Proposed Compliance Checklist

This was provided to the Douglas County Zoning and Codes Dept. as an example of a type of tool they could use to determine whether a legitimate farm use existed for a non-permanent mobile home for housing persons employed at a farm. Such a tool would allow them to enforce against obvious infractions while allowing farmers to use their permitted rights.


16. One or more mobile homes (A) shall* be allowed as an accessory use to a farm (B) so long as they are occupied by a family related by blood, or marriage, to the occupant of the main dwelling (C), or by a person or persons employed on the farm (D). This mobile home must be at least 150 feet from another dwelling (E), and must be provided with a water supply (F) and sanitary sewerage facilities (G), and may not be used as a rental income property (H). Mobile homes shall not be located within the “F-W” or “F-F” Overlay Districts. (I)

* The word “shall” is mandatory and not directory.

A. Mobile home
1. Does it meet the definition of “mobile home” (12-303-1.60)?
2. Will it be used for sleeping? (if no, it is “personal property”, not a mobile home, and is not regulated other than motor vehicle licensing requirements)
3. Is it designed to move under its own power or be pulled with a pickup truck? (If not, then it is permanent and must be properly tied down, and must have a direct connection to water and sanitary sewer facilities).
4. Who owns the mobile home? Farmer? Person occupying their own portable mobile home which is to be located at the farm on which they are working?
5. Is the mobile home registered, insured, and otherwise in compliance with applicable regulations?
6. Is the mobile home road-worthy and generally safe and sound?
7. Is appropriate safety equipment (fire extinguisher, first aid kit) present?

B. Accessory use to a farm (not all of these will apply to all operations, however, a preponderance of evidence should demonstrate a farm business operating in a business-like manner with the intent of making a profit/return on investment)
1. Is there really a farm?
• Are crops grown and harvested, livestock raised for food and/or fiber, other agricultural activities strongly in evidence at the premises where the mobile home is located?
• Is there a business operation associated with the farm?
• How is it organized (sole proprietor, partners, llc, corporation, etc.)?
• Are there documented sales or contracts for sales of agricultural products grown at the farm?
• Are there documented purchases of inputs, supplies, and equipment customary to producing the products sold?
• Is there infrastructure (fences, barns, greenhouses, water system, etc.) providing the means of production of the products sold?
• Is IRS Schedule F filed?**
• Is a 1099 received documenting farm program payments, subsidies, etc.?**
• Are sales taxes collected and remitted, if required?
• Is the farm registered with the USDA with a facility number?
• Has the farm received grants or loans for agricultural activities?
• Does the operation have insurance commensurate with the nature of farming activities (crop insurance, farm structures, farm liability, farmers market liability, etc.)
• Are there memberships in farm-related organizations, such as Farm Bureau, Farmer’s Co-op, Vegetable (etc.) Growers Associations, etc.?
• Is there a public perception that a farm exists, such as through media articles, advertising, other promotional activities?
• Is the farm actively engaged in marketing its products?
• Does the farm participate in a commodity check-off program?
• Does the farm participate in local, state or national certification or improvement programs?
• Does the farm have licenses and certifications as needed for the type of operation, including:
–Certified scale/weights and measures compliance
–Meat wholesalers or other license
–Egg license
–inspected dairy operation
–Certified organic or “Naturally Grown”
–Seed license Pending
–Live plant sales license Pending
–Agritourism registration
–Sensitive crops registration Pending
–Scrapie program (sheep) or NAIS participation

**These tests alone do not definitively identify a farm for purposes of allowing use of a mobile home for farm workers or relatives.

2. Is the mobile home used for a purpose clearly incidental (i.e., subordinate) to the farm?
3. Is the mobile home used for a purpose customarily found in connection with a farm? (i.e. housing farm workers or farm family members)
4. Is the mobile home on the same lot as the farm? (Note that farms customarily, but not always, consist of more than one lot. On diversified farms, it should be located on the same lot as the farm operation to which it is most accessory, i.e., an accessory mobile home to a sheep operation should be on the same lot as the sheep facilities. It may not be on the same lot as the main farm dwelling.)

C. Related family
1. Are the mobile home residents related to the occupants of the main farm dwelling? How?
2. Is an occupant of the main farm dwelling involved in the operation of the farm? (If main farm house is rented out to non-farming tenants, then relatives of the main farm dwelling shall not qualify to occupy an on-farm mobile home under 6-2.16).

D. Occupants employed on the farm (note: since words not defined in the codes are to be interpreted in accord with their normal dictionary meanings, “employed” does not necessarily mean “hired for wages”, but may include anyone who makes themselves useful to the operation of the farm whether as an independent contractor, employee, intern, apprentice, volunteer, etc.
1. Is use of the mobile home conditioned upon participation in the work of the farm?
2. Can the occupants readily explain, in their first language, the tasks that they are doing at the farm in reasonable detail sufficient to demonstrate understanding of a significant role in the operation of the farm?
3. Do they possess licenses appropriate to the tasks they carry out, if applicable (driver’s license, pesticide applicator’s license, etc.)?
4. Is there a contract for employment or services, evidence of job posting or advertisement, application form, volunteer or internship description, etc. if applicable?
5. Is the occupant self-employed in a business related to the work of the farm (i.e., custom harvest, sheep shearing, etc.), and engaged to ply his/her trade at the farm?
6. Is the occupant a participant in a farm apprenticeship or training program, volunteer clearinghouse, etc.?
7. Is the opportunity to be employed at the farm offered without regard to race, religion, etc. (standard EEO non-discrimination or more stringent)?
8. Are the occupants legally documented to be in the U.S.?
9. If they are working for compensation, are they legally documented to work in the U.S.?

E. 150 feet from another dwelling (i.e. permanent residential structure (other mobile homes don’t count since they aren’t “dwellings”.)
1. Provide a scale drawing or photo of the premises showing distance to the nearest dwelling.

F. Water supply provided
1. Must be approved by the County Health Dept.
2. For a portable mobile home, need not be a direct permanent connection.
3. Water sources may include, but are not limited to:
• Private well (no more than 25 people no more than 60 days per year)—may be shared with the farm or with the main farm dwelling
• Rural water district system—may be shared
• Water hauled from a public water treatment center or public tank filling station
• Purchased bottled water

G. Sanitary sewage disposal provided
1. Must be approved by the County Health Dept.
2. For a portable mobile home, need not be a direct permanent connection.
3. Systems without direct connections to a permanent system shall be emptied into a permanent system in accordance with the unit design (i.e. toilet in a dwelling, RV dumping station, licensed chemical toilet maintenance service).
4. Systems may include, but are not limited to:
• Septic system (may be share with a farm or dwelling system)
• Lagoon (may be shared)
• Public sanitary sewer system (may be shared)
• Sanitary pit privy
• Free-standing chemical toilets (i.e. porta-potty, personal camping chemical toilet) Yes
• Built-in cassette-style chemical toilets
• RV holding tanks systems

H. Not rental income property
1. Is rent charged?
2. A reasonable damage deposit may be charged for use of mobile homes not owned by the person or persons occupying them, to prevent losses to the owner.

I. Not located in “F-W” or “F-F” Overlay Districts.

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