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Old 02-02-2019, 06:18 PM
 
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Hi all, I have been researching the area for some time now and read through that whole "Moving to" tread and a couple others. So I am aware of the differences of opinions on the SLV. I have been thinking of getting off the east coast (too many people) and moving to the desert for many years now. It's the only type of place I have yet to live in. I saw a couple of Documentaries on the Sacred San Luis Valley and the Four mountains. Well that started me down a long road that drew me to Mt. Blanca and I got some lots at the base of the mountain.



I looked the county land use and codes and don't see any show stoppers. Retirement is in 5/6yrs, so I am starting to do preliminary work now so I don't get all jammed up when it comes time. I have been looking at designs and have settled on one of Wright's later model Pre-Fabs series the B1. It's small and would blend in nicely. I would like to work with local talent while at the same time also save as much money as possible. Are there any decent architects in the area that can take a design and make a set of Technical plans for building? I plan on coming out in summer to walk the earth and get a feel for my land. Meet the locals and start a relationship with the county ppl and businesses.



Also,I was wondering if anyone knows if you are allowed to rent your land to campers (tent)? There is a company called Tentrr that manages peoples properties for camping. Sound like a good way to earn some investment capital for my project.


I read a lot of news articles about a lot of bad blood between the locals and homesteaders. Is that still an issue? Is it safe in the SLV? Would I be ostracized living in the area just because I am an out-of-stater? Do I have to worry about being run off my own property by the county board?


Thanks in advance for any input
RS
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Old 02-03-2019, 08:48 AM
 
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Start here: Moving to Blanca, Costilla County. Please tell me about this area
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:23 AM
 
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I did. I was hoping to start a convo with ppl living in the area that have built in the last year or two.



"Hi all, I have been researching the area for some time now and read through that whole "Moving to" tread and a couple others."


Thanks for your help...
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:50 PM
 
104 posts, read 151,404 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebark67 View Post
I read a lot of news articles about a lot of bad blood between the locals and homesteaders. Is that still an issue? Is it safe in the SLV? Would I be ostracized living in the area just because I am an out-of-stater? Do I have to worry about being run off my own property by the county board?
I don't live in Blanca, but I've lived in the San Luis Valley for the past two years, so I do have some familiarity with some of your questions.

Regarding the 'bad blood' between homesteaders and locals, I can already tell from your post that you're not likely to be one of the homesteaders that gets ostracized. From what I have learned and seen from talking with people who've been in the valley for a long time, the homesteaders who get ostracized don't become so simply because they want to live off-grid. The ostracized ones are those who buy land without any real plan or knowledge of what they're getting into, refuse to abide by local ordinances and zoning laws, and generally make themselves out to be the center of the universe and raise all kinds of hell when anyone points out that even though they want to live off-grid they're still a citizen of the county and thus the law still applies to them. Many of the 'homesteaders' out here are doing so because they think living out here means they can escape society completely, which is completely false.

Part of the valley's charm is the eccentric, diverse, creative, and independent people it attracts. The drawback is that a few of these people tend to be uncooperative, unfriendly, and often a little unbalanced. Take their complaints with a grain of salt.

The fact that you already have a plan and wish to speak with local architects and county officials will go a long way towards ingratiating yourself to the locals. Respect the valley 'ways', respect the local laws, and you won't have any problems.

Good luck with your retirement. The valley is a wonderful place and I love living here and I think you will, too.
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Old 02-06-2019, 10:42 AM
 
2,750 posts, read 761,935 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by interloper1138 View Post
I don't live in Blanca, but I've lived in the San Luis Valley for the past two years, so I do have some familiarity with some of your questions.

Regarding the 'bad blood' between homesteaders and locals, I can already tell from your post that you're not likely to be one of the homesteaders that gets ostracized. From what I have learned and seen from talking with people who've been in the valley for a long time, the homesteaders who get ostracized don't become so simply because they want to live off-grid. The ostracized ones are those who buy land without any real plan or knowledge of what they're getting into, refuse to abide by local ordinances and zoning laws, and generally make themselves out to be the center of the universe and raise all kinds of hell when anyone points out that even though they want to live off-grid they're still a citizen of the county and thus the law still applies to them. Many of the 'homesteaders' out here are doing so because they think living out here means they can escape society completely, which is completely false.

Part of the valley's charm is the eccentric, diverse, creative, and independent people it attracts. The drawback is that a few of these people tend to be uncooperative, unfriendly, and often a little unbalanced. Take their complaints with a grain of salt.

The fact that you already have a plan and wish to speak with local architects and county officials will go a long way towards ingratiating yourself to the locals. Respect the valley 'ways', respect the local laws, and you won't have any problems.

Good luck with your retirement. The valley is a wonderful place and I love living here and I think you will, too.
I have lived in the valley for over 5 years now, and couldn't agree with this post more.

