The only component of this arrangement that is fixed is the utility side of the home which is always on the right side when facing the mobile home hitch. The other areas are variable, depend ing primarily upon the lot size and unit orientation on the lot.
Each mobile home lot is usually required, by ordinance, to provide the pad, parking area, outdoor living and storage areas. Existing standards vary, but typically define a minimum lot size ond minimum yard areas, which does not give the flexibility of lot size required because of the highly variable size of homes. A minimum distance between homes ond setbacks allows this lot size flexibility.
The arrangement of the six functional component areas of the lot should be determined by the floor plan of the home, the characteristics of each site, and the logical and convenient relationship of on lot space. The sequence in which residents use the component areas should be reflected in the lot arrangement. The occupant arrives at home in a car, makes his way from the car to the door and goes in. He lives in his house and occasionally moves outside of his home into the yard area as an extension of his living space. Logically, the parking area should be between the park entrance and door. The outdoor living area should be adjacerrl to the home and near one of the two entrances. (See Fig, 3.)
Circulation—Hierarchy of Street«
Streets within mobile home developments should be grouped into four functional categories; (See Fig, 4).
1. courts, places, culs-de-sac,
2. local streets,
3. subco]lectors, and
Courts, places or cuis~de~*ac are very minor residential streets, the primary purpose of which is to serve individual lots and provide access to local or higher forms of streets, A place may be a dead-end, culs-de-sac street or court with no through traffic and with limited on-street parking. Local streets ore generally short ond may have culs-de-sac, courts, or occasionally two or three branching places. Usually, no through traffic should exist between two streets of a higher classification. The purpose of a local street is to connect traffic to and from dwelling units to subcollec tors,
Subcollectors provide access to local streets and courts, places, or culs-de-sac and conduct tfiis traffic to on activity center or to a collector street. A subcollector may be a loop street connecting one collector or outside arterial street at two points, or conducting traffic between collector streets or arterial streets.
Collectors are the principal traffic arteries within residential areas ond carry fairly high traffic volumes. They function to conduct traffic to or between major arterial streets outside the residential areas. A well-planned neighborhood maximizes the number of mobile homes located on either local streets or courts, places, and culs-de-sac where there is no through traffic between streets of higher classification. Homes having direct access to subcollectors and collectors are allowable, but should be minimized. Local streets and courts are safe and desirable places to live; living areas are dominant and traffic movement is subordinate.
Only o single moving traffic lane is necessary on local streets or courts, while subcollectors and collectors should have two moving lanes. Frontage of living areas on entrance roads and collector streets should be minimized.
Street alignment* should be based upon sight distance and probable roadway speeds using computation methods endorsed by the Institute of Traffic Engineers. Generally, a minimum practical curve radius in residential areas is 100 feet, with 30 feet acceptable on minor streets. Street alignment at intersections is especially critical. The preferred angle of street intersections is 90 degrees,- for safety purposes, streets should never intersect at angles less than 80 degrees. When two streets intersect the same street, they should either form a through intersection or be offset by at least 100 feet.
Street gradients affect the visual character, safety and accessibility of the mobile home development. Generally speaking, grades between 2 and 7 percent ore the most desirable; and a minimum of 0.5 percent is necessary on all curbed streets to prevent pooling of water. If gradients must be less than the minimum in very flat areas, special subgrade compaction and street construction controls ore necessary. Streets of less than 2 per cent grade are visually perceived as flat. Moderate slopes of 2 to 7 percent usually result in a more interesting street-scape and encourage more imagination in the siting of homes.
Streets should generally not exceed 12 percent grade, but on minor streets grades of up to 15 percent are acceptable. Where steep road gradients are unavoidable, care must still be taken to flatten grades at intersection areas; gradients within 100 feet of intersections should not exceed 10 percent, with 4 to 6 percent preferable in snow or ice areas for a distance of 50 feet.
Circulation layout determines the accessibility of the mobile home site within each development. In properly designed residential neighborhoods
• UTILITY CORRiOOR ft ALTERNATE STORAGE BUILDING ARE S
without through traffic, travel distances from residences to collector streets are short, actual traffic speeds are low, lane capacity is not a controlling design factor, and inconvenience or short delay is a minor consideration.
