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New Amendments Address Safety In Updated Mobile Homes Ordinance

Friday, July 15, 2005
Cook County Department of Public Health

Cook County Board President John H. Stroger, Jr., has proposed new amendments that would update the County’s Mobile Homes and Mobile Home Park Ordinance, which has not been updated since 1972.

 “Safety is the number one factor in making these changes,” said President Stroger. “We must make sure that families living in manufactured homes can reside in a safe and healthy environment.These new regulations will improve the quality of life for residents of these communities.”

 The new amendments address fire safety concerns by increasing setback and separation areas. Recent fires in two northwestsuburban mobile home parks caused one death and thousands of dollars in property loss from fires that spread from one home to the next. Fire officials contend that when mobile homes are too close to one another fire can easily jump from unit to unit. The revised ordinance requires increased space between the home and the street when the home is a new or replaced unit and also increases the separation between homes.

 “We fully support the President’s proposal,” said Cook County Department of Public Health chief operating officer, Stephen A.Martin, Jr., Ph.D, M.P.H. “These new setback requirements are inline with the National Fire Protection Associations’ (NFPA) safety standards and make good public health sense.” The NFPA serves as the world's leading advocate of fire prevention and is an authoritative source on public safety.

 “Our association commends President Stroger for introducing this ordinance,” said Terry Nelson, President of the Mobile Home Owners Association of Illinois, a tenant’s rights organization located in Des Plaines. “The new public health and fire safety regulations contained in this ordinance will decrease the likelihood of serious fires in Cook County’s mobile home communities and will certainly prevent injuries and save lives.”

Other proposed changes include increased penalties for

violations, increased license fees, a prohibition against storing flammable liquids under mobile homes, and restrictions on the placement of sheds and accessory buildings.

The Cook County Department of Public Health licenses and regulates 30 mobile home communities including approximately 8,000 mobile home sites.

 



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