To the OP, just make sure you are the type that can handle the climate. Everyone keeps mentioning the cold, which is absolutely true, but what is even tougher for me to cope with personally is extreme low humidity and high ultraviolet. Over time those actually grow into pretty big factors.
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:10 PM
 
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Thank you for the words of wisdom. I read somewhere that they make you put a meter on your well. Is that a fact? I didn't see anything about them over at the state water site. That sounds kind of oppressive. I mean you shelling out 5 - 10K for a well system and then the state is going to tell you how much you can use? I understand the whole "house use" thing but what if I like taking long showers? Or am a clean freak or just like to stay well hydrated? Is it but monthly/yearly use? Living on the east coast, I don't see those kinds of things. I see you all only get around 8/10 in. of rain a year and one of my lots has a decent size arroyo going through it. So I would imagine that it is from seasonal melt. How long do they usually last weeks of months? Anyone build using concrete? Modular CFC construction looks like it would be a good match in SLV.
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:27 PM
 
2,750 posts, read 761,935 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebark67 View Post
Thank you for the words of wisdom. I read somewhere that they make you put a meter on your well. Is that a fact? I didn't see anything about them over at the state water site. That sounds kind of oppressive. I mean you shelling out 5 - 10K for a well system and then the state is going to tell you how much you can use? I understand the whole "house use" thing but what if I like taking long showers? Or am a clean freak or just like to stay well hydrated? Is it but monthly/yearly use? Living on the east coast, I don't see those kinds of things. I see you all only get around 8/10 in. of rain a year and one of my lots has a decent size arroyo going through it. So I would imagine that it is from seasonal melt. How long do they usually last weeks of months? Anyone build using concrete? Modular CFC construction looks like it would be a good match in SLV.
The water situation is complicated, and completely different than anything you're used to in the east.

First and foremost, you have to keep the following in mind: Just because there is water on your property, either falling on it, running across it, or underneath it, it is not yours. It does not belong to you even if you own the land. Until recently, you could not even collect rainwater running off of your roof. Now I think you can collect 2 barrels legally.

Anyway, once you look at it that way, you realize that instead of a bunch of restrictions, we humbly just get a few rights granted.

So yes, you can drill a domestic well and use it for indoors purposes. But just because you drill is no guarantee you will hit water. You'll have to do some very specific, very local homework on that one.

Even if you do hit water, you can use it for normal indoor household use only. No watering of a garden, no car washing, technically even no watering the dog. That said, there are no "water police" checking up on you. The length of your showers won't matter.

If you own 35+ acres you can get a permit for your well that does allow for outdoor use. Or, you can be lucky like me, because I own an "augmented" well certificate. Even though I have only 2 acres, my augmentation certificate allows me to use a certain amount of water outdoors. I pay a yearly fee for that, since someone else's water rights are being bought and used to "augment" the water from my well. That is how serious water is around here.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:15 AM
 
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I looked at the wells in the are and none are dry and average 120ft. A couple hundred yards to the west is a well with depth at 100ft. and a water level at 70ft. The yield is 15gpm. Another well a couple hundred yards to the southwest states a depth of 320ft. and a yield of 13gpm. Funny thing is, the water level is not stated?? I find that suspicious. Looking up the soil survey for Costilla, I spotted this...Major Land Resource Area: 51. LOL! Looks like the frost line in the SLV Ranches is about 45". Anyone who built there know if that is correct?
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:29 AM
 
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If you do not find an architect to hire, you might be able to draw some sketches with rough dimensions yourself. Then hire a draftsman with appropriate background to “translate them” into drawings that contractors can use. This is what we did on our second build (we hired an architect the first time). I would not do this for anything but fairly simple structures, though.

The posts about WHY locals resent some transplants would hold true anywhere that arrivals think they can do anything they want regardless of how it affects other people. You have already read the long threads about people who buy land sight unseen, codes unknown, water rights totally mistaken, and other big blunders. When recreational use of pot was decriminalized in CO, there ensued a rush of dreamers who thought their $5000 for “acreage near the mountains” would be perfect for growing their own. Aside from not having a clue about water rights, they assumed an attitude of Anything Goes.

We live in a different county of CO that is also subject to drought. One way to get water if a well is not feasible or allowed is to put in a cistern. But you would need to truck in water or pay someone else to do it for you.

Cisterns are very common in the dryest parts of CO.

If you have not done so, check the county’s website to look up regulations on allowed uses of private land, such as renting to campers.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:08 PM
 
10 posts, read 1,963 times
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Originally Posted by pikabike View Post
If you do not find an architect to hire, you might be able to draw some sketches with rough dimensions yourself. Then hire a draftsman with appropriate background to “translate them” into drawings that contractors can use. This is what we did on our second build (we hired an architect the first time). I would not do this for anything but fairly simple structures, though.

That is a good idea. I have a set of drawings in 1/4" = 1' with elevations. But I want to use ICCF Block using CLC as grout filler and poured radiant floor heating. So it looks like I am going to need the services of a structural engineer. I really love the idea of building using CLC but have a feeling I will need to bring in a crew to build. Doesn't look like there are a lot of builders who know these methods...not widely accepted construction method. Hell, I don't even know if there are any engineers out there that know enough on the method to be able to spec out the design.
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