Jul 8, 2021 - News

Developer pushes for more manufactured homes in Des Moines

A photo of the exterior of a manufactured home.
A manufactured home in Ames' Four Seasons development that's similar to those that'll be located in DSM's Eagle Pointe development. Photo courtesy of Flummerfelt Homes

A new 40-acre manufactured home development is being constructed near Easter Lake, and will open later this year.

Driving the news: The developer, Mike Flummerfelt, wants DSM to rezone land his company already owns to expand the project by nearly 19 acres, adding another 80 lots.

  • The City Council unanimously rejected the request last week, despite the city's Plan and Zoning Commission recommending the rezoning in June.

Why it matters: The project will provide DSM with more affordable housing options, Flummerfelt told Axios.

  • But some neighbors oppose it because of the loss of trees and natural habitat, as well as unwelcome noise.

Details: The first phase of Eagle Pointe Manufactured Home Community is already zoned properly and didn't require council approval.

  • It's on undeveloped land near the corner of East Army Post Road and Indianola Avenue, behind the longtime sales office of Flummerfelt Homes.
  • There will be 68 lots that will rent between $500-$600 a month.
  • A playground, community center and clubhouse for residents are also planned.

What they're saying: Councilman Joe Gatto last week expressed concern about the concentration of manufactured homes in the area. (Watch the council meeting around the 120-minute mark, before the rezoning was denied.)

  • Gatto said he would've voted against the project's first phase if he had the opportunity.
  • Eric Burmeister, executive director of the Polk County Housing Trust Fund, told Jason that properly managed mobile home parks can help alleviate affordable housing problems.
  • Updated city ordinances and zoning helps guard against irresponsible developers, Burmeister said.

Of note: Flummerfelt has been in business for decades and owns multiple manufactured home communities in Story County.

  • The Better Business Bureau hasn't reported any complaints against the company, rating it A+.

What's next: Flummerfelt plans to again pursue the rezoning request after further discussions with the city.

  • But that could be years ahead, after the first phase is completed.
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