This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).


North Star Estates Manufactured Homes Community,


Jeffrey Davis, et al.,

North Star Estates Manufactured Homes Community,


Kyle Greenbush, et al.,

Filed July 13, 1999
Shumaker, Judge
Concurring specially, Short, Judge

Ramsey County District Court
File No. C6-98-6206

John F. Bonner, III, Amy E. Dawson, Robert J. Borhart, Malkerson Gilliland Martin LLP, Suite 1500 AT&T Tower, 901 Marquette Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55402-3205 (for appellant)

Thomas J. Triplett, 344 Summit Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55102, and

Thomas C. Vasaly, 525 Park Avenue, No. 500, St. Paul, MN 55103 (for respondents)

Considered and decided by Short, Presiding Judge, Davies, Judge, and Shumaker, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


Appellant North Star Estates Manufactured Homes Community brought this unlawful detainer action against respondent-tenants Jeffrey and Deborah Davis and Kyle and Tonya Greenbush seeking restitution of the premises on the ground that respondents' children violated a rule prohibiting basketball backboards on individual lots. The district court concluded that the rule was unreasonable and denied North Star restitution of the premises. We affirm.


North Star operates a manufactured home park in which respondents live. There are 210 homes and about 600 residents in the park. In April 1997, North Star adopted a rule prohibiting basketball backboards on individual lots. Although a previous rule had prohibited "play equipment" on individual lots, North Star had nevertheless not enforced the prohibition as to basketball hoops and backboards.

North Star park manager Diane Baldwin testified that North Star had received complaints about children playing basketball; specifically that players blocked the street, made a lot of noise, and used profanity, and that balls damaged residents' property. Baldwin testified that she had also received complaints about children riding bikes and that North Star attempted to control that activity as well. Deborah Davis testified that children ride bikes, rollerblade, and play street hockey, tennis, and football in the streets.


Statutory construction is a question of law subject to de novo review. Wynkoop v. Carpenter, 574 N.W.2d 422, 425 (Minn. 1998). Minn. Stat. § 327C.02, subd. 2 (1998), which governs manufactured home park lot rentals, provides:

A rule adopted or amended after the resident initially enters into a rental agreement may be enforced against that resident only if the new or amended rule is reasonable * * *.

Under the definition of "reasonable rule," a rule cannot be "unjustifiably discriminatory in nature." Minn. Stat. § 327C.01, subd. 8(c) (1998).

When children play basketball on individual lots their games tend to spread into the streets. That raises safety and congestion concerns. Respondents presented evidence that similar problems are presented by children being in the streets while riding bikes, rollerblading, and playing street hockey, tennis, and football. North Star admitted receiving complaints about children riding bikes in the streets but used less stringent measures than prohibiting the use of bikes on individual lots to control that activity. Other problems associated with basketball, such as, loud noise and errant balls are not unique to basketball.

The rule prohibiting basketball backboards on individual lots singles out the sport of basketball and discriminates against that activity and those who participate in it. The record does not indicate that less stringent restrictions would be unsuccessful in controlling the problems associated with basketball. We hold that the district court could properly conclude that the total prohibition of basketball backboards on individual lots is unjustifiably discriminatory in nature and, therefore, unreasonable. The district court did not err in denying North Star restitution of the premises.


SHORT, Judge (concurring specially).

I concur in the result for two reasons. First, the evidence supports the referee's findings that the mobile home park rule is unreasonable and constitutes a substantial modification that significantly eliminates a material right. See Minn. Stat. §§ 327C.01, subd. 11 (1998) (defining "substantial modification"), .02, subd. 2 (1998) (stating modified rule may be enforced against park resident only if reasonable and not substantial modification of original agreement); Richie v. Paramount Pictures Corp., 544 N.W.2d 21, 25 (Minn. 1996) (noting that, under Minn. R. Civ. P. 52.01, trial court's findings of fact shall not be set aside unless clearly erroneous). And second, North Star Estates' blanket ban on basketball hoops is unjustifiably discriminatory in nature. See Minn. Stat. § 327C.01, subd. 8(c) (1998) (defining "reasonable rule" as park rule that is not unjustifiably discriminatory in nature); cf. Gunderson v. Anderson, 190 Minn. 245, 249, 251 N.W. 515, 516 (1933) (applying established rule that discriminatory or arbitrary ordinances are void). Under these circumstances, I would affirm the trial court's decision.