City Imposes Unauthorized Fees on MHC

MyDesert reports the legal division of the California Department of Housing and Community Development says Desert Hot Springs violated state law when it attempted to impose impact fees amounting to over $500,000 on the owners of Palm View Estates MHC. The city had assessed Palm View $7,000 for each manufactured home moved into the community as authorized by the California Mitigation Fee Act, an ordinance the state agency says cannot be imposed on an existing MHC. “The city has misapplied the intent, the purpose and the overall meaning of the MFA in an effort to extract $543,626.46 from the park owner of Palm View Estates or individuals seeking to install manufactured homes,” senior staff counsel Lisa Campbell wrote. The high fees have kept new residents from moving into Palm View, which has only 78 of its 118 homesites rented, and has prevented the community owner from making improvements. The city council had previously denied Palm View’s request to waive the $7,000 fee, and now the MHC owner intends to ask the city for $40,000 to be refunded. The state housing agency says cities can collect fees for building permits and inspections, but can only enforce zoning regulations and health and safety requirements in MHCs. Left undecided is how other MHCs may be affected by the ruling.

(Photo credit: Wade Byars/The DesertSun)

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