In conventional single-family residential neighborhoods, traffic speed should be slow: approximately 25 miles per hour. In mobile home areas where density is higher, speed should not exceed 15 miles per hour. Momentary delays to allow other traffic to pass around parked cars is acceptable and it is customary to drive slowly to avoid children and pets.
Pavement width» should be determined by considering probable peak-traffic volume, parking needs, and limitations imposed by sight distance, climate, terrain and maintenance requirements. It it senseless for streets ta be wider than absolutely necessary; excessive widths only increase development costs which are passed on to the lot renter or owner. Also, from an ecological point of view, avoiding excessively wide streets means less impervious surface which results in less storm water runoff. The special problem of delivering mobile homes to lots is not a major consideration in determining street widths. Spacing between the mobile homes and the grades from street to lot are of much greater concern. Movement of mobile homes from their original placement on a lot is uncommon. When homes are to be moved through narrow streets, notice may be given to remove parked cars from the street.
Where streets also serve as pedestrian walks, they should be built with a cartway 2 feet wider than otherwise required. All entrance streets ond other collector streets with guest parking should be 28 to 30 feet wide; this provides for two moving lanes and a parking lane an one side. Collector streets without parking should be 24 to 26 feet wide. Minor streets with parking on one side should be 26 feet wide; ond local streeti, courts, plazas and cult-de-sac with no parking should be 20 feet wide. A 20-foot wide pavement ii the minimum width which generally offers year-round utility and convenience where snow and ice control Is necessary.
One-way streets may be allowed at 11-foot widths in the following situations: (1) adequate off-street parking it assured; (2} the climote Is mild, and snow and ice control problems cannot be foreseen; (3) total loop length will not exceed about 500 feet; (4) no more than about 25 dwelling units are served; (5) adequate longitudinal sight distances can be provided; ond (6) vehicle speeds may be reasonably expected in the 10-to I5-mile-per-hoor ronge. A 16-foot-wide pavement may be a practical loop street alternative in difficult terrain where cross-pavement ground slopes are severe, where vehicle speeds will not exceed 10 miles per hour, and where other above-outlined considerations can be met. Under the various conditions outlined, the 16-faot-wide pavement can be functionally effective, but will result in a higher level of resident inconvenience than a wider pavement, Sixteen feet cannot be considered a desiroble pavement width but must be conceded to be acceptable under certain conditions, where necessary to avoid destruction of natural features.
Street rights-of-way are o consideration unique to the mobile home subdivision development, Streets within rental parks simply aren't dedicated to the municipality since the entire park properly is owned by the park developer-opera tor. In order to ochieve maximum density, a park developer will usually retain ownership of roods and therefore does not have to meet local standards for roads or reserve a wide right-of-way.
Within the mobile home subdivision, the streets and street rights-of-way are dedicoted or retained in the ownership of the homeowners' association.
When roads are to be dedicated, they have to meet the same standards applied to all roads within residential areas. This generally means that a 50-foot right-of-way U required. The resulting arrangement of space, small lots and wide rights-of-way, is comparatively wasteful of space. Space is still lacking where it is most needed (in the outdoor living area of individual homes) because lot sizes are still usually small, On the other hand, on excess of space ¡s provided where it is needed least. The distance between homes on opposite sides of streets is sometimes 70 to 80 feet, a more generous spacing than is needed in a small lot development.
Street rights-of-way must be adequate to provide required street pavements, sidewalks, drainage facilities, ond utilities as needed, when they are placed in the rights-of-way. Right-of-way widths are too frequently fixed uniformly by local ordinances, regardless of the actual space required to accommodate necessary improvements. Excessively wide rights-of-way watte land and result in avoidable maintenance costs to the municipality; a community realizes no tax revenue from street rights-of-way. This land would be better devoted to individual building sites rather than public right-of-way.
Sidewalks along the road edge in suburban residential areas are being provided less frequently than in the past, and the amount of pedestrian use varies. Placement of sidewalks immediately adjacent to the road isn't really a safe location unless curbt are provided. More eloborate developments have interior pedestrian paths linking logical origins and destinations tuch as clutters af individual homes to community facilities or to convenience commercial areas. Paths or sidewalks other than these are not necessary in low-traffic-movement areas.
