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Old 11-14-2011, 11:53 AM
 
Location: USA
137 posts, read 409,831 times
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Any direction outside of Denver metro. Lets say in the "up to 50 mile radius" ring around the outside.
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,641 posts, read 9,158,992 times
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Are you thinking of building something that would be in violation of zoning? Do you want to build something that wouldn't meet building codes? Either of these sound like risky practice, since you would be putting yourself in jeopardy should you be found out. And, you wouldn't be able to ever sell if the structure violates zoning and/or building codes.

I can't think of anyplace within a 50 mile radius of Denver that has lax laws. Even the small towns hire consultants to handle the building approvals for them. I suppose that if you hid away in the woods somewhere in the foothills that you wouldn't be found out for a while.

Maybe you could check out Wyoming. I heard a few years back that once you got outside the city limits that there were no building codes. Don't know if that still is the case.
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:07 PM
 
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Why do you automatically think he's going to build an illegal structure?

Can't he just be looking for a municipality with the least red tape that adds to his costs and time?
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:36 PM
 
625 posts, read 1,153,996 times
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Ask anyone in one town, and they'll point to another town down the road where zoning is supposedly easy and the building officials look the other way ...

In my experience, this is a tough question. Many would say Denver has the easiest zoning now that a modern, form-based zoning code has been adopted, which is meant to bring predictability and remove most "discretionary" review and NIMBY fights - if you follow the zoning, you should in theory sail thru.

On the other hand, IME many municipalities that claim to dislike strict zoning tend to have outdated, contradictory zoning codes that have not been updated, and for this reason tend to rely too much on discretionary processes that put you at the whim of appointed commissions or staff interpreting unclear provisions. Sometimes you may feel you need to appeal to the city's management to get your project thru - raising the question of whether management thinks your project is worthy of intervention ... and accusations of favoritism.

I'd say it also depends what you want to do/build. Some municipalities may shy away from any kind of design regulations, for example, but these same municipalities tend to oppose any kind of density or mixed-use.

I'd look for a place that has modernized their code and has competent, impartial staff ...
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:55 PM
 
Location: USA
137 posts, read 409,831 times
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Looking at either building myself (something like strawbale or other alternative building)... or being able to build a guest house/cabin/MIL type place on a existing property. Without a year of dancing and $50k in permits that is.
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:38 PM
 
625 posts, read 1,153,996 times
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I'd call around and ask the right questions - what are the zoning rules for mother-in-law units (i..e minimum lot sizes, parking requirements, etc.); what are fees like for new construction and/or mother-in-law units; how does the building code treat strawbale and does building staff have experience reviewing it?

Also may want to talk to folks who've done it, or even architects - I hate to say it, but these things can be tricky and if you overlook something, it can end up costing $.

I know mostly Boulder and Larimer counties, so:

Might try Ft Collins - 50 mi away, but you'd be right in a cool little city. They talk up sustainability, and have competent staff IME. Old Town and LaPorte (unincoporated) areas may be of interest.

Or towns in Boulder county - Longmont, Lafayette, Ned, Erie (part of which is in Weld) - they may have experience with 'alternative' building materials. Just not Boulder itself.

Berthoud and Loveland - not sure. A bit old fashioned for my tastes but they have their old town areas which are nice.

Re: fees - all the municipalities around here make new development "pay its way" for impacts on roads, water, power, and sewer systems, as well as libraries, parks and trails, etc. Estimates I've seen put fees at $30,000 - $35,000 for a single-family home in most cities. Either you pay it or its already been paid by the person who subdivided the lot, or you buy a lot in the original town that doesn't have fees, but that'll be in the price - i.e. a typical buildable lot in old town Loveland was asking $80,000+ a few years ago.

You might try an unincorporated county area - such as rural Larimer county - where you could be off-the-grid. Beautiful areas from Longmont up to Fort Collins near the foothills.

If you're willing to go to cities in Weld County, my guess is they'd have less rules ... maybe not quite Wyoming, but close!
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Old 11-15-2011, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,641 posts, read 9,158,992 times
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LemonYellow, your original post was pretty vague, so I just responded to where I thought you were going. Once you gave more information, Doc Watson gave you some really good answers.
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Old 11-15-2011, 10:00 PM
 
Location: USA
137 posts, read 409,831 times
Reputation: 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaming of Hawaii View Post
LemonYellow, your original post was pretty vague, so I just responded to where I thought you were going. Once you gave more information, Doc Watson gave you some really good answers.


Sorry about that!!!





docwatson Thank you very much!!!




.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:51 PM
 
625 posts, read 1,153,996 times
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No problem! Good luck.

May also link up with the Rocky Mtn Sustainable Living Association - they put on green building workshops every September in Fort Collins, so they may know some folks who are knowledgeable in this area.
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