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Old 04-13-2016, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Back and Beyond
2,989 posts, read 3,143,812 times
Reputation: 7103

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Thought I would start a thread where people can post areas where there are lax or even no building codes. Places where you can build a cob/earthship/earthbag/strawbale/cordwood/yurt/bunker/geodesic dome/etc with little to no interference from bureaucrats. There was the earthship pockets of freedom map showing different counties where they were friendly to owner builder alternative construction methods, but it seems to be old and incomplete.

Here are a few places I know of to get started, correct me if I'm wrong and please add or subtract from the list:

-Alaska outside city limits and restrictive boroughs. You can do literally almost anything and no one blinks an eye. Also no property taxes in unorganized boroughs.

-Rural Montana outside city limits in most areas.

-Eureka county Nevada. No building codes or permits needed (besides septic)

-Several counties in the Southern Missouri Ozarks. Inexpensive land as well.

-Delta county and Custer county Colorado, as well as several other counties have no building inspections, although they do require plumbing, electric and septic inspections.

-Places in rural Maine? I have no first hand experience with this, so maybe someone from up there can clear this up?

Please add to my list. There aren't too many places left like these as more states and counties "adopt" the latest and greatest building codes making it harder and harder for the average joe to build his own house without taking on a 30 year mortgage. Stay free on your own land and remember if you can't build what you want, you don't really own it ; !
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Old 04-13-2016, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Cody, WY
9,987 posts, read 11,863,474 times
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Most unincorporated areas of Wyoming have no building codes other than septic which is a state code.. It's necessary to find out about each county.
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Old 04-13-2016, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
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I know that there are a lot of places in rural Maine (and some not-so-rural parts) that are still "free", as there are folks living there in turkey coops, reefers, barns, tents, teepees, and storage containers. The thing about it is, they never advertise where they live. Flying under the radar has its advantages.

We have a code-built home on 33 acres in rural Maine. Last year at this time, we set up a modular home in rural TN, also. I am there now, working on another project. The TN place is built to code. I have been told by the locals that some folks nearby are living in tarpaper shacks of their own devising, with no power, no well, and no septic. The term "composting toilet" covers a lot of ingenuity.

Bureaucrats are responsible for public health and sanitation. If a disease outbreak (esp E. coli) takes place on their watch, all eyes turn to them. They are there to enforce the code. No use to tell them that many intelligent people are capable of handling wastes in such a way that sanitation and public health are not endangered. They only know that their jobs are on the line.

I would say that the one major mistake that people make, is in trying to make their place look like a "house". There are many good reasons why such a person would not want to live in a "house" (aka a "dwelling"). If you leave it looking like a container, steel shop, reefer, barn, turkey coop etc you can pretty much live in it or do as you please in it, and if you say it is not a dwelling, nobody is going to contradict you. But once you apply for a building permit, put out a mailbox, or add shutters to the windows or put up Christmas decorations, the *** is up.
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Old 04-13-2016, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Cody, WY
9,987 posts, read 11,863,474 times
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I don't know anyone who wishes to have the tarpaper shack crowd as neighbors. I'm very happy that land in my area is expensive enough to keep them out. The purpose of septic systems is to protect the water supply so the code receives support from the people. Most property under thirty-five acres (forty acres for new areas) is now subdivided which means that there are covenants and an HOA makes the rules. Larger pieces of land have few zoning restrictions. These are generally about certain types of businesses.

I don't live in a subdivision; there are no county ordnances or zoning restricting livestock, but there are laws regarding unsanitary conditions and health hazards. Park County has no building code apart from the aforemenioned septic.
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Old 04-13-2016, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
7,268 posts, read 8,719,590 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy in Wyoming View Post
I don't know anyone who wishes to have the tarpaper shack crowd as neighbors. I'm very happy that land in my area is expensive enough to keep them out. The purpose of septic systems is to protect the water supply so the code receives support from the people.
The title of the thread was, those areas that are not covered by building codes. Septic is definitely a code. There are ways around the code that are not hazardous to groundwater or the public. Outhouses come to mind. Composting human waste (for non-food fertilization) is another. If you still doubt that sanitation can be achieved without a septic system, please look at The Humanure Handbook.

I have no TN or Maine neighbors who live in tarpaper shacks. At least, not that I know of....
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Old 04-13-2016, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Cody, WY
9,987 posts, read 11,863,474 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nor'Eastah View Post
The title of the thread was, those areas that are not covered by building codes. Septic is definitely a code. There are ways around the code that are not hazardous to groundwater or the public. Outhouses come to mind. Composting human waste (for non-food fertilization) is another. If you still doubt that sanitation can be achieved without a septic system, please look at The Humanure Handbook.

I have no TN or Maine neighbors who live in tarpaper shacks. At least, not that I know of....
According to the book description it was, ''Written by a humanure composter with over thirty years experience...'' That may satisfy some, but I prefer to heed the advice of hydrologists, soil engineers, and members of other relevant professions. There's no love for big government here, but that doesn't mean that we don't care about our water supply. Water is a scarce and precious commodity.

Amazon.com: The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure, Third Edition (9780964425835): Joseph C. Jenkins: Books

Last edited by Happy in Wyoming; 04-13-2016 at 02:03 PM..
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Old 04-13-2016, 02:38 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
25,210 posts, read 43,000,650 times
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Some counties in rural TX have little/ no building codes,

Septic excluded....

Do be VERY careful buying a prebuilt home ANYWHERE, especially in a 'no-code' zone.

Btdt.... Several times.

I have been able to test for 'self-installer' and install my own septics from an engineered and approved plan. This varies by county / jurisdiction.
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Old 04-13-2016, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Cody, WY
9,987 posts, read 11,863,474 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
.
I have been able to test for 'self-installer' and install my own septics from an engineered and approved plan. This varies by county / jurisdiction.
People do their own percolation tests here. Engineered septic systems are seldom needed.
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Old 04-13-2016, 07:50 PM
 
Location: In the gawdforsaken desert
6,415 posts, read 7,485,283 times
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Sometimes I kinda miss our beach place in Baja CA. Had a trailer by an excellent surf break. Cost $30 a month to rent our space. Sewer was a pipe that ran down the hill and out into the ocean. Just had to remember not to go #2 right before going surfing.
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Old 04-13-2016, 08:06 PM
 
Location: mancos
7,387 posts, read 6,821,661 times
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We have no inspections in Montezuma County in SW CO but you must have elec State governed and septic county governed.I live Mancos and we just let people do stuff and don't pay much attention unless you build a new house then you are in code city
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