You are here

Interpretation Response #PI-94-005


Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date: 02-04-1994
Company Name: California Public Utilities Commission    Individual Name: Russell W. Copeland
Location state: CA    Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Request text:

January 13, 1994

Cesar DeLeon, Director
Office of Regulatory Programs
DOT, Office of Pipeline Safety
400 7th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20590

Dear Mr. DeLeon:

We need clarification on your definition of a "Mobilehome Park". San Luis Ray [sic] Homes mobilehome park (SLRH) in Oceanside, California, was built as a sub-division and is claiming exemption from California's gas safety regulation.

California PU Code, section 4352, mandates our staff to inspect "mobilehome parks with gas distribution systems". California Code defines a mobilehome park as an area or tract of land where two or more spaces are leased or rented. In addition, the definition encompasses parks which were later converted to sub-divisions.

SLRH is a cooperative senior citizen park organized under the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act. It is not a rental park. The property is sub-divided such that each resident owns 1/328th of the cooperative with the exclusive privilege of occupying a designated space for placement of his/her mobilehome. Gas is master-metered at the property line with the cooperative owning the distribution system in the park.

Mr. Frank Firko, the president of the cooperative (telephone (619)757-5000), has questioned our authority and jurisdiction to regulate gas pipeline safety in SLRH. His reasoning is that SLRH is a sub-division and is not a mobilehome park per definition.

California Department of Housing and Community Development, which is the local authority for issuing permits to mobilehome parks, as well as the local government authorities, have opined that SLRH is not a mobilehome park because it does not meet the definition of the California code. In an informal opinion, our Legal Division has opined that this park is not under our jurisdiction (please see the attached memo); however, Legal Division has advised us to get your formal opinion on this issue.

Please provide us with your formal opinion on this issue. Thank you for your help and support, and, if you have any questions, please call Alok Kumar at (415) 557-3312.

Sincerely,

RUSSELL W. COPELAND, Chief
Utilities Safety Branch

Enclosure

 

MEMORANDUM

State of California Public Utilities Commission
San Francisco

Date : December 22, 1993

To : Alok Kumar

From : Brewster Fong

File No. :

Subject : San Luis Rey Homes, Inc.

Attached is my memorandum to Bill Foley regarding whether San Luis Rey Homes, Inc., (SLRH) a cooperative mobilehome park, falls within the definition of mobilehome parks and is subject to the CPUC"s jurisdiction.

Based on the materials provided by SLRH, it is Legal Division"s opinion that:

  1. A letter should be sent to SLRH homeowner association, all individual owners/members, and any other interested parties informing them that SLRH does not meet the definition of mobilehome park as defined in Health & Safety Code section 18214 and thus, is not within our jurisdiction.

    Staff should also contact the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) and inquire about their definition of mobilehome park and whether they have an opinion on this issue. Specifically, it is our opinion that SLRH does not fall within the state's definition of mobilehome parks. However, because staff is enforcing federal safety standards, if DOT has made a determination that SLRH or a similarly situated mobilehome park, is defined as a mobilehome park under federal law, we would want to revisit this issue.

  2. The letter to the SLRH homeowner association, individual owners/members, and any other interested parties should also inform them that because we do not appear to have jurisdiction, Staff will not conduct inspection of their gas distribution system.

  3. Staff should offer them the opportunity to have their park inspected by us and be subject to our requirements.

Should you have any questions call me.

 

  1. Department of Housing and Community Development letter

Another document submitted by SLRH in its May 8, 1993 letter, is a letter from the State of California - Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, Department of Housing and community Development, dated February 26, 1991. Upon review of this letter, we can conclude that first, the Dept. of Housing & Community Development (HCD) found that SLRH was not a mobilehome park as defined in Health & Safety Code §18214. Second, HCD used the same definition to define mobilehome parks that we are using. Finally, HCD removed SLRH from its computer system and sent a letter to the Chief Building Official for the City of Oceanside informing him that SLRH was no longer under the Dept. of Housing & Community Development jurisdiction and that its entire file will be transferred to the Oceanside Building Department.

Based on this letter, it is obvious that HCD, another state agency, does not consider SLRH to be a mobilehome park as defined by Health & Safety Code §18214. Therefore, should we reach the same conclusion as HCD, then SLRH will also not fall within our jurisdiction.

