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Mobile Home Ordinance

5.08.002

 

Section 1. Title

 

 This Ordinance shall be known as the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians Mobile Home Ordinance.

 

 

Section 2. Purpose

 

 The purpose of this Ordinance is to regulate mobile home construction and maintenance and mobile home park development within the Torres Martinez Reservation in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of persons within the Torres Martinez Reservation, and to protect the land and environment of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians.

 

 

Section 3. Authority

 

 This Ordinance is enacted pursuant to the inherent sovereign authority of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians to regulate the activities and conduct of persons and land within its jurisdiction, as confirmed by the Constitution of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians.

 

 

Section 4. Scope

 

 This Ordinance shall apply to:

 

 a. All mobile home units and all mobile home parks constructed or maintained on any land within the jurisdiction of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians, as now defined by the Constitution or any amendments adopted following the enactment of this Ordinance.

 

 b. All persons, corporations, agencies, and other entities who sell, lease or allow persons to occupy and use mobile home units or mobile home parks within the jurisdiction of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians.

 

 c. All persons who lease or occupy a mobile home unit or mobile home park within the jurisdiction of the Torres Martinez Cahuilla Indians.

 

 d. All structures, installations and uses associated with mobile home units and mobile home parks within the jurisdiction of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians.

 

 e. All persons, corporations, agencies and other entities that by their conduct either expressly or implicitly consent to the application of this Ordinance to their activities within the Torres Martinez Reservation.

 

 f. The application and scope of this Ordinance are based on the finding of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians Tribal Council that the unregulated use and occupancy of mobile home units and mobile home parks within the Torres Martinez Reservation threatens the health, safety and welfare of the members of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians and others residing on or using the Reservation.

 

 This Ordinance shall not apply to:

 

 a. Modular homes or factory built housing designed only for installation or

construction on a permanent foundation and/or designed not to be moved once so constructed or installed.

 

 b. Travel trailers, truck campers or camping trailers, with or without an engine or power source.

 

 c. Housing units designed for temporary occupancy while constructing a permanent dwelling.

 

 

Section 5. Definitions

 

 The terms used in this Ordinance shall have the following meaning:

 

 a. "Director" means the Director of the Planning Department of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians, or his or her designee.

 

 b. "Lease" means an oral or written contract for the use, possession and occupancy of real property.

 

 c. "Mobile Home Unit" means a structure built on a permanent chassis and transportable in one or more sections, and

 

   (i) in traveling mode is eight body feet or more in width; and

   (ii) in traveling mode is 40 body feet or more in length; and

   (iii) when placed on a site is 320 or more square feet; and

   (iv) contains one or more habitable rooms and facilities for living, sleeping, cooking, and eating; and

   (v) includes plumbing, heating and electrical systems; and

   (vi) with or without a permanent foundation, can be connected to utilities as required by this Ordinance.

 

 d. "Mobile Home Park" means any parcel or contiguous lots of land under

common ownership or control on which are sited, or which is designed, laid out or adapted to

accommodate, more than two (2) mobile homes.

 

 e. "National Electrical Code" means that electrical code published by the National Fire Protection Association, and any amendments thereto.

 

 f. "Nonconforming Mobile Home Park" means a mobile home park that existed before the effective date of this Ordinance and that does not fully comply with the provisions of this Ordinance.

 

 g. "Planning Commission" means the Planning Commission created pursuant to the Planning Commission Ordinance adopted on June 17, 2004.

 

 h. ''Reservation" means all of the lands set aside now or in the future as a reservation for the Tribe by executive orders, secretarial orders, grant deeds, acts of congress, purchases by the Tribe, including those lands held in trust by the United States for the Tribe or individual tribal members and those lands held in fee simple by the Tribe or any individual.

 

 i. "Tribal Council" means the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians Tribal Council.

 

 j. "Tribe" means the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians.

 

 k. ''Uniform Plumbing Code" means that code published by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials and any amendments thereto.

 

 

Section 6. Unlawful Use and Occupancy

 

 Unless the Tribe's Planning Department has issued a temporary occupancy permit pending completion of repairs, it is unlawful for any person, corporation, agency or entity to use, cause to be used or permit to be used for human occupation any of the following as determined by the Planning Department:

 

 a.  Any mobile home that is in an unsafe or unsanitary condition;

 

 b.  Any mobile home that is structurally unsound;

 

 c.  Any mobile home that does not adequately protect its occupants against the elements;

 

 d.  Any mobile home that does not comply with the provisions of this Ordinance;

 

 e.  Any mobile home that is determined to be a threat to the safety, health or welfare of   the residents of the Reservation.

