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originally posted by: Benevolent Heretic
a reply to: maddy21
So many government authorities are scared to death of people making their own decisions! It's ridiculous! The fact that they find this person a threat to their control is hilarious! I hope she fights it to the end!
originally posted by: Beach Bum
This is total bs, these city officials just want to make sure they line their pocket with Robin's money. I know of quite a few people who live off the grid and don't have to be connected to any governmental utility service, just another shining example of dot gov butting in where they are not wanted or needed.
originally posted by: LDragonFire
However there are very effective grey and black water systems that work great and doesn't require you to be connected to the grid. There are areas of the country that would suit a off grid lifestyle more than other places.
Local building and zoning codes should be updated to accommodate the off grid lifestyle and the technology needed. Judges really need to start acting like judges and make these hard decisions or whats the point of being a judge?
originally posted by: TrueBrit
Hmmm... I suppose not. An interesting parallel to be sure!
originally posted by: MystikMushroom
Well, if you aren't hooked up to sewer, you're going to be dumping your waste on your land in ways that may not be very safe.
originally posted by: TrappedPrincess
I like a lot of your posts MM and nothing wrong here but I wanted to point out how easy it is to take care of that particular issue as someone who is in the pre-stages of going off the grid adventuring. The same thing we did in the field over seas "wag bags" little resealable bags with a kitty litter like substance in them. You can use put in bucket and burn with diesel or dispose of at the dump no problem. They are pretty cheap themselves but you could probably McGuyver some cheaper ones bulk.
originally posted by: ISawItFirst
Wow. I feel the fear of independence dripping off this post. Gives me the willies.
Save your 30k and the doom porn. Sketch it up and take it to the planning office. Use large sized paper and be accurate. If it's unacceptable they will tell you why. Fix it and try again. Rinse and repeat. Easy peasy.
They have architects there, and engineers. If you can't draw it up you shouldn't be doing it yourself. IBC is not rocket science, especially when your talking about off grid life styles. Problems ubiquitious since antiquity often have many solutions.
There is usually much more leeway for owners than contractors/architects. No license requirements, ins. , bond etc. If it is something that ends up requiring a wet stamp, they can be had for a couple hundo.
It is much easier for them to refuse a contractor.
I don't know how it is everywhere, but I live in one of the most regulated areas of the US building code wise. Lots of AHJs have their own interpretations of many aspects of IBC.
Many of the inspectors I've dealt with would probably love too see some off grid type inspections, and would probably be a great help to the owners.
Still, as long as you are in their process and trying to comply, you can pretty much do what you want as an owner. There are processes for getting a "code variance" for when it is not technically, financially, or otherwise feasible to comply, or at times to formalize a grandfathered aspect of a land improvement. Permit expirations can be repeatedly extended, you could be holding off inspections for years for a few bucks. I've seen hotels claiming broke for years, when requiring hydrotests of their dry pipe systems. That is much more serious than a residential permit issue, handled by the same office.
Everything is based on cost too. If your doing everything yourself, you can assign whatever cost you deem appropriate. Be prepared to briefly explain to the planning receptions why you think your 2 bedroom cottage project is only going to cost whatever your local minimum cost covered under the 25-150 initial permit cost is. Usually around 20k. Even if it is more than 20k, it's usually 5-25$ per additional 1k in cost. Many localities will reissue the first one at no charge if it gets hung up along the way, and additional renewals are usually the same cost as the initial.
It's a simple bureaucracy, and often staffed by friendly folks. It's not the DMV.
Go in, take a number, go up to the lady and say, I have this land at X, and I'd really like to do Y. What do I need to bring you?. What are the minimum requirements.
It's really basic stuff. It's not good case for civil disobedience.
originally posted by: kkrattiger
Owner-builder will NOT be "gone in 10 years". Do a cursory Internet search of "building your own home" or "building my small house" or ANYTHING similar to those phrases.
This is a life goal of mine and I have folders of bookmarks and pictures saved from the Internet, on this topic.