Montrose, CO — City Councilors voted unanimously to modernize the city's official code as it relates to modular and manufactured housing. Ordinance 2493, passed Tuesday, updates the definition of manufactured housing and allows for greater flexibility for modular building methods to be used in future projects in Montrose.
The ordinance allows for modular construction in any part of the city as long as the building is approved for a planned development (PD) plan. A PD plan requires notification of property owners within 100 feet of a proposed modular building project.
Additionally, the ordinance reads that modular buildings used for commercial and non-residential uses are allowed in any zoning district, subject to the use regulations in that zoned district.
The ordinance repeals and replaces Title 4, Chapter 4, Section 2, “Definition of Manufactured Housing,” adds Title 4, Chapter 4, Section 2, “Definition of Modular Building,” and repeals and replaces Title 4, Chapter 4, Section 24(C) of the official code of the City of Montrose regarding zoning regulations.
Senior City Planner Garry Baker told councilors that modular construction methods have advanced to the point where they can look "indistinguishable from site-built" homes and can be more cost-efficient to build.
Modular construction, where components of a building are built in a factory and assembled on-site, has advantages over site-built construction, according to Baker.
Those advantages include consistent quality control, construction that takes place indoors, and away from inclement weather, more flexibility in design, and construction that can meet accelerated building schedules.
Modular buildings meet the same or more stringent standards as required by the International Building Code. The construction of modular buildings is inspected and certified by the State of Colorado.
This is in contrast to federally-regulated manufactured housing, commonly referred to as "single-wides" or "double-wides." The ordinance creates a new definition for a modular building and clarifies that modular buildings are not a type of manufactured housing.
According to Baker, modular building methods “can be much more efficient, and could bring down the cost of housing in the community while allowing a very quality product.”
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