 

 

Section 7. Installation of Mobile Homes

 

 a.  If the mobile home is to be installed upon a pier or load-bearing foundation, such  devices shall be installed and constructed to evenly distribute the load of the mobile home.

 

 b.  All mobile homes, whether or not installed on foundations, shall have three (3) vertical tie-down straps and three (3) frame tie-down straps on each side of the unit.

 

 c.  All mobile homes shall be anchored with auger anchors coated with hot-dipped zinc galvanizing.

 

 d.  All installations shall comply with the manufacturer's installation instructions and standards.

 

 e.  The site shall be cleaned of all vegetation and organic material, except grass not exceeding three (3) inches in height. The area beneath and around the home shall be graded and sloped for proper drainage so that water will not accumulate around the mobile home.

 

 f.  The soil beneath the mobile home shall be compacted so that it is able to bear one thousand (1,000) pounds per square foot. Where the manufacturer imposes a more stringent standard, the manufacturer's standard shall apply.

 

 g.  Mobile homes installed upon a foundation shall be skirted around the bottom of the entire mobile home with one opening for access. Skirting material shall be consistent in color and texture to that of the mobile home itself, and the material shall be resistant to decay and deterioration. Skirting shall be maintained so as to prevent harborage for rodents or to avoid fire hazards.

 

 

Section 8. Utility Services

 

 a. Either the owner of the land on which the mobile home will be sited or the owner of the mobile home unit shall furnish adequate facilities for utility hookups and installation before the installation of the mobile home, including a sewer drain or drains connected to a sewage disposal system; a fresh, potable water connection; electricity or gas connection; and fuel connection for heating purposes. For mobile home parks, concrete utility pads shall be installed for each lot no more than five (5) feet from the utility connections.

 

 b. All plumbing within and connected to a mobile home shall comply with the requirements of the Uniform Plumbing Code, including specifically a backflo w/anti-siphon valve and the proper mobile home plumbing hose.

 

 c. Equipment and connections to supply heating fuel to a mobile home shall be installed and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and standards. LP gas hookups shall be installed according to the following minimum container distances from the mobile home: Less than I 00 gallons at a minimum distance of 5 feet; 100 to 500 gallons at a minimum distance of 10 feet; 500 to 1200 gallons at a minimum distance of 25 feet; and over 1200 gallons at a minimum distance of 50 feet.

 

 d. Electrical wiring, equipment and fixtures within or connected to a mobile home shall be installed and maintained in compliance with the National Electrical Code. In addition, no electrical wiring shall be exposed anywhere within, under or adjacent to a mobile home.

 

 e. Each mobile home shall be supplied with a fresh water service delivering safe, potable water to the occupants.

 

 f. Each mobile home installed shall meet the fire safety standards set forth in 24 C.F.R. §§ 3280.201 to 3280.209.

 

 

Section 9. Sanitation

 

 a. All wastewater from plumbing facilities shall be discharged to a public sewer system where accessible and within 300 feet of the mobile home or mobile home park property line. Where connection to a public sewer is not available, wastewater shall be discharged into a wastewater disposal system that contains components equivalent to the standards imposed by the State of California for systems outside Indian reservations. Nothing herein shall make the laws of the State of California with regard to wastewater disposal applicable to the Torres Martinez Reservation. Under no circumstances shall the owner or occupant of a mobile home discharge uncontained wastewater onto or into the ground.

 

 b. Occupants of mobile homes shall dispose of household waste in animal-proof, watertight receptacles of metal or other durable materials with tight-fitting covers that are maintained outside the mobile home. Occupants shall not accumulate or store rubbish anywhere on the site, under the mobile home or in any structure. Nothing in this Ordinance shall affect reasonable obligations concerning the removal of household waste set forth in a lease.

 

 c. Occupants shall maintain the mobile home and site free from rodents and reasonably free from insects, vermin or other pests.

 

 

Section 10. Mobile Home Parks

 

 In addition to those provisions applicable to individual mobile home units, owners and occupants of mobile home parks shall comply with the following provisions:

 

 a. No person shall occupy a mobile home in a mobile home park without a lease between the owner of the park and the occupant.

