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Old 10-14-2011, 11:54 PM
 
1,027 posts, read 601,207 times
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Default Less county regulations / building codes?

Are there counties in CA that are kind of lenient on codes/building permits? The ones I researched so far are not (El Dorado, Sonoma, etc)
A place where you could put a shed with a decent number of square feet or install a yurt or big wall tent without a permit and live there without being harassed. Or, where they won't say anything if you live in parked RV, because the main home is a total fixer... or no main home at all (utilities in). Other than Lake County, perhaps.
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Old 10-15-2011, 01:15 AM
 
Location: Columbia, California
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You may want to look at Calaveras and Tuolumne county.
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Old 10-15-2011, 01:49 AM
 
Location: Bryte, CA
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Most counties have adopted uniform codes. A city within a county may have different codes.

The size and placement of accessory structures is usually dependent upon zoning. Typically, building a barn on a 7500 sq ft residential lot isn't going to be permitted. Many places allow you to live in a temporary structure (mobile home, RV) while you are working on a fixer, but you have to get a permit to do it. The county/city is usually concerned with proper plumbing, making sure you aren't running extension cords out to an RV, and just to know what is going on in the event a neighbour calls in claiming you are using the RV parked in back as a source of rental income.

Enforcement varies based on the type of neighbourhood. Obviously, enforcement isn't much of a priority in many lower-class urban neighbourhoods and is almost non-existent in some rural neighbourhoods (look at the San Joaquin Valley). And the most important thing to keep in consideration is don't annoy the neighbours.

But the bottom line is every county and city has codes and they are usually online. That is what you can be held accountable for.

Last edited by KC6ZLV; 10-15-2011 at 01:59 AM..
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Old 10-15-2011, 09:58 AM
 
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Yeah, it looks like most counties in CA require a permit for sheds over 120 sq feet (some for over 200). But as to RV, the formal situation ain't good either--it's pretty much a million of permits and you have to prove something else, that you're a contractor working on a house or a caregiver... Also, I think you can't put 2 trailers on the property without being considered a "trailer park". I guess one would need a mobile home park license here if you want to put a 2nd little trailer to use as storage shack!--and then you can't even use a trailer as storage in many counties as I see from online info.
First hand info is helpful to find out how much of actual enforcement is happening.

As to Tuolumne county... I heard that around Sonora the enforcement is particularly strong
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Old 10-15-2011, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Columbia, California
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It is all on the size of the property and terrain as well. My cousin built a large home in Atascadero. He built a skid cabin that needs no permit. Built on skids 4"x 10" about 8 feet by 24 feet. He still has that shed/cabin today and he built the house 10 years ago. No permit is required for a structure if it is not attached to the ground. Many people have used shipping containers as homes. I looked a 5 acre property in Dorrington I was going to use a shipping container as a cabin.
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Old 10-15-2011, 10:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferretkona View Post
It is all on the size of the property and terrain as well. My cousin built a large home in Atascadero. He built a skid cabin that needs no permit. Built on skids 4"x 10" about 8 feet by 24 feet. He still has that shed/cabin today and he built the house 10 years ago. No permit is required for a structure if it is not attached to the ground.
This is true and a good strategy. There are a great variety of rules and regulations that vary from place to place. One always has to study them. But in general you can often get around code -- to a point -- by creating storage on wheels, or skids. Although, as mentioned in an earlier post, there may be limitations to how many vehicles can be parked.

My home base property is on a rural acreage zoned for "single family residential" only ... I built a primary cabin ... then I built a second, 500 sq. ft. cabin on an old park-model RV frame. 1/2 the little cabin is on the frame itself, with wheels ... other 1/2 is a "cabana room" ... which is allowable if it can be easily "detached" ... I built it so it screws on and off. The cabin is solid timber on that rv frame ... it is NEVER going to move ... but it IS licensed as an rv nonetheless. I rent it to one of my sons. Law here says an rv can't be occupied more than 120 consecutive days. Every so often my son takes a weekend trip. Meter restarts when he returns. He's been living here for four years.
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:29 PM
 
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Good ideas... so moving out for a weekend and disconnecting trailer utilities may count and interruption in "residency", I guess? I actually intent to eventually live in the RV only on weekends... but when out of work, I'd live there full time.
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Old 10-16-2011, 01:17 PM
 
Location: 'Shangri-La 'mountains west of Wolf Creek, Oregon
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Over the years, five times we've gone south in the winter & lived in our ol' motorhome (1989 Pace Arrow or 1978 American Clipper). At times i've used Reflectix insulation on the inside of windows, in overhead skylight, & vents. Applications | Do-It-Yourself

At times we've used a catalytic heater. Crack open a few windows & vents fer ventilation. It's worked well fer us boonie campin' & fishin, playing at some of the casino's...

I have an Onan 6500 gen & an EU2000i, Honda.
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