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ACT NO. 161

(S.309)

Mobile Home Parks; Wastewater; Affordable Housing

This act provides that if a potable water supply or wastewater system serving a mobile home park fails, the park owner shall be required to obtain a permit from the Secretary of Natural Resources to correct the failure. The act allows the secretary to issue permits with variance provisions if the failed system or supply cannot be modified so as to fully comply with the rules, and provides that when approving a variance, the secretary shall consider the preservation of the housing stock, the costs of modification or repair, and the potential impact on human health and the environment.

The act provides that where a mobile home park is a nonconforming use under local zoning regulations, that status applies to the parcel as a whole, and not to any individual mobile home lot within the park. Therefore, the vacancy of a single lot shall not be considered a discontinuance of the nonconforming use. The act provides that the owner of a mobile home park that has been closed and reduced to no more than two occupied leased lots shall be required to have all state land use and environmental permits before the number of leased lots may be increased to more than two, notwithstanding any prior grandfathered status.

The act also exempts from the wastewater and water supply chapter single family residences with attached or included accessory residential units, inhabited by not more than two persons, one of whom is related by blood or marriage to an owner of the residence, provided that a licensed professional engineer or certified site technician reviews the water supply and wastewater facilities and determines them to be adequate. In such a situation, the owner is required to deliver to the town clerk, for recording, a copy of the engineer or technician determination of system adequacy, plus a notice that if the accessory apartment is ever inhabited by more than two persons, or exclusively by persons not related to an owner of the residence, then a permit shall be required to be obtained.

The act extends, until July 1, 2002, the sunset date on certain municipal sewage ordinances approved before July 1984 by the Commissioner of Health or the Board of Health.

The act amends the municipal zoning chapter by allowing municipalities to award density increases of as much as 50 percent in the case of affordable housing development. The act defines an affordable housing development as a development of which at least 50 percent of the units are affordable housing units. It defines affordable housing as housing that is (1) owned by its inhabitants whose gross annual household income does not exceed 80 percent of state median income, and who have a total annual cost of housing that is not more than 30 percent of the household’s gross annual income; or (2) rented by inhabitants whose gross annual household income does not exceed 65 percent of state median income, and who have a total annual cost of housing that is not more than 30 percent of the household’s gross annual income.

Effective Date: July 1, 2000