The Lumberton City Council convened for a public hearing on March 27. The hearing was called for discussion and possible action regarding variance requests made by Cole Realty Partners. They are a manufactured housing investment company out of The Woodlands that buys manufactured home parks and improves them.
They were under contract to purchase Lumberton Mobile Home Park (also known as Country Pines Mobile Home Park); contingent upon having their variance requests approved.
The variances requested were: To allow Lots 12-20 and 68-72 to have less than the required 6000 square feet lot size as required by Sec. 50-433 and Sec. 50-434, but still allow for the minimum setback lines and adequate buildable area. 2. To allow a blanket perpetual variance to not conform with the requirements of Sec. 50- 432 requiring a concrete slab foundation, due to the hardship caused by following these requirements, but rather to comply with applicable manufacturer’s requirements. 3. To allow Lots 12-29, 63, 64 and 66-73 to be 40 feet 1 inch in width instead of 50 feet, which allows for a 12’ side setback as required by Sec 50-432 as well as a 16’ wide buildable area. 4. To allow Lots 12-20, 63-65, 74 and 76 to be less than 120’ in depth as the minimum required in Sec. 50-434. 5. To allow a density of 7.19 lots/acre instead of a density of 5 lots/acre as the maximum required in Sec. 50-438. 6. To allow Lots 20 and 66 to encroach upon the 15’ buffer required in Sec. 50-443 for a 15’ buffer along the community’s exterior boundary line. 7. To allow asphalt private access drives to match existing drives instead of concrete streets required in Sec. 50-449.
Morgan Cole was in attendance at the hearing and said that the City’s ordinances allow for five manufactured homes per acre. The mobile home park has 10.7 acres which would allow for 57 homes. Cole said they wanted 76 homes in order to make the purchase.
He explained, “We can’t afford to go and put in all the visitor parking, the new roads and street lights, and playground if we can’t have more homes. There has to be more income to support those improvements.”
Cole continued to say, “We believe that we could have made the place a better place to live.” He expressed that he had hoped that by telling the City Council about the planned improvements that it would help his case. However, the variance requests were denied.
At this time, there are no other mobile home parks in Lumberton being considered for purchase by the company. Although, Cole did say that they purchased Thompson Lake RV and Mobile Home Park in Silsbee this past December.