Grandfather Zoning


I purchased a 40 space park that is grandfathered, EG, the zoning designation of the park has changed since the park was built around 1960. I have a document from the County from 2009 stating that the park is 40 spaces, but no more.

About ten months ago, I received a notice of violations from the County. They would like me to remove six homes and some sheds, etc. Apparently, the new Planning Commissioner has the `I’m the new sheriff in town’ syndrome and wants to clean up grandfathered zoning around the county.

I applied for an exemption before the Planning and Zoning Commission a few months ago. I was denied.

Today, the County, sent my attorney a letter stating that I must remove homes or pay a fine.

Does anyone else have experience with these matters?

Thanks for your help


On what grounds do they say you should remove the homes and what does your attorney say? Is your attorney experienced with zoning disputes?

Keep us posted…


What state are you in? Get a really good attorney and find out what the state laws are regarding this type of issue. The state laws may have something that trumps the local ordinances. Find out what your recourse is… I would at least be trying to argue that the county then owes me the market value of the lots and the future income from those lots that I would lose since I based financial decisions (purchase and investments/improvements) on their policies and now they want to revoke them.


Thanks for your replies. I am in Iowa. I have a good attorney who does a lot of work for the State MHP Association.

My attorney believes we have a very strong case.

We have a court date set for next month. Hopefully, it will be resolved quickly. Thanks again.


@mhparkpeter1 Any updates on how this case has progressed?


Sorry it took me a while to get back to you. Yes, my attorney is very experienced with zoning issues. She represents the state MHP Assoc.

My case is now in front of a judge. Fortunately, there was a very relevant case in the Iowa Supreme Court that deals with grandfathered zoning. It was decided in favor of the park owner. So, I am optimistic that I will receive a favorable outcome.


@mhparkpeter1 I have run into that same issue with a park I just put an LOI on in Iowa. Please let us know how it goes. The county I am buying in said the same thing about grandfathering, that they don’t see it. I had the head of the Iowa MHP association on the phone with the county people.

Let us know