New Zoning Seems Tough, but Possible

In contract on a park in a small town in upstate NY. Metro is solid, numbers are good, city sewer/water, aesthetically pleasing (which is a pleasant surprise relative to a lot of the stuff I see out there), nearly all TOHs that are late 70s and newer. Basically hits everything you want… except… The thing that sticks out which I know is of major importance is that city zoning does not seem averse to granting new zoning on parks. Apparently this park owner was already granted rights for an extension. Town zoning guide has a roadmap to get potential approval for new zoning but seems incredibly onerous and costly. This is the only park in town of 3k and has only 35 lots. Very sleepy town. Paying $11k/lot which is far below replacement cost. Thoughts? Dealbreaker?

There a lots of ways a town can say no to new parks while on paper saying yes. Large setbacks and low density are usually a way of doing it. This tends to make it economicly a better route to put in single family.

What are the set back and density requirements to put in a new park in this town?


Good point. Density is #1, setback is #6. After re-reading below I think I feel much better…

Environmental standards.
Minimum area and minimum number of units. Mobile home parks shall be at least five acres in area and the maximum density within the park shall be 4 1/2 mobile homes per gross acre. (Gross acreage includes all areas within the approved mobile home park boundaries.)
Minimum lot size. Each mobile home site shall be at least 8,000 square feet in area and at least 80 feet wide by 100 feet in depth. Each mobile home site shall contain no more than one mobile home and one accessory structure.
Site preparation. Mobile home parks shall be fitted to the terrain with a minimum disturbance of the land. Existing trees, rock formations, and other natural site features shall be preserved to the extent practical.
Separation. Mobile home units may be positioned in a variety of ways within a park provided a separation of 30 feet is maintained between the closest points of any two units.
Road construction of layout. A drawing of the proposed park layout, showing connections to be made to existing roads, shall be included as part of the mobile home park plans. Attempts should be made to provide variety and visual interest in the road layout, avoiding long straight stretches and gridiron systems when possible. All private roads within a mobile home park shall be at least 22 feet wide and constructed of a six-inch base of crushed stone with a running surface of two inches of asphaltic concrete, or equal. Any roads within the park which are intended to be dedicated to the Village shall have a fifty-foot right-of-way and shall be constructed to Village specifications for dedication.
Setback. No mobile home shall be located less than 25 feet from the pavement edge of a private roadway or 15 feet from the right-of-way of any public street within the mobile home park. A minimum of 30 feet shall be maintained between all units and any park boundary abutting an existing public road or highway.
Buffer strip. A buffer area at least 25 feet in width shall be maintained as a landscaped area abutting all mobile home park property lines.
Recreation and open space. Usable and easily accessible recreation areas shall be provided for park occupants. At least 400 square feet of open space per mobile home unit shall be included in the plan with a total minimum requirement of 5,000 square feet. The Planning Board may, in its discretion, include buffer areas as part of the recreation and open space requirements.
Additions and extensions. No additions shall be made to a mobile home except a canopy and/or porch open on three sides, an addition made by a mobile home manufacturer, or an addition built in conformance with the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code for one-family dwellings. No addition shall be erected where there would be a separation of less than 30 feet between the closest point of any adjoining unit.
Mobile home stand. Each mobile home shall be placed on a stand of concrete above a level of compacted gravel, and thereupon on piers or a foundation, so that a firm base and adequate support will be provided for the full width and length of the mobile home and any extensions thereto. The stand area shall be graded to assure adequate drainage but the grade variance from one end of the stand to the other shall not exceed six inches.
Tie-down. Each mobile home stand shall be provided with tie-down anchors at least on each corner, two of which shall accommodate over-the-top type tie-downs. Such anchors shall be the equivalent of chain or steel cable fastened to concrete dead-men buried at least three feet below finished grade or to bedrock, whichever is less.
Patio. Each mobile home site shall be provided with a concrete patio or wooden deck with a minimum width of 10 feet and a total area of at least 120 feet.
Walkways. Each mobile home site shall be provided with a hard-surfaced walkway at least two feet wide from the stand or patio to the road or to a driveway area connecting to the road.
Parking. Two off-street parking spaces shall be provided for each mobile home site. Such spaces may be located on the individual site or grouped to serve two or more mobile home sites and shall be constructed of at least four inches of crushed stone with a surface of one-inch asphaltic concrete or similar hard-surfaced material. A supplemental parking area for the group storage or temporary parking of travel trailers, campers, boats, snowmobiles, and similar auxiliary vehicles may be required in each mobile home park in a location removed from the mobile home living units.
Mobile home installation. At the time of installation the mobile home unit shall be securely blocked, leveled, tied down, and connected to the required utility systems and support services. The mobile home shall be completely skirted within 30 days of occupancy. Materials used for skirting shall provide a finished exterior appearance and no exposed wallboard, building paper or similar unfinished material will be permitted.
Water supply. Each mobile home lot shall have an attachment for water supply with a shutoff valve provided near the riser pipe. The water supply source must be approved by the appropriate state, county, town or federal governmental agency or agencies and shall conform with all rules, laws, ordinances, and regulations.
Sewage disposal. Each mobile home lot shall have an attachment for sewage disposal. The installation and method of sewage disposal must be in compliance with all state, county, local and/or federal laws, rules, ordinances, and regulations.
Landscaping. Exposed ground surfaces in all parts of the mobile home park, excluding paved areas, shall be protected by grass or plant material or surfaces with gravel or stone to prevent erosion and reduce dust.
Streetlighting. All streets and driveways within the park shall be lighted with a minimum average illumination of 0.2 footcandles.
Solid waste disposal. Solid waste storage, collection and disposal shall be made in a way that will cause no health hazards, rodent harborage, insect breeding areas, fire hazards or air pollution. Storage areas for solid waste containers shall be enclosed or otherwise screened from public view.
Utility lines. In parks containing over 12 mobile home sites, no overhead wires shall be permitted unless bedrock or other soil conditions make undergrounding economically prohibitive.
Fuel supply and storage; general requirements. The mobile home park shall be provided with facilities for the safe storage of required fuels. All systems shall be installed and maintained in accordance with applicable codes and regulations governing such systems.
Natural gas system. Each mobile home lot provided with piped gas shall have an approved manual shutoff valve. The gas outlet shall be equipped with a cap to prevent accidental discharge of gas when the outlet is not in use.
Liquefied petroleum gas system. LPG systems shall be provided with safety devices to relieve excessive pressures and shall have at least one accessible gas shutoff valve located outside the mobile home. LPG containers installed on a mobile home lot shall be securely fastened to prevent accidental overturning, and shall be screened from public view.
Fuel oil supply systems. All fuel oil storage tanks shall be securely fastened in place and shall be equipped with permanently installed piping, and shall be screened from public view.
Mail service. The location of mailboxes shall provide for safe and easy access for pickup and delivery of mail and shall not be located on a public right-of-way.

