HCD Q & A
Fire hydrants – how often should they be inspected? What if park management does not inspect/maintain? What about low water pressure?
All parks constructed after September 1, 1968 were required to have a hydrant system. Some have public systems, some were exempted by their local Fire Districts because of better public systems nearby. Prior to 1968 date the requirements were VERY minimal and only for parks with more than ten cabins.Parks built after 1968 must have an operational test every year verified by the park and a water flow test (certified) every 5 years, to be done by certified person (local fire district, local water district, licensed C-16 contractor or fire protection engineer). Park must file a Private Fire Hydrant Test and Certification Report annually to get their “Permit to Operate.” Without the test report a permit to operate application is incomplete and late fees accrue. Minimum water flow in a park is based on the date of construction. Parks built between 1979 and 2004 are allowed to have a minimum 15 pounds per square inch of water pressure; however, that is insufficient for an effective hydrant test, which is a minimum 20 pounds. Parks built before 1979 and after 2004 must maintain 20 pounds at maximum operating conditions.
Club House – Do mobilehome parks have to have a clubhouse? Does it have to be ADA accessible? Can management just keep it locked?
No. To require mobilehome parks to have clubhouse, other developments of similar number of units would have to have clubhouse too. If the park has a clubhouse, does it have to be ADA accessible? No, but the office does. But if clubhouse is used by general public, it does have to be ADA compliant. ADA is enforced by that disabled person who is denied access; they would have to sue.
Swimming Pools Rules: Regulated by park rules, but park rules must be reasonable.
Question: Must children be allowed in the pool at all times, or could they be restricted to certain times. Answer: Attorney question.
Fair Housing Act Title 24 Part 100 is about Senior only parks. Senior only is a park rule; 80% of residents must be over certain age. That does not mean the park can rent 20% to young people, they have to follow their own rules.
Keep clubhouse locked? MRL question. Probably they have to have it open during reasonable hours. Each person’s definition of what is reasonable may be different.
Lot lines – How should they be marked? How can they be changed?
They must be marked; Title 25 section 1104 defines the materials for marking lot lines. Prior to July, 1979 there were no restrictions on the movement of lot lines and a park could move them at will. Now the movement of a lot line requires a permit from HCD or the local enforcement agency if they have assumed enforcement from the state, and written authorization from the affected residents. They have to show on map where existing lot line is and where it will be changed to. During inspection lot line will be moved at that time. HCD does not keep park maps. However, if a home or accessory structure is not too old the enforcement agency may have individual plot plans signed by the park for the home or accessory structure installation. If you question it get a copy of parks plot plan for your own resources.
Parking – Can parking be restricted by park rules, even though there are no posted signs?
Yes. The park may prohibit street parking even if the streets are wide enough to allow it by the regulations.
Entrances/exits. Can a large park have only one entrance?
Yes. Access to a park is under the authority of the local jurisdiction
Speed limits – how can they be enforced in the park?
They can’t. The police will not come onto private property to enforce traffic laws. Only thing the park owner could do about speeding is evict the offending person. Park owner could ask city to pass an ordinance to adopt vehicle code within the park; if they do the speed limit is 15 miles per hour.
Electricity – what if we have frequent power failures?
Usually caused by 50 amp system when there are air conditioners. New parks cannot be 50 amp, but older parks can, if allowed at the time they were built. But if they allow 100 amp home in there, they must upgrade their system.
Driveways – what if they are damaged by tree roots? What if they just wear out?
MRL clearly states park responsible for driveway they install but you are responsible for driveways you install.
Is the park or homeowner responsible for trees & shrubs. What about CA Civil Code Section 660?
Some park rules say resident must maintain landscaping, some don’t. Park is responsible for those that become a hazard. Resident should keep trimmed so it does not become a hazard.
Trees – what if they fall on the house?
If there is a dispute about whether a tree is a hazard, file a complaint with HCD or your local enforcement agency to determine if a specific hazard exists.
How about palm fronds falling from park-owned trees?
Emergency Preparedness Plans. Who approves them. What happens if there is no approved plan?
If a community owner does not have an approved plan,their community will not be able to obtain their annual Permit-to-operate, in which case rents may not be collected. As with the Hydrant Test and Certification Report, late fees will accrue against the permit-to-operate if there is not an approved plan in place. If a park is cited for not having a plan, the legislation allows them 60 days to correct the violation and create a plan. WMA member can access templates to create plan on their website. The legislative intent is very clear that the purpose of the legislation is to provide basic information so residents can prepare themselves and not to physically evacuate anyone.” It is not the intent of the Legislature that an owner or operator be responsible for physically evacuating residents from their homes during an emergency. It is further the intent that residents take personal responsibility for themselves during an emergency.”
Which permits are and are not required for any construction or upgrades of a home? Also, does the owner/manager need to have a copy of a resident’s permit for construction or upgrade?
Matrix on HCD website www.hcd.ca.gov/codes/mhp. Manager does not need copy of residents permit, but it must be posted. Why not just cooperate with manager?
“Online comment form” on HCD website: How are questions asked through this online form answered?
There are different programs; questions are routed to the person responsible for the program which seems to cover the question. There is also an interactive form on the Ombudsman website.
What about requirement for removal on sale?
If management is requesting the removal upon sale, the resident can ask for list of violations of the Health & Safety Code, based on inspection of exterior of home. Nobody has the right to enter a home to inspect.
Can a RV be on MH lot?
Yes, but a MH cannot be on a RV lot. Remember, an RV on a MH lot is treated like a MH for purposes of the MRL only, but can be ordered to be removed upon sale no matter how long it has been there.
About Brad Harward
Brad Harward is the Mobilehome Parks and Special Occupancy Parks programs manager for the California Department of Housing and Community Development’s Codes and Standards Division in Sacramento.