Posted by: Patricia Salkin | July 29, 2012

AZ Appellate Court Affirms Ruling Holding Mobile Home Park is a Nonconforming Use

In 2003 Jay Kendrick purchased a mobile home park that he named Stagecoach Trails MHC and began to make improvements, which included permits for 34 mobile homes that were installed. Although none of the park’s spaces were large enough to comply with the minimum space requirements, the city issue the permits anyway. In 2009 the city informed all mobile home park operations that it would be enforcing minimum space requirements to any future attempts. In 2010, Stagecoach Trails applied for a permit to install a new mobile home on space 27, but the zoning administrator denied the application since it did not comply with several requirements.  Stagecoach appealed the denial arguing that it did not need to meet the requirements because it was a nonconforming use. The superior court granted judgment in favor of Stagecoach and the city appealed. 

The appeals court explained that with respect  to reviewing the Board’s decision, the superior court is limited to determining whether the Board “acted arbitrarily, capriciously or in an abuse of its discretion.” Once the superior court invalidated the zoning regulation, it reached the limits of its jurisdiction and had no authority to consider additional bases for the denial of the permit. The city also contended that the superior court erred in granting mandamus relief. Because the court lacked jurisdiction over the issue raised, denying the permit application, the Appellate Court reversed the court’s mandamus order relating to those issues.

Stagecoach Trails MHC, LLC, v. City of Benson, 2012 WL 1963409 (Ariz. App. Div. 5/61/2012)        

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