIL 1, 2020

The Florence County Department of Planning & Development Services (DPDS) recently updated their local codes governing manufactured home installation in locations where zoning allows them. Within these changes were updates to the clearance requirements for HUD code homes.

Some counties require a certain height clearance underneath homes to increase safety in regards to flooding. Many counties who have this clearance generally require a couple feet of space between the ground and the floor joists.

After the code updates were completed, association members were shocked to find that homes installed in the area were no longer passing inspection.

“It was ridiculous.” said Johnny Hanna of Ken-Co Homes in Florence. “We installed 14 homes last month and none of them were given the green light by the county.”

Couple from Florence County receives first fully installed home after code change.

MHISC reached out to county inspectors to investigate what was happening.

“I’m just following the checklist they gave us.” said Clem Jenkins, inspector for Florence County. “We got an updated list this past February, and none of the installed homes meet the new clearance requirements.”

Association staffers reviewed the code updates and found that clearance requirements were mistakenly written as 24′ instead of 24″.

MHISC followed up with the county’s DPDS to explain the sudden change.

“Well, it all started when I woke up late that day.” said Jean Scott, chairwoman of the DPDS’s revision board. “I ran out of the house without my glasses, and wasn’t able to see what I was typing.”

Unfortunately, relief isn’t likely to come soon. Scott continued, “If we want to make a change, we have to get the whole board back together, and you know how that is.”  We do not know how that is, but Scott was unwilling to elaborate.

Florence County retailers are finding workarounds for the issue.

“Originally, we put the houses on 24′ piers and tied them down with that cable you see on cellphone towers.” says Johnny Hanna. “Eventually, we figured we could just dig a 24′ hole under home.”

Manufactured homes have become exponentially safer over the years. One of the numbers we like to show off is that by default, modern manufactured homes can withstand windspeeds up to 90mph without taking any damage; homes sold in coastal counties can withstand up to 110mph. Many engineers in the industry agree that 24′ piers may hurt that safety rating.

MHISC is currently surveying key members to see if we should lobby against this change.

Service/Supply companies specializing in underpinning have recommended that the association does not lobby for change.

Clearance Height Typo in Local Code Raises Issues

FLORENCE COUNTY  |  APRIL 1, 2020

Tall House

A couple from Florence County receives the first home since the code change.

The Florence County Department of Planning & Development Services (DPDS) recently updated their local codes governing manufactured home installation in locations where zoning allows them. Within these changes were updates to the clearance requirements for HUD code homes.

Some counties require a certain height clearance underneath homes to increase safety in regards to flooding. Many counties who have this clearance generally require a couple feet of space between the ground and the floor joists.

After the code updates were completed, association members were shocked to find that homes installed in the area were no longer passing inspection.

“It was ridiculous.” said Johnny Hanna of Ken-Co Homes in Florence. “We installed 14 homes last month and none of them were given the green light by the county.”

MHISC reached out to county inspectors to investigate what was happening.

“I’m just following the checklist they gave us.” said Clem Jenkins, inspector for Florence County. “We got an updated list this past February, and none of the installed homes meet the new clearance requirements.”

Association staffers reviewed the code updates and found that clearance requirements were mistakenly written as 24′ instead of 24″.

MHISC followed up with the county’s DPDS to explain the sudden change.

“Well, it all started when I woke up late that day.” said Jean Scott, chairwoman of the DPDS’s revision board. “I ran out of the house without my glasses, and wasn’t able to see what I was typing.”

Unfortunately, relief isn’t likely to come soon. Scott continued, “If we want to make a change, we have to get the whole board back together, and you know how that is.”  We do not know how that is, but Scott was unwilling to elaborate.

Florence County retailers are finding workarounds for the issue.

“Originally, we put the houses on 24′ piers and tied them down with that cable you see on cellphone towers.” says Johnny Hanna. “Eventually, we figured we could just dig a 24′ hole under home.”

Manufactured homes have become exponentially safer over the years. One of the numbers we like to show off is that by default, modern manufactured homes can withstand windspeeds up to 90mph without taking any damage; homes sold in coastal counties can withstand up to 110mph. Many engineers in the industry agree that 24′ piers may hurt that safety rating.

MHISC is currently surveying key members to see if we should lobby against this change.

Service/Supply companies specializing in underpinning have recommended that the association does not lobby for change.