Posted by: Patricia Salkin | April 1, 2018

WY Supreme Court Finds Regulation Prohibiting Fractional Ownership was Unenforceable and Beyond the City’s Zoning Authority Since it Did Not Involve the Use of Land

This post was authored by Matthew Loeser, Esq.

Mackay owned and operated two campgrounds in Teton County:  JH Fireside Resort and Buffalo Valley Fireside Resort. Long-term camping was prohibited at both campgrounds, and pursuant to a settlement agreement between Mackay and Teton County, “no person shall stay at the JH Fireside Resort for a period of longer than twenty-nine consecutive days in any sixty day period.” Additionally, under the terms of a conditional use permit for Buffalo Valley, the length of stay there was limited to “less than 30 days in any 90 day period.” In 2015, Mackay transferred undivided tenant in common fee ownership interests in JH Fireside Resort to twenty-one separate entities (FS JH 1 LLC through FS JH 21 LLC). In 2016, Teton County sent a Notice of Violation to Mackay, claiming that tenant-in-common ownership of the campgrounds violated a section of the Teton County Land Development Regulations that prohibited fractional ownership of campgrounds. Mackay filed a declaratory judgment action in the district court seeking a determination that the Land Development Regulation in question exceeded Teton County’s regulatory authority and was unenforceable. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Mackay.

Here, the record reflected that the new tenant in common owners were subject to the same time limitations on camp site occupancy as Mackay was before the transactions. Thus, the regulation prohibiting fractional ownership had no impact on the use of the land for permanently-installed tents or recreational vehicles. The court therefore agreed with Mackay that the regulation prohibiting fractional ownership did not regulate the use of the land, only its ownership. Accordingly, the court found the regulation was beyond the County’s zoning authority and unenforceable, and affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in Mackay’s favor.

Board of County Commissioners of Teton County v Mackay Investments, LLC, 2018 WL 1516744 (WY 3/28/2018)

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