Chapter 18.42
MOBILE HOME PARKS

Sections:

18.42.010    Title.

18.42.020    Purpose.

18.42.030    Definitions.

18.42.040    Approval required – Mobile home placement permit required.

18.42.050    Commencement of development.

18.42.060    Application – Procedure.

18.42.070    Application – Review by Director.

18.42.080    Application – Review by County Planning Commission.

18.42.090    Application – Appeal to Board of County Commissioners.

18.42.100    Effectiveness of preliminary site plan approval.

18.42.110    Final site plan approval – Granting.

18.42.120    Final site plan approval – Rescission.

18.42.130    Development standards.

18.42.140    Final site plan approval – Certification and recording.

18.42.150    Mobile home placement permit.

18.42.160    Applications, fees and conditions.

18.42.170    Variances.

18.42.180    Enforcement.

18.42.185    Violations – Penalties.

18.42.190    Conflict with other county regulations.

18.42.200    Severability.

18.42.010 Title.

This chapter may be cited as the “Cowlitz County Mobile Home Park Code.” [Ord. 5942, § 1, 10-4-78.]

18.42.020 Purpose.

The Board of County Commissioners deems it necessary to establish standards and procedures set forth in this chapter for the following purposes:

A. To assure the development of planned mobile home parks compatible with existing land uses;

B. To assure the orderly development of Cowlitz county consistent with the Comprehensive Plan;

C. To establish a procedure which promotes the timely review of mobile home park developments in Cowlitz County;

D. To promote public health, safety, and general welfare;

E. To comply with the Washington State Subdivision Law. [Ord. 5942, § 2, 10-4-78.]

18.42.030 Definitions.

The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter:

“Board” means the Board of County Commissioners of Cowlitz County.

“Board of Adjustment” means the Cowlitz County Board of Adjustment created pursuant to CCC 18.10.340.

“Commission” means the Cowlitz County Planning Commission.

“Cowlitz County Comprehensive Plan” means a coordinated plan for the physical development of the county, designating, among other things, elements and programs to encourage the most appropriate use of land and to lessen congestion throughout the county in the interest of public health, safety, and welfare and promote efficiency and economy. For purposes of this chapter, the Comprehensive Plan is the text and map as adopted by the Board, and thereafter amended.

Days/Working Days. “Days” means days of the year in which the County Administration Building is open to conduct public business.

“Department” means the Cowlitz County Department of Building and Planning.

“Director” means the Director of the Department of Building and Planning.

“Mobile home” means a structure transportable in one or more sections each built on a permanent chassis, which is designed to be used for permanent occupancy as a dwelling.

“Mobile home accessory structure” means any awning, or cabana, storage structure, carport, garage, fence, wind-break, porch, or other ancillary structures located on a mobile home lot.

“Mobile home lot” means a portion of a mobile home park designated as the location of one mobile home, and its accessory structures, intended for the exclusive use of the occupants of that mobile home.

“Mobile home park” means a parcel of land, divided into two or more lots or sites for the placement of mobile homes which are to be used for dwelling purposes.

“Mobile home placement permit” means a permit required by Cowlitz County for the placement of a mobile home in the unincorporated area of the county.

“Open space” means that portion of a mobile home park reserved for the common use of residents of the park and is easily accessible to all residents.

“Person” includes any individual, firm, partnership, association or corporation, but does not include any officer, agent or employee of a political subdivision of the state when acting in an official capacity.

“Recreation vehicle” means a vacation trailer, motor home, travel trailer, truck-camper, camping trailer or other vehicular or portable unit which is either self-propelled or towed or is carried by a motor vehicle and which is intended for human occupancy for recreation or emergency purposes but not for long-term residential use. No recreational vehicle qualifies as a mobile home under this chapter.

“Substantial progress” shall have been achieved if 25 percent or more of the individual lots have been completed according to approval plans within two years after approval pursuant to this chapter or a contract has been let for the development of 25 percent or more of the mobile home lots.

“Zoning Code” means Chapter 18.10 CCC which includes text and detailed maps designating specific official controls for the administration and enforcement of the use, density, and location of classified land use districts. For purposes of this chapter, the Zoning Code shall be that document and maps as adopted by the Board, and thereafter amended. [Ord. 5942, § 3, 10-4-78.]

