Zoning issue

I have a 46 space park under contract that is zoned commercial. I was told verbally over the phone by someone in the zoning department that I would have to petition to have the zoning changed to a mobile home park in order to move new homes in. However, I have a license from the state allowing the operation of a 46 lot mobile home park. Also, the guy I spoke to at zoning did not seem the most knowledgable or competant. I have spoken to the mobile home inspector, and the city legal department, and no one could seem to really help me. Any advice on how to proceed from here? I feel like I’ve hit a wall where I don’t know what to do now.

On a side note, the guy in zoning sent me a petition that can be used to change the zoning, and the city code that regulates zoning changes, and it looks like my zoning request would likely be accepted given the criteria that is used to evaluate zoning changes. However, even an off chance that I could close on this park and then be denied moving in homes seems like a big risk to take.

Sounds like a wonderful situation for a lease with option to buy. You could also write in a zoning a contingency for purchasing the park.

Sometimes it is wise just to look at the regulations yourself. The town has a copy. Download or buy. It should identify permitted uses by zone. Also check what the zone was when the park was built. Perhaps it hasn’t changed.

Your use as a mobile home park should be grandfathered, and new zoning should not be necessary. You need to have a municipal lawyer call the city attorney and talk about it. The inspectors often don’t understand complicated issues like grandfathering, and you can solve the crisis in a few minutes with the city attorney. This is not an uncommon problem, and can often be solved amiably, but only when you go over the head of the inspector and/or zoning official and go directly to the city attorney, who will then educate the city employees on how the law works.

consult an attorney. It may be to your advantage to keep your head down and do nothing regarding your zoning It all depends on what is around you, and the potential for future development

I had a park that was zoned commercial because that was the zoning available at the time. Later when I annexed into the city, part of the process was changing the zoning…and believe it or not, it was questioned by the people at the zoning meeting…they would have preferred the zoning to remain commercial rather than MHP…the administrators pointed out to them that it was just a formality,…the park already existed whether they liked it or not.

but if it were not for the annexation, I would have kept the commercial zoning. Having commericial zoning did not affect the operation of the MHP, but given the location and the difficulty of obtaining commercial zoning in that area, I would have had options in the future.

for example…every couple of years I get relocation inquiries from residents of small older parks (that are typically zoned commercial because the predate MHP zoning)…The parks have been sold and are closing down because the land was sold to a developer as part of a larger group of parcels for development and the park operator sold because the land was worth more as commercial given the area development than it was worth as a MHP

Most important: If any official tells you something verbably, ask for a letter referencing the conversation. I had a zoning official tell me my intentions were in compliance. Later his replacement said my actions made 6 lots in violation and they had to be removed. It still cost me a ton in legal fees to reach an accomodation but I kept the lots.