“This is the only park in town of 3k”. Shouldn’t that also be a concern? Seems awfully small renter pool, no?

For the experienced folks out there, what generally should be the population number you would like to see or the minimum acceptable for a park you’re looking to buy?

No, the MSA is 500k+ w/ median home prices $100k+

Rule of thumb is 100k and $100k but I’m fine going with <100k pop if test ad comes in strong

The town matters very little as far as size. It’s the population of the county and the metro that you should be concerned with. One of our parks is in a town called Green Level, NC. Our park is 131 lots in a town of only 1,900 people. However, our county and metro are both 150,000 people. In this park, we sell homes almost as fast as we can get them renovated. There are no demand issues whatsoever.

4.5 homes per acre isn’t very many, but I have seen much worse. If the demand is there then I would say proceed.

Assuming you have a reasonably good quality community, tenant owned homes, all occupied you have all the indicators you need to justify this as being a solid investment. TOHs as opposed to POHs makes a 100% difference in evaluating the viability. TOHs are not renters.

Thanks everyone

Appreciate all the input

Similar situation here, but the county is very friendly and happy to work with MHPs as they understand the need for affordable housing in the area. Here’s the ordnance, which doesn’t appear to contain any big deterrents:

  1. Lot Size: The minimum lot size must be 3,500 square feet. (about 13 sites/acre)
  2. Roads: All roads must be accessible to school buses, fire trucks, and service vehicles. All roads will have a maximum grade of 12 percent with a road surface width of 18 feet. Road construction will be a minimum heavy duty.
  3. Water and Sewage: All systems will be approved central or public service systems, unless prior approval for alternate system is obtained from the county health department.
  4. Special Provisions: At least two parking spaces shall be provided for each lot. They may be either on the lot or along the road shoulder, provided that this does not reduce access by vehicles (see Section 12.3).
  5. No permanent building being occupied as a dwelling or residence may be placed on any lot in a trailer park or mobile home park.
  6. Screening is required for all sewage lagoons and central garbage bins.

Are any of these a real deterrent to new MHP construction?