 

 b. Mobile home parks shall not contain more than seven (7) mobile homes per acre.

 

 c. Each mobile home shall be situated on a single individual lot with minimum dimensions of 33 feet by 73 feet for single wide mobile homes and 45 feet by 73 feet for double wide mobile homes.

 

 d. No mobile home shall be situated closer than 15 feet to other mobile homes and no mobile home shall be situated closer than 50 feet to any community building.

 

 e. A minimum of five per cent (5%) of the mobile home park area shall be set aside and designated as open space on which no mobile homes or structures shall be situated or constructed.

 

 f. Each mobile home in a mobile home park shall have two (2) off-street parking spaces.

 

 g. Every mobile home park shall be constructed with artificial lighting to adequately illuminate every roadway, walkway, and building containing toilets, showers or laundry facilities.

 

 h. In any lease, the mobile home park owner or operator shall be deemed to covenant and warrant to deliver and maintain throughout the period of the tenancy, premises which are safe, clean and fit for human habitation. This implied warranty of habitability requires the mobile home park owner to provide adequate and reliable utility services, including safe electrical services, potable water and sewage disposal to a location on each park from which utilities can be connected to the mobile home. Adequate sewage disposal is one that does not affect the potability of the water supply, one that does not cause the wastewater to surface above the ground and one that does not cause backup into any mobile home. The warranty also requires the mobile home park owner to assure that the roads, common areas and facilities within the park are safe and fit for the purpose for which they are reasonably intended. This obligation shall not apply to property or utility services which are not owned by the mobile home park owner or operator.

 

 i. No mobile home park owner or operator shall cause to be removed, shut off or discontinued for any leased mobile home park lot, any utility which is required by this Ordinance, except for temporary interruption as may be necessary while actual repairs or alternations are in progress. during temporary emergencies or if health, safety or property is threatened.

 

 j. No lease shall contain any provision by which the occupant or resident waives the protection of the implied warranty of habitability.

 

 k. Occupants shall not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, alter or remove any fixture, mechanical or utility system or furnishings, nor permit any guest, invitee or household member to do so. Occupants shall not plant any vegetation or trees, nor construct or alter any landscaping on the lot without prior written approval from the mobile home park owner or operator, which shall not be unreasonably withheld.

 

 l. A mobile home park owner shall maintain roads within the mobile home park reasonably free of hazards and in a manner that ensures safe and reliable ingress, egress and use without unreasonable interruption on a year-round basis. Roads shall be maintained reasonably free of potholes or depressions in which surface water can accumulate and constitute a health and safety hazard.

 

 m. The mobile home park owner shall keep all park areas clean and free from the accumulation of refuse, garbage, rubbish and debris. The owner shall provide adequate containers with tight-fitting covers for disposing of refuse, garbage and debris by occupants.

 

 n. Any animal control ordinance adopted by the Tribe shall apply to mobile home parks. In the absence of such an ordinance, the following rules shall apply: only domesticated dogs, cats, birds and fish may be kept by occupants; no more than three (3) animals may be kept in any single unit; and animals not under voice control of their owner or custodian shall not be permitted outside of the mobile home without the presence of the owner or custodian.

 

 

Section 11. Permits

 

 It shall be unlawful for any person, corporation, agency, or other entity to undertake any of the following activities without first obtaining a permit from the Planning Commission of the Tribe:

 

 a. Installation of a mobile home.

 

 b. Use and occupancy of any mobile home, either within or without a mobile home park.

 

 c. Construction or operation of a mobile home park.

 

 d. Major alteration of any roadway, walkway, structures, lot, system, equipment, or facility associated with a mobile home park.

 

 e. Major alteration of any structure, system, equipment or facility associated with a mobile home or its immediate surroundings.

 

 f. Transporting or moving any mobile home.

 

 

Section 12. Permit Process

 

 The Planning Commission, or staff of the Planning Department authorized by the Commission, shall administer the permitting process and the provisions of this Ordinance. The Commission or its designee shall follow the procedures set out in the Permitting Policy and Procedure, except where those provisions conflict with the provisions of this Ordinance, in which case this Ordinance shall govern. The Commission or its designee shall:

 

 a. Require the completion of a permit application and the simultaneous payment of permit fees.

 

 b. Review all permit applications for compliance with the provisions of this Ordinance.

 

 c. After review, issue a written permit to any applicant whose proposed activities and uses meet the requirements of this Ordinance, and shall reject in writing any permit application that does not meet such requirements.