Drainage facilities may include either grossed swalet or curb gutters ond subsurface storm droin-age structures. Where roadside drainage swales are used, they normally require a right-of-way at least 10 feet wider than the pavement width. Thus if a 28-foot pavement it used and swales are located on bath sides, a total right-of-way of 48 feet would be required. If streets are curbed, there may be no justifiable reason for right-of-way widths ta be much wider than roadway pavements.
Dead-end streeti must be provided with turnaround areas. Turn-arounds in most conventional single family subdivisions are cul-de-sac streets with a 75- to BO-foot-diameter paved area. 11 is fairly common in mobile home parks to eliminate the turning circle for streets with fewer than twenty-five homes, substituting a "T" or "Y" turnaround incorporated into a parking lot cluster. "TM and MY*' turn-orounds should utilize an 18-foot minimum radius on all turns. The residential dead-end turn-around is basically far automobile use, but larger vehicles must sometimes be accommodated. Residential streets will also be used, in decreasing order of frequency, by refuse collectors, delivery trucks, snowplows, moving vans and fire trucks. Experience has shown that circular paved turning areas 75 to 80 feet in diameter function very well.
Curbs along residential streets are usually justified for three reasons; (1) preventing the roadway pavement from breaking down, (2) controlling traffic from encroaching beyond paved surfaces, and (31 concentrating and channelizing storm-water runoff. Valid arguments have also been made against the use of curbs, making a dearcut answer difficult. Proponents of curbless streets regard curbs as both a needless expense and an ecologically unsound practice which disrupts natural surface drainage and requires expensive storm drainage facilities. Such facilities frequently concentrate storm water and produce water velocities which necessitate the collection of water in pipes ond storm water systems. These conditions tend to minimize the amount of water infiltrating the ground and can cause o considerable amount of fast-moving water to leave the site and cause off-tite flooding and erosion. Swales, an alternative to curbs, can collect water where velocity is slowed and allow it to be absorbed into the ground. Proponents of curbless streets also question the reliability of curbs as a safety measure, citing how easy it is for a vehicle to ttrike or go over a curb and out of control.
The decision to use curbs should largely be based on how effectively storm water can be removed from the lite without causing harmful on- or off-tite impacts. The feasibility of using swales should be explored as a preferred alternative aver the use of curbs during the early planning phase. If curbs are used, the rolled curb may be more desirable due to the numerous crossovers required for frequent on-lot parking areas, yet its effectiveness in controlling traffic may be less. If curbt ore not used, pavements can be prevented from unraveling by using a thickened-edge pavement, extending the base course beyond the paving surface by 6 to 8 inches, or using onchored steel edging flush with the pavement surface.
The need for community facilitiet it reloted to the density of the development. Community facilities are especially important in small lot development where private outdoor space is limited; they are somewhat lett critical where lots are lorge enough to allow many activities in individual yards. At higher densities, community open space can compensate for small private exterior living space.
Regulations for community facilities and open space systems typically require that at least 8 percent of the gross site area be devoted to recreational facilitiet and that a community building, storm shelter, laundry and drying facilities, toilets, and a management office be provided. Depending on the size of the development, however, all of these facilities may not be desirable or necessary.
Tot lots and areas for children to play away from the mobile homes are especially necessary to minimize disturbance of the individual residents' outdoor living areas. In developments where lots are greater than 10,000 square feet, there is less dependence upon community space; but playground and park areas for large-scale activities are desirable as in any residential area.
Community areas should have a parklike atmosphere compatible with residential living environments. Community buildings and structures should also be designed in a manner compatible
* SOURCE Guidelinet for Improving the Mobil« Home Living Environment, Office of Policy Development and Research, HUD, Waihingtan, D.C., 1978.
with o residential living environment rather than a commercial development.
Public outdoor open space commonly consists of two types: "structured" and "unstructured" facilities. Structured facilities include formal playgrounds, golf courses, shuffieboard courts, tennis courts, swimming pools, and related facilities. Structured facilities are normally developed in a complex with a community building. Equally im portant are the unstructured public open spaces which can be as simple as open grass areas for spontaneous team games and other activities. The type of community facilities necessary for any mobile home development is determined by the occupants to be served. A family-oriented development may require more extensive outdoor open space for active recreation, whereas o retirement community may require less space but a greater variation of activity areas. Community facilities commonly include such things as swimming pools, community buildings, vehicle storage areas, pedestrian paths, tot lots, and court games.
A community facility which is common to most new mobile home parks is the community building.
