Commissioners hope to address the issue of derelict mobile homes with a newly passed mobile home importation ordinance.
The ordinance, passed on Oct. 25 after a public hearing, requires that any mobile homes brought into unincorporated areas of Socorro County be no older than 30 years and in good condition.
The ordinance does not affect mobile homes that are already in unincorporated areas of the county. The county does not have zoning laws, so cannot create an ordinance that dictates the condition of existing homes, only preventing importing mobile homes in poor condition.
The ordinance also does not impact incorporated areas of the county like the city of Socorro.
The new ordinance is meant to act as a deterrent to people who want to bring mobile homes in poor condition into the county. The maximum penalty for violating the ordinance is 90 days in jail and $300 fine. An offending mobile home could potentially be removed.
The condition standards include doors and windows in good working condition, electrical devices and light fixtures properly secured, no holes in floors or rotted areas, a permanent central heating system, plumbing fixtures properly set and secured, and no holes in the walls and ceiling.
“It’s hard because we do have people in poverty,” said Commissioner Glen Duggins during discussion in the public hearing.
During the public hearing, County Assessor Julie Griego said she thinks something does need to be done about mobile homes coming into the area. Griego’s office sees mobile homes coming into the county because any mobile home brought into the county has to get a sticker from the assessor’s office.
“We have close to 3,800 residents, and we have 3,900 mobile homes in this county. We have more mobile homes than we do stick-built homes in Socorro County,” said Griego.
Sheriff William Armijo asked if the ordinance includes RVs because there is a trend in Veguita of moving into old RVs. The ordinance does not include RVs, as it uses the state’s legal definition of mobile home.
Valencia County regulates the size and placement of mobile homes, County Attorney Adren Nance, told the commissioners.
“I don’t know that many counties do regulate condition,” said Nance. “This is a pretty bold step for this county.”
The next commission meeting is Nov. 15 at 9 a.m.