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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.
Many rural areas don't allow plots with wells smaller than 40 acres in order to prevent suburbanization. Other places prevent farmland from being converted into a home plot for 5 or 10 years (you have to take the land out of production for a long period of time as a farmer).
originally posted by: kkrattiger
*Note: of course there's restrictive zoning in cities and developer-owned subdivisions, etc. I am talking about land in areas not zoned in a way which precludes building one's own home. If one buys a parcel just east of Main Street, next to a pizza joint across from a school, intending to tear down the fixer upper to live off grid, then you may feel slighted by the tyrannical pile of tickets for codes violations that will shut down your "plan".
originally posted by: JohnnyCanuck
Also, there are zoning codes and property standards for a reason.
Thomas Hobbes famously said that in the "state of nature", human life would be "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short". In the absence of political order and law, everyone would have unlimited natural freedoms, including the "right to all things" and thus the freedom to plunder, rape, and murder; there would be an endless "war of all against all" (bellum omnium contra omnes). To avoid this, free men contract with each other to establish political community i.e. civil society through a social contract in which they all gain security in return for subjecting themselves to an absolute Sovereign, one man or an assembly of men.
Locke believed that natural rights were inalienable, and that the rule of God therefore superseded government authority; and Rousseau believed that democracy (self-rule) was the best way of ensuring the general welfare while maintaining individual freedom under the rule of law. The Lockean concept of the social contract was invoked in the United States Declaration of Independence. Social contract theories were eclipsed in the 19th century in favor of utilitarianism, Hegelianism, and Marxism, and were revived in the 20th century, notably in the form of a thought experiment by John Rawls.
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. Your waste could leech into the subsurface groundwater and contaminate other people's property, or the entire town/city's itself.