It contain* more than one activity and serves more than one function. Uses commonly built into o community building include: laundry facilities, meeting rooms, recreation rooms and, in the case of family-oriented parks, day care centers. The building is normally constructed as port of a complex including structured outdoor recreation facilities, such as swimming pools and limited off-street parking. Community buildings should be designed with a residential character harmonious with the mobile home development. When constructed and managed properly, the community building can be a major osset to the mobile home environment. The key word becomes "management/' for after the mobile home development is established and the community building is constructed, it is the responsibility of the homeowners' association in subdivisions, and the operator in parks, to maintain the structure and operate the activity programs.
A secondary, but very important, function of the community building is that of storm shelter for mobile home residents. In areas of the country where dangerous storms might occur, a structurally adequate community building of ample capacity must be provided for the residents' safety.
The Mobile Home Manufacturers Association recommends that approximately 10 to 15 square feet of floor orea per mobile home unll should be provided.
Much of the clutter and disarray in mobile home parks is due to the lock of a defined storage area for seldom-used vehicles or recreational vehicles. Provisions for storage of these vehicles should be included in the mobile home development, especially where lots ore small. In many mobile home parks, residents have more leisure time than their conventional housing counterparts; recreational equipment, snowmobiles, boats, and travel trailers are sometimes abundant. Recreational vehicles generally take up too much space to be stored on each individual home site. Common areas accessible to all residents of the development are necessary to store such vehicles or equipment. The storage area should be separated from the living areas of the site and should be a gravel or hard surface area enclosed by a secu rity fence and adequately screened from sight. At least one storage space should be provided for every 19 mobile homes.
Swimming pools do much to enhance the image of a mobile home community. In fact, most high-quality mobile home park& Include a swimming pool or some equivalent structured recreational facility. The generally Isolated location of mobile home developments suggests that such a facility is desirable, especially under certain climatic conditions and for specific segments of the mobile home market. Swimming pools are usually located near o community building and other structured facilities, and should be designed to accommodate the anticipated usership without undue crowding. An estimate of participation rate during typical summer weekends provides the basis for determining an appropriate pool size, This rate of participation varies with the expected population characteristics of the development. Approximately one quarter of the persons ot the pool will be in the water at any one time, and the pool should be designed to provide 10 to 15 square feet of water surface for each wader and 30 square feet for each swimmer, Deck area equal to or larger than the pool surface area should be provided. Most participants also desire a large, fenced-in turf areo of equal size for sunbathing.
A general rule of thumb for estimating required pool area is to provide 3 square feet of pool surface for each mobile home lot (This standard assumes 2 potential participants per home, 20 percent participation rate, 25 percent of actual participants in pool at any one time, and 30 square feet of surface per swimmer.}
Tot Lot* and Playground»
Tot lots are small playgrounds consisting of several pieces of play apparatus, swings, or climbing equipment provided especially for use by young children. They should be located close to the homes which they serve or within the community recreation area where they can be easily observed and supervised. Ideally, a small tot lot could be established for each grouping of homesites so that children could use them without crossing collector streets in the development. Tot lots also work well when located adjacent to adult recreation areas sa that children moy be observed by adults using other facilities.
Playgrounds are somewhat larger in scale than tot lots and are normally oriented to elementory-school age children. They should have safe apparatus which provide opportunities for children to use a variety of motor skills. Such equipment can include: tire or other flexible-seat swings; seesows with tire safety stops; climbing arches or other apparatus on "soft" surface; and splinter-free climbing blocks.
Basketball and tennis courts are popular facilities for adult recreation. They can often be incorporated into a centralized recreation clubhouse complex where they are easily accessible via streets and pedestrian paths. Both facilities require much space, serve a limited number of people at any one time, and can benefit from night lighting which increases the number of people who can be served.
General Court Garnet
■ Provide a variety of facilities to serve various age groups including:
basketball courts (hard surface]—50 users per half court, daily capacity Volleybalt (in lawn area)—72 users per court, dally capacity shuffieboard (hard surface)—20 users per court, daily capacity
• Lighting for night use of court areas is desirable and will increase dally capacity by 20 to 30 percent.
• Provide a fenced, low-maintenance, all-weather (hard-surface) court.
- General capacity is 20 participants per day per court.
• Lighting for night use is desirable and will increase capacity by 40 percent.
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How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.