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Old 06-12-2015, 04:13 PM
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where is the best locations in east tennessee for living off the grid communities
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Old 06-12-2015, 08:02 PM
Location: Tennessee
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Assuming you don't need to work, easily Johnson County.
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Old 06-13-2015, 08:43 AM
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Just need to find some information on some of the laws in Tennessee and would love to communicate with some one that is living off the grid , Thank-You Rick
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Old 06-13-2015, 03:27 PM
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Search the forum. There used to be a really long post by a user that I think was named younglisa. They built off the grid in East TN, and the thread spans several years covering their whole building process and the first few years they lived there.

Edit: I found it for you:
Going Off Grid in East Tennessee; The Story and Chat Thread
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Old 06-17-2015, 07:33 AM
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Seems like there are more media stories these days about people trying to go off-grid or being off-grid ready but they end up in trouble with authorities. With the current political, economic and climate (severe weather) situations more people are getting prepared for a disaster which include being self-sufficient and capable of surviving off-grid.
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Old 06-17-2015, 10:26 AM
Location: Chattanooga, TN
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After a bit of Googling, the only cases of "trouble with authorities" I found were:
- Inside city limits in urban areas, where residents would expect to be served by the city police and fire departments, and where too many people live in close proximity for each to have his/her own septic system; or
- In a run-down shack deemed too hazardous for city fire departments to safely enter in case of a fire, or deemed too hazardous for the children living there; or
- In the west where water has been in short supply for decades, and cities and agriculture have "claimed" all water. Yes, even rainwater that falls on your property is already "owned" by someone else in some states.

So if you want to take a house inside city limits off-grid, you will probably get in trouble. Even in Tennessee. But out in the country? Do whatever you want as long as you don't endanger the lives or welfare of people who cannot make the decision for themselves (i.e., children). Even outside city limits you should probably