  1. City of Oceanside letter

Finally, the last document provided to Staff was a letter from the City of Oceanside to SLRH dated May 8, 1991. This letter states that the City of Oceanside recognizes that SLRH does not meet the definition of mobilehome park because the lots are owned rather than rented or leased. Therefore, SLRH comes under the jurisdiction of the City of Oceanside. Also, SLRH was informed that it will not need to obtain an annual permit from HCD to operate, subject to annual inspections, that state and local building codes became applicable as SLRH falls under non-mobile home park constructions, and that the City Fee Resolution would apply to SLRH instead of the Mobilehome Park Act.

III. Recommendation

Based on the documentation provided to staff, SLRH is a planned development as defined in the Civil Code. The lots/spaces were created with the intent to be sold individually. SLRH is an organization created to own, control, manage and operate the estates as a social and recreational club. Therefore, it is Legal Division"s opinion that:

  1. A letter should be sent to SLRH homeowner association, all individual owners/members, and any other interested parties informing them that SLRH does not meet the definition of mobilehome park as defined in Health & Safety Code §18214 and thus, is not within our jurisdiction.
  2. This letter should also inform them that because we don"t have jurisdiction, Staff will not be conducting inspections of their gas distribution systems.
  3. Staff should offer SLRH and its members the opportunity to have their park inspected by us and be subject to our requirements.

 


1 Additionally, Civil Code section 798.4 defined mobilehome park as:

"Mobilehome park" is an area of land where two or more mobilehome sites are rented, held out for rent, to accommodate mobilehomes used for human habitation.

Because PU Code sections 4351(e) and 4356(b) specifically refer to the Health and Safety Code, beginning with section 18200 of Part 2.1 of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code, the definition found in Civil Code Section 798.4 will not be used.

2 According to a letter dated May 8, 1993 from Frank J. Firko, President of San Luis Rey Homes, Inc., San Luis Rey Homes was the first mobilehome community in California created where the mobilehome occupant owned its own lot. At the time this resolution was created, the term "mobilehome park" was not in use and instead the term "trailer park" was used. When referring to this resolution, both terms will be used interchangeably.

3 Frank Firko, President of SLRH, in his May 8, 1993 letter, states that this park was the first mobilehome park in California to be built where the lots were to be owned by the mobilehome occupants. Therefore, it could be inferred that because this was a novel idea at that time, it might not be popular with the public, and the owners may have therefore wanted the option to rent or lease the individual lots.

4 However, in its bylaws, the McElhose are referred to as the Declarants who executed a general plan of protective covenants, restrictions, and conditions with respect to the property which makes up San Luis Rey Mobile Home Estates. Therefore, when looked upon in conjunction with the sample grant deeds provided by SLRH, it can be concluded that the operation, management and control of SLRH has been transferred by the McElhose.

5Civil Code section 1351 (1) defines separate interest in a planned development to mean a separately owned lot, parcel, area, or space.


Response text:

February 4, 1994

Mr. Russell W. Copeland
Chief, Utilities Safety Branch
California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102-3298

Dear Mr. Copeland:

This is in reply to your letter of January 13, 1994, concerning the applicability of Federal pipeline safety standards to the pipeline owned and operated by the San Luis Ray [sic] Homes (SLRH) mobilehome park. The SLRH is a senior citizen mobile home park cooperative sub-divided such that each resident owns 1/328th of the cooperative. Gas is master metered at the property line with the cooperative owning the distribution system in the park.

The Federal pipeline safety requirements in 49 CFR parts 191 and 192 apply to pipelines used in the transportation of gas. In accordance with the definition of a service line under §192.3, the pipeline transportation subject to federal regulation ends when the gas has been sold and delivered to the consumer. It is important to note that the definition of "person" under §192.3 includes the term "cooperative association" and the word "person" is used to define an "operator" that is engaged in the transportation of gas.

Under the facts given in your letter and its attached documents, the transportation of gas does not end until the gas is delivered to each resident in the cooperative. Therefore, it appears that the cooperative is engaged in the transportation of gas to the individual lots within the SLRH. The fact that the lots are individually owned and are not rented does not affect compliance with the Federal regulations. Accordingly, as the operator, the cooperative is responsible for compliance with the Federal pipeline safety standards in 49 CFR parts 191 and 192.

We trust that this adequately responds to your request. Please feel free to contact me if you have further questions.

Sincerely,

Cesar DeLeon
Director, Technology and
Standards Division


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
§ 192.3 Definitions