Tuesday, February 26, 2008
What’s less popular with suburban neighbors than a small mobile home? Why, a large mobile home, of course! In an interesting decision handed down today, a Connecticut court held that old mobile homes in a nonconforming mobile home park could not be replaced with new and larger homes, because to do so would work an unlawful “expansion” of the nonconforming use. (The case is Wiltzius v. Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of New Milford, Nos. 27787, 27788, 27789 (Conn. App Ct. Feb. 26, 2008)).
The mobile home park argued both that the park itself (not the homes themselves) was the conforming use, and that a state statute enacted while the case was pending supported this argument. The Court reasoned however, that the new law didn’t apply retroactively, that larger mobile homes would constitute an unlawful “expansion” of nonconforming buildings, and that public policy argues for abolishing nonconforming uses as soon as possible.