18.42.040 Approval required – Mobile home placement permit required.

No person shall develop, establish or expand a mobile home park within the unincorporated area of Cowlitz County, without first obtaining approval pursuant to this chapter. Conformance of this regulation does not relieve the developer of the responsibility of complying with all other applicable local and state regulations. No mobile home may be placed in an approved mobile home park without first obtaining a mobile home placement permit. [Ord. 5942, § 4, 10-4-78.]

18.42.050 Commencement of development.

Development of a mobile home park may begin immediately following final site plan approval by the Board, unless conditions attached to preliminary approval provide otherwise. The Department shall be responsible for the inspection of the site, in order to assure that said development is consistent with the approved final site plan. [Ord. 5942, § 5, 10-4-78.]

18.42.060 Application – Procedure.

A. A person desiring to develop a mobile home park shall make application in the Department, on such forms as are made available by the Department. The applicant shall submit 20 copies of the site plan map.

B. The following information shall be shown on a site plan map drawn to scale of not less than one inch equals 100 feet:

1. The name and address of the applicant (and the owner, if different from the applicant);

2. The name and address of the mobile home park;

3. The area, dimensions and general legal description (quarter section, section, township, range) of the tract of land;

4. The number, area and dimensions, and location of all mobile home lots. Lots shall be numbered in an orderly sequence;

5. The number and location of all off-street parking spaces;

6. The location and width of park streets and walkways;

7. Location and dimension of all structures to be constructed or altered within the park;

8. The area dimensions and location of any recreation or open space if provided;

9. A vicinity map drawn to scale showing the relationship of the proposed site plan to existing streets in the general area;

10. The density calculation of the park;

11. The location and type of park perimeter screening;

12. Site drainage plan outlining the method of handling surface runoff;

13. The method and plan of water supply, sewage disposal, garbage disposal, and electrical service, including outside lighting;

14. The true north direction arrow;

15. Location of all easements of record pertaining to property.

C. The following information shall be submitted as separate material:

1. Two contour maps of the site showing the topography of the site before and after development;

2. Such additional information as may be deemed necessary by the Director, to enable the Commission or Board to determine whether the park complies with this regulation;

3. Such other information as the applicant deems important in the evaluation of the proposed park plan. [Ord. 5942, § 6, 10-4-78.]

18.42.070 Application – Review by Director.

Upon determination that the application is complete, the Director shall review the application for inconsistencies with the County Zoning Code, this regulation and the stated policies and goals of the County Comprehensive Plan, and shall develop a report of findings and recommendations to be submitted to the Commission with this application. In reviewing a mobile home park site plan application, the Director shall coordinate with all agencies of jurisdiction. The Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Health District shall review and approve the preliminary site plan prior to Planning Commission review pursuant to State Health Board regulations. [Ord. 5942, § 7, 10-4-78.]

18.42.080 Application – Review by County Planning Commission.

A. The Commission shall consider the application at a public hearing to be held not fewer than 15 days or more than 45 days following submission of the completed application. This time limit may be extended in order to satisfy the requirements of the County Environmental Policy Code. The Commission shall provide notice of the public hearing to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county at least once, not fewer than 10 days prior to the date set for the hearing. Notice shall be sent by mail at least 10 days prior to the date of said hearing to the owners of the property proposed for the location of the mobile home park and to all owners of property within 300 feet of the boundary of the area proposed for the park. Failure to send notice by mail to any such property owner where the address of said owner is not a matter of public record or because his ownership is not a public record shall not invalidate any proceedings in connection with a mobile home park site plan application. Notice of said public hearing shall be posted in at least two conspicuous places in the affected area at least 10 days prior to the public hearing. The Planning Commission may issue additional notification as it deems appropriate.

B. Said public notices shall set forth the date, time, place and purpose of the public hearing and in general terms describe the nature of the proposed mobile home park site. Documents of record shall be controlling as to the status of legal ownership.

C. Any person may appear at said hearing and present remarks about the application. The Commission shall grant preliminary site plan approval if it finds that the proposed park satisfies the following:

1. The proposed park complies with this chapter;

2. The proposed park complies with the County Zoning Code;

3. The proposed park is consistent with the recommendations and policies set forth in the County Comprehensive Plan for unzoned areas of the county;

4. The proposed park is designed in a manner that protects the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the county.

D. To assure conformance to the criteria in subsection C of this section, the Commission may approve the park subject to such reasonable conditions as may be necessary. Such conditions may include, but are not limited to the following: density, construction sequence and timing, dedication of lands necessary for public purposes, special engineering, compliance with approved engineering specification, off-street parking, setbacks, special screening, street lighting, and storage of recreation vehicles.

E. Where the Commission determines that additional information may be necessary to make a well-reasoned decision, action on said application shall be continued.

F. The Commission shall make available to the applicant and the public within 10 days of its final action on the application, those findings of fact upon which the final action is based. The Commission’s action on the preliminary site plan is final unless appealed pursuant to CCC 18.42.090. [Ord. 5942, § 8, 10-4-78.]

18.42.090 Application – Appeal to Board of County Commissioners.

A. The action of the Commission may be appealed to the Board by filing a written notice of appeal setting forth the basis for said appeal, with the Clerk of the Board, not later than 10 days after the action of the Planning Commission. If the Board finds that the basis for the appeal is valid, it shall set a public hearing date upon such appeal at its next regularly scheduled meeting after said notice of appeal is filed and said hearing shall be held within 20 days. The Board shall give notice of all public hearings required to be held under the provisions of this chapter by publishing said notice at least once in a newspaper of general circulation within the county, not fewer than 10 days prior to the date fixed for such hearing. Such notice shall set forth the date, time, place and purpose of the public hearing and shall state in general terms the nature of the proposed mobile home park site plan. In addition, written notice shall be given to the owners of the property proposed for the location of the mobile home park. Notice shall be posted in at least two conspicuous places in the affected area at least 10 days prior to the public hearing. The Board may provide additional notice as it deems appropriate.

B. Upon any appeal to the Board, allowed by this regulation, the correctness of the decision of the Commission shall be presumed, and the appellant shall have the burden of demonstrating that such decision was clearly erroneous. The Board may reverse the decision if it finds that such decision was clearly erroneous. The Board shall make available to the applicant and the public within 10 days after its final action, its decision and findings of fact upon which its action is based. [Ord. 5942, § 9, 10-4-78.]

18.42.100 Effectiveness of preliminary site plan approval.

Preliminary site plan approval is effective for one year. The Director may grant a one-year extension if it is found that the applicant is making reasonable progress towards conformance with the requirements of this chapter and conditions of preliminary site plan approval. The Director’s findings shall be made in writing and the Director’s decision may be appealed to the Hearing Examiner, appointed pursuant to CCC 18.10.340, as amended. [Ord. 95-193, § 31, 12-4-95; Ord. 5942, § 10, 10-4-78.]

18.42.110 Final site plan approval – Granting.

A. The Board of County Commissioners shall grant final site plan approval within 15 days after receiving said plan if it finds that the proposed park satisfies the following:

1. The requirements of this chapter relating to final site plans;

2. The approved preliminary site plan;

3. Conditions of preliminary site plan approval.

B. The Board shall make available to the applicant and to the public its decision and findings of fact upon which its decision is based within 10 days of its final action. [Ord. 5942, § 11, 10-4-78.]

18.42.120 Final site plan approval – Rescission.

The Director shall rescind final site plan approval, in writing, if he/she finds that substantial progress has not been made on the construction of the park within two years and all development shall immediately cease. The Director’s decision may be appealed to the Hearing Examiner, appointed pursuant to CCC 18.10.340, as amended, by filing a written notice of appeal, along with filing fee setting forth the basis for said appeal with the Department not later than 20 days after the Director’s decision. Upon any appeal to the Hearing Examiner, the appellant shall have the burden of demonstrating that the Director’s action was clearly erroneous. The Hearing Examiner may reverse the decision of the Director if he/she finds that the Director’s decision was clearly erroneous. [Ord. 95-193, § 32, 12-4-95; Ord. 5942, § 12, 10-4-78.]

18.42.130 Development standards.

Mobile home parks approved pursuant to this chapter shall comply with the following development standards:

A. Area. A mobile home park site shall include minimum area of five acres, unless a variance is granted pursuant to CCC 18.42.180.

B. Density. For the purposes of this chapter, “density” shall mean the number of mobile homes per acre of mobile home park area. Those areas of the park reserved for common recreation and open space having less than 20 percent slope, and under the same ownership as the area devoted to the mobile home park may be included in the calculation of the park density. The density shall not exceed by 50 percent the maximum density allowed in the zone in which the site is located, pursuant to the County Zoning Code, provided that in no case may density exceed nine units per acre. If the area is unzoned, the density shall not exceed by 50 percent the density recommended in the County Comprehensive Plan, provided that in no case may density exceed nine units per acre. However, in no instance, shall the maximum density of parks not served by community sewers, exceed that as specified by State Board of Health on-site sewage disposal regulations.

C. Sewage Disposal. A mobile home park not served by community sewer system shall comply with the State Board of Health On-Site Sewage Disposal Regulations. Prior to final site plan approval, the suitability of the soil for on-site sewage disposal shall be demonstrated for each lot. A person proposing a mobile home park served by a community sewer system shall provide engineering plans and specifications as approved by the Department of Ecology and the purveyor. Said approved plans and specifications shall be submitted to the Department prior to final approval.

D. Water Supply. Water supply shall be provided pursuant to State Requirements, WAC 248-76-270 and Chapter 248-54 WAC. Prior to final site plan approval, the water systems engineering plans and specifications as approved by the Department of Social and Health Services (and the purveyor if hooking up to an existing system) shall be submitted to the Department. The water supply system shall be maintained and operated in full compliance with Chapter 248-54 WAC.

E. Fire Protection. The County Fire Marshal shall review the park’s water system specifications, to assure that the system is designated for adequate water pressure to provide fire flow in conformance with the Uniform Fire Code. The Fire Marshal may require the applicant to submit engineering specifications to determine fire flow needs. All structures constructed or placed in the park shall comply with the Fire Code.

F. Difficult Development Land. If the Commission finds that the mobile home site is located in an area having detrimental natural features such as, but not limited to, flooding, severe slopes and potential soil slippage, it shall require the applicant to provide engineering plans which are adequate to overcome the problem(s). The Commission and/or Board shall condition the recommendations of said engineering report to the approval of the site plan.

G. Conventional Homes. Construction or placement of conventional homes shall not be permitted to a mobile home park. However, this requirement shall not prohibit the construction, enlargement, or alteration of one single-family conventional dwelling structure within the mobile home park for the exclusive use of the park owner or his agent.

H. Placement on Lots. No more than one mobile home shall be placed on any lot within a mobile home park.

I. Drainage. If site drainage plan does not adequately address the proper and safe drainage on or off the site, the Planning Commission shall require an engineering drainage report from the applicant as a condition of preliminary approval. The report shall address the requirements of Chapter 16.20 CCC. Said report shall be approved by the County Engineer if the County Engineer finds that the report provides for safe and proper drainage on and off the site. The Board of County Commissioners shall apply the recommendations of said report as a condition of final site plan approval.

J. Off-Street Parking. There shall be provided for the exclusive use of the occupants of each mobile home, two off-street parking spaces on each mobile home lot. Guest parking areas shall be provided at a ratio of one parking space for each four mobile home lots. This requirement is waived if the owner provides three off-street parking spaces per lot, or if the street width is sufficient to allow on-street parking on both sides. All off-street parking spaces shall have a minimum dimension of 10 feet by 20 feet.

K. Park Streets. Mobile home park streets shall be surfaced with asphaltic concrete pavement (Class B) or Portland cement concrete pavement.

1. Street surface width minimums shall be as follows:

a. Forty feet for two-way streets with parking on both sides of the street;

b. Thirty-two feet for two-way streets with parking on one side of the street;

c. Twenty-six feet for two-way streets without on-street parking;

2. Dead-end streets shall not exceed a length of 500 feet and shall be terminated by a cul-de-sac having a minimum diameter of 70 feet;

3. Park entrances shall be located not less than 150 feet from public street intersections, as measured from the centerline of the public street to the center line of the park entrance street;

4. A public road shall be the primary means of access to the mobile home park site.

L. Nonresidential Uses Prohibited. Nonresidential uses are prohibited in a mobile home park, except the following:

1. Common recreation areas and facilities;

2. Community services serving only the occupants of the park;

3. Home occupations by special use permit pursuant to Chapter 18.10 CCC.

M. Maintenance. The park owner shall be responsible for maintenance of all common facilities and grounds such as, but not limited to, streets, sidewalks, perimeter screening, buildings and utilities.

N. Setbacks. All mobile homes, together with their additions and accessory structures, shall comply with the following minimum setback requirements:

1. Exterior park boundaries: If a lot is common with an exterior park boundary, the minimum setback shall be 15 feet; however, if the exterior park boundary is the right-of-way of a public road, the minimum setback shall be 25 feet from the property line or 55 feet from the centerline of the roadway, whichever is greater;

2. Interior park streets: 10 feet from the street boundary for any structure;

3. Side and rear yards: Five feet from side and rear lot lines for mobile homes; three feet for detached accessory structures on the same lot;

4. Between mobile homes: 10 feet;

5. Between mobile homes and detached accessory structures on adjacent lots: Eight feet;

6. Ten feet from common parking areas.

O. Screening and Landscaping. Screening and landscaping shall be required to make the mobile home park compatible with adjacent land uses. Landscaping plan shall show the following:

1. A five-foot minimum height screen consisting of evergreen trees and/or shrubs, site-obscuring fence, or wall along the perimeter of the park;

2. Proposed planting of trees and shrubs in the interior of the park;

3. All required planting shall be maintained in a healthy condition;

4. All required screening shall be set back from public road intersections a minimum of 15 feet.

P. Walkways. Adequate walkways shall be provided to and from all community service and recreational facilities. The walkway shall be designed to accommodate persons who are unable to walk due to a physical handicap.

Q. Lighting. Park entrances, streets, walkways, community service buildings and common parking areas shall be lighted.

R. Enclosed Storage Structures. One enclosed storage structure shall be required on each mobile home lot and one additional enclosed structure may be provided; however, no mobile home lot shall have more than two storage structures.

S. Mobile Home Skirting. Complete skirting shall be provided not later than 60 days following placement of the mobile home on the lot. Materials shall be fire resistant and of a permanent type.

T. Signs. Sign standards shall be as follows:

1. Two signs not exceeding an aggregate area of 16 square feet will be allowed in the mobile home park to designate the name of the mobile home park. The sign shall be a nonflashing, stationary type.

2. Advertising signs shall not be permitted except a temporary sale or lease sign, on behalf of tenants or on behalf of a park owner, making incidental sales or leases.

3. Incidental signs for the information and convenience of tenants and the public pertaining to vehicular and pedestrian rules of conduct.

U. Open Space. Areas designated as open space shall be developed and maintained as prescribed by the county when the mobile home park site plan is approved.

V. Recreational Vehicle. A plan for the placement and use of recreation vehicles within a mobile home park shall be included in the preliminary site plan. Common areas for the storage of recreation vehicles shall be allowed within the mobile home park; however, the occupation of any recreational vehicles stored in the common area shall not be allowed. The county may alter the recreation vehicle plan in order to assure that the health, safety and welfare of the occupants of the park are maintained. [Ord. 5942, § 13, 10-4-78.]

18.42.140 Final site plan approval – Certification and recording.

The Board shall certify the approved final site plan by placing its signature on the final copy of said plan, and specifying the date of the Board’s approval. All conditions of approval shall be placed on the site plan or made an attachment thereto. One copy shall be recorded in the County Auditor’s office and a copy shall be retained in the Department. The applicant shall pay the recording fee. [Ord. 5942, § 14, 10-4-78.]

18.42.150 Mobile home placement permit.

A mobile home placement permit may be issued for a park lot if the Director finds as follows:

A. The mobile home park final site plan has been approved;

B. The lot and park improvements are consistent with the approved mobile home park site plans, and conditions attached thereto;

C. All required utilities and road access are available to the lot; provided that the community sewer and water system serving said lot shall be inspected by the purveyor during installation and certified as acceptable and compatible with approved engineering specifications;

D. The mobile home placement fee as required by Cowlitz County has been paid. [Ord. 5942, § 15, 10-4-78.]

18.42.160 Applications, fees and conditions.

A. Fees and charges for processing preliminary and final mobile home park site plans, checking and approving plans and specifications, performing inspections, recording final site plans, holding hearings, and other administrative actions under this chapter, shall be as from time to time established by resolution of the Board.

B. The approval shall be transferable from one person to another person at the same location.

C. The final site plan shall be drawn in black ink on mylar or approved substitute, in sheets 24 inches long by 18 inches wide. The applicant shall submit the original and two copies. [Ord. 16-113 § 4, 9-20-16; Ord. 87-015, § 5, 2-2-87; Ord. 5942, § 16, 10-4-78.]

18.42.170 Variances.

A. A variance from the standards in CCC 18.42.130, excepting density, may be granted by the Commission and the Board, at the time the site plan application is considered by both agencies.

B. The Board shall approve of the variance request if it finds that all of the following circumstances apply:

1. Because of special circumstances applicable to subject property including size, shape, topography and location, the strict application of this regulation would be to deprive subject property of rights and privileges enjoyed by other property in the vicinity;

2. The granting of the variances will not be materially detrimental to the public health or injurious to property or improvements thereon;

3. The granting of the variance will not materially compromise the goals and policies of the Comprehensive Plan or the spirit of the County Zoning Code.

C. Upon approval by the board of any variance, the Board may attach the following conditions to its approval as will assure that the development will conform to this regulation and the policies and goals of the Comprehensive Plan: specific location, construction sequence and timing, operation and maintenance, duration of use, removal of development upon termination of use, dedication of lands, compliance with approved engineering plans and specifications, off-street parking, setback, special screening, and other reasonable conditions deemed appropriate.

D. Required public notices shall indicate that a variance from the standards in CCC 18.42.130 is requested.

E. All variance requests after final site plan approval shall be made to the Hearing Examiner, appointed pursuant to CCC 18.10.340, and follow procedures pursuant to CCC 18.10.350 and 18.10.365, as amended. Upon the filing of an application for a variance, the Hearing Examiner shall set the time and place for a public hearing on such matter. Written notice thereof shall be mailed to all landowners of record within 300 feet of subject property. Said notice shall be addressed as shown on the current tax rolls and transmitted through the U.S. mail not less than 12 days prior to the hearing date. [Ord. 95-193, § 33, 12-4-95; Ord. 5942, § 17, 10-4-78.]

18.42.180 Enforcement.

A. The Director shall issue no permits for the construction, alteration, repair, placement of any mobile home or other structure, or part thereof, unless a final site plan has been filed, and until such plans as are required under this chapter have been approved.

B. The Director, or his/her designee, shall make periodic inspections of the park to insure that the park is in conformance with this chapter and conditions of final site plan approval. [Ord. 93-102, § 26, 7-6-93.]

18.42.185 Violations – Penalties.

It is a civil infraction for any person to violate this chapter or assist in the violation of this chapter. Violations are subject to the provisions of Chapter 2.06 CCC. Any violation is a public nuisance. Each day a violation exists is a separate violation. Payment of any penalty imposed for a violation does not relieve a person from the duty to comply with this chapter. [Ord. 93-102, § 27, 7-6-93; Ord. 5942, 10-4-78.]

18.42.190 Conflict with other county regulations.

Where other county regulations are in conflict with this chapter, the more restrictive regulation shall apply and such application shall extend to those specific provisions which are more restrictive. [Ord. 5942, § 21, 10-4-78.]

18.42.200 Severability.

Should any section, clause or provision of this regulation be declared by the courts to be invalid, the same shall not affect the validity of the regulation as a whole or any part thereof other than the part so declared to be invalid. [Ord. 5942, § 20, 10-4-78.]