Thanks to a new Murrieta ordinance, bars and senior citizen communities won't be the only establishments to enforce an age limit.
Members of the City Council unanimously decided earlier this month to ban mobile or manufactured homes 10 years or older from moving into Murrieta.
Per the new ordinance, which was approved during the Sept. 6 council meeting, a mobile home owner wishing to relocate to Murrieta could not bring the home if it is 10 years or older on the moving date. The ordinance, however, won't affect homes that are already in the city.
In her report discussing the issue, City Planner Cynthia Kinser said the new ordinance will ensure that neighborhoods remain appealing and that the homes are safe for residents.
"The city now desires to limit the age of manufactured or mobile homes," Kinser wrote, "to promote and ensure the aesthetic quality of neighborhoods, to minimize the devaluation of communities due to upkeep and repair, and to maintain safe building standards for occupancy of manufactured homes."
City Building and Safety Director Allen Brock said that although the city does not inspect the interior of manufactured homes ---- mobile homes are inspected by the state ---- the building standards typically are not as stringent as the latest standards imposed on conventional homes. He said the more lax standards for manufactured homes could jeopardize safety.
"Do we really want a really old mobile being moved into the city that may present a hazard?" Brock said. "Not just for the occupants, but for the neighbors. If they're moving into the Spring Knolls community where we have a lot of mobile homes that could be disastrous."
Ritch Purcell, former president of the Spring Knolls Homeowners Association, which is the largest mobile home park in the city, said the ordinance would benefit Murrieta mobile homeowners.
"It is a good idea; it really is," Purcell said in a telephone interview Thursday. "The value of a neighborhood is determined, in part, by the average age of the home in the neighborhood. If people were allowed to bring in a home that was over 10 years old, it just reduces the value of the community."
Purcell said this is another move by the City Council that has greatly benefited the homeowners in the three Knolls communities: Spring Knolls, which has 384 homes, Warm Spring Knolls, which has 215 homes, and Golf Knolls, where 512 mobile homes are situated.
In 2009, the City Council approved waiving a $10,000 fee charged to residents who wanted to replace their mobile homes with models even a foot larger than the digs they had outgrown. Now mobile homeowners are allowed to replace their homes with models that are up to 720 square feet larger without being charged the fee.
And earlier this year, Purcell said, a visit from Councilman Rick Gibbs resulted in the city repaving a gnarled street at the west entrance to the three communities that had been tearing up the tire tread of the Knolls residents' tires.
"They came out a couple of months ago and tore the whole thing up and put brand new cement and didn't charge the association anything," the 15-year Knolls resident said. "We get real good response when we get a hold of the City Council."