 

 d. Require the applicant to provide such information as may be necessary to adequately review the proposed activities or uses for consistency with the provisions of this Ordinance.

 

e. Require that the occupant of a mobile home or owner/operator of a mobile home park provide such information as may be necessary to determine whether this Ordinance or the terms of a permit are being violated.

 

 f. Require prior to the issuance of any permit or enforcement order that an inspection be conducted to ensure that the proposed activities and uses meet the requirements of this Ordinance or, in the case of enforcement orders, that the activities being carried out violate this Ordinance or the terms of the permit.

 

 g. Issue Enforcement Orders and/or Revocation of Permit Orders as set forth in Section 14.

 

 h. Maintain records of permit applications, approvals and denials, enforcement orders and permit revocation.

 

 The Director or designee may deny any permit application on the grounds of significant adverse effect on the environment, or may condition the issuance of the permit on the performance of mitigation that adequately remedies the adverse impact on the environment.

 

 

Section 13. Permit Fees

 

 The Planning Department shall adopt reasonable fees required for the issuance of the permits under this Ordinance. The fees and civil penalties collected pursuant to this Ordinance shall be used only to offset the costs of administering and implementing the provisions of this Ordinance, and for no other purpose.

 

 

Section 14. Permit Appeals

 

 Notwithstanding any other provision of Tribal law or ordinance, an applicant for a permit under this Ordinance may appeal decisions of the Planning Commission denying or conditioning a permit to the Tribal Council, or other body constituted and designated by the Tribal Council specifically for this purpose. The Tribal Council shall adopt procedures governing appeals, which at a minimum shall include the right of the appellant to present evidence and argument and the compilation of a written, non-verbatim record of the hearing and findings and conclusions of the Tribal Council or alternate body. Decisions of the Tribal Council or designated alternate body may be appealed to the Tribal Court when it is created, provided the Court has jurisdiction over the matter. The Tribal Council hereby waives its immunity from suit for the sole and limited purpose of review of its permit appeal decisions by the Tribal Court and the Court's authority to grant relief shall be limited to affirming or reversing the decision of the Tribal Council or alternate body. The Tribal Council does not waive its immunity, nor the immunity of individual Tribal Council members, to suit in any other court.

 

 

Section 15. Enforcement

 

 The Planning Commission or the Director of the Planning Department may revoke a permit for violation of this Ordinance, or issue an Enforcement Order for any violation of this Ordinance or the terms of any permit. In the discretion of the Commission or the Director, enforcement orders may include any one or more of the following:

 

 a. Cease and desist from using or occupying any mobile home, mobile home park or associated areas and structures;

 

 b. Stop any work underway to install a mobile home, connect utility services, or construct a mobile home park;

 

 c. Address any conduct or conditions that constitute violations of this Ordinance;

 

 d. Remediate any adverse environmental effects caused by violations of this Ordinance;

 

 e. Assess a civil penalty in the amount of $1,000 for violations of this Ordinance, a permit issued under this Ordinance, or refusal to comply with a revocation of a permit;

 

 f. Assess a civil penalty in the amount of $100 per day for violation of any Enforcement Order issued pursuant to this Ordinance.

 

 

Section 16. Enforcement Process

 

 a. Notwithstanding any other provision of Tribal law or ordinance, at the Director's discretion, an oral warning may first be provided to the person alleged to have committed a violation of this Ordinance. The warning shall notify the person of the conduct that is alleged to violate this Ordinance, the steps that must be taken to address the violation, the penalties that may be imposed if the violation continues, and the date by which compliance must be achieved. A written record shall be made of the warning.

 

 b. If the violation is not adequately addressed, the Director shall provide a Notice of Violation to the person alleged to have violated this Ordinance. The Notice shall be delivered in person or by registered mail, at the Director's discretion. The Notice shall contain a description of the conduct that is alleged to violate this Ordinance, the specific section violated, the date the conduct occurred, the steps that must be taken to address the violation, the penalties that are or will be imposed if the violation is not adequately addressed, and information about the right to appeal the violation to the Tribal Council or alternate body.

 

 c. The subject of an enforcement order shall have the right to appeal the order to the Tribal Council or alternate body designated by the Council for that purpose. The Tribal Council shall adopt rules governing such appeals, which at a minimum shall include the right of the appellant to present evidence and argument and the compilation of a written, non-verbatim record of the hearing and findings and conclusions of the Tribal Council or alternate body. Decisions of the Tribal Council or designated alternate body may be appealed to the Tribal Court when it is created, provided the Court has jurisdiction over the matter. The Tribal Council hereby waives its immunity from suit for the sole and limited purpose of review of its enforcement order decisions by the Tribal Court and the Court's authority to grant relief shall be limited to affirming or reversing the decision of the Tribal Council or alternate body. The Tribal Council does not waive its immunity, nor the immunity of individual Tribal Council members, to suit in any other court.

 

 d. Any person who is found by the Commission, Director or the Tribal Council to have violated the provisions of this Ordinance more than three (3) separate times during a six (6) month period without those violations having been adequately addressed or remedied may be excluded from the Reservation by order of the Tribal Council. The remedy of exclusion shall apply only to those violations for which the person is directly responsible by virtue of the provisions of this Ordinance. Before an exclusion order may be issued, the alleged violator must be given the opportunity to be heard at a specially-convened Tribal Council meeting, according to rules to be adopted by the Council for that purpose, and in compliance with the Indian Civil Rights Act.

 

 

Section 17. Business Activity Tax

 

 Pursuant to it inherent sovereign authority, the Tribal ·Council will consider the adoption of a business activity tax on the owners or operators of mobile home parks and/or the owners of individual mobile home units to defray the cost of implementing and enforcing this Ordinance. Any revenues raised by this business activity tax shall be used solely and exclusively for the purpose of administering this Ordinance.

 

 

Section 18. Nonconforming Mobile Home Parks and Mobile Home Units

 

 It is the Tribe's policy to allow nonconforming mobile home parks and mobile home units outside parks to continue to exist and to be put to productive use. The Tribe intends to bring any such parks and units into compliance with the provisions of this Ordinance as is reasonably practicable, subject to the following limitations:

 

 a. If the Director finds that a nonconforming mobile home park or unit is in a condition that threatens the safety, welfare and health of the occupants of the park or Reservation residents or guests, the Director shall, in cooperation with the mobile home park owner/operator, or unit owner or occupant prepare a Compliance Plan for bringing the nonconforming use into substantial compliance with this Ordinance within a reasonable time.

 

 b. The Director shall present the plan to the Tribal Council for approval, and upon the plan's approval, the owner/operator, or individual unit owner or occupant shall agree to make the repairs and alterations necessary to comply with the terms of the plan.

 

 c. The failure of the park owner/operator, or individual unit owner or occupant to carry out the provisions of the compliance plan may, in the discretion of the Director, result in the imposition of civil penalties as provided in Section 15, including but not limited to, a civil fine of $100 per day for each day the mobile home park or individual unit remains out of compliance. The park owner/operator, or individual unit owner or occupant shall have the right to appeal the imposition of civil penalties to the Tribal Council, in accordance with Section 16c.

 

 d. A nonconforming mobile home park or individual unit shall not be expanded, altered, moved or changed without complying in full with the provisions of this Ordinance. Any replacement of mobile home units within the nonconforming mobile home park or any replacement of an individual mobile home unit shall fully comply with the provisions of this Ordinance.

 

 e. If a nonconforming mobile home park or individual mobile home unit is damaged or destroyed, any repairs, rehabilitation or restoration shall fully comply with the provisions of this Ordinance.

 

 f. If an existing mobile home park or individual mobile home unit is damaged or destroyed, any repairs, rehabilitation or restoration shall fully comply with the provisions of this Ordinance.

 

 g. If the use of an existing mobile borne park or individual mobile home unit is discontinued for three (3) months, or if the park or unit is abandoned, the park owner/operator, or individual unit owner or occupant must fully comply with the provisions of this Ordinance before resuming use 01: re-establishing the park or unit.

 

 

Section 19. Sovereign Immunity

 

 Neither the Tribe, it's General Council, Tribal Council, Tribal Council members, agents, employees, nor officers waive immunity from unconsented suit for any purpose or in any court or administrative proceeding, and nothing in this Ordinance shall be construed as waiving such immunity.

 

 

Section 20. Severability

 

 If any part of this Ordinance is declared void or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining provisions of this Ordinance shall not be impaired and shall continue in full force and effect.

 

 

Section 21. Effective Date

 

 This Ordinance shall be in full force and effect according to its terms from and after the date of enactment by the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians General Council.

 

 

 

 

Supplemental Documents: