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Neighbors upset over mobile home

Whether it’s called a mobile home or a manufactured home, some residents in northwest Carson City are miffed over the house’s arrival in their neighborhood.

A law passed during the 1999 Legislature allowed Jack and Margaret Ruckman to put their new, brown triple-wide manufactured home on their Goni Road lot.

The law allows mobile homes to be placed in any area zoned single-family residential. In other words, said city Principle Planner Rob Joiner, a manufactured home could be placed in almost any subdivision in Carson City.



Jack Ruckman said the price of a custom home was a bit high, and for years, manufactured homes didn’t impress the couple, until they ran across an Oregon-based company selling “the Cadillac of modular homes.”

The couple has tried since October to bring their new home to Carson, only succeeding after months of preparation with city officials.



“You say manufactured home, and a 1950s silver Airstream trailer comes to mind,” Ruckman said. “That’s not what I’ve got out there.

“If you want to be fair about it, wait ’til it looks like the other houses. When it’s finished, you can’t tell that (it wasn’t) built on the site. It’s probably better built than 90 percent of those around it.

“I really don’t understand the knee-jerk reaction to the house. I view it as a non-issue.”

Some of Ruckman’s Goni neighbors, however, don’t agree. They fear the manufactured home’s Jan. 5 addition to the neighborhood will lower their property values.

“One person has a right to lower other people’s property values? Over 300 other people? That’s not right,” said Bill Arends, who has lived on Goni Road for 25 years. “These buildings … can be put next to $400,000 homes. It’s a devastating blow to anyone living in a subdivision with an empty lot.

“I don’t have anything against a manufactured home in its place. Not in a 25-year-old subdivision on the last lot available. I worked hard to get the house I have; I worked hard to be where I’m at. I don’t need a modular home five doors down. I don’t think that’s right.”

Arends is organizing a meeting for Thursday at 5 p.m. at 5263 Goni Road for anyone interested in the issue.

“The triple-wide looks nice. If it didn’t deface our values, hey, no problem. But it does,” said Donna Calhoun, another neighbor. “(Manufactured homes) don’t gain in property values, they go down. My property value went down $20,000 to $40,000 in three days.”

Joiner said under the law manufactured houses have to conform to the neighborhood. He said the city and other groups lobbied against the law, saying with the differences between counties, where to put mobile homes should remain a local issue. Joiner said plans for the Ruckmans’ home were approved, and now the city is focusing on making sure it conforms with the neighborhood and the law.

The Carson City Planning Commission grudgingly agreed to the mobile home law about year ago.

“We were very much up in arms about it because it takes away local control for planning in the city,” said Allan Christianson, planning commission chairman. “We were concerned with the appearance of mobile homes in a stick-built neighborhood. We have plenty of mobile home places set aside here in Carson City.”

At least one neighbor wasn’t extremely concerned with the addition of the mobile home.

“I know that people are upset about it,” Shelly Scott said. “I would rather have pleasant neighbors in a modular than nasty ones in a stick-built house. It’s no harm, no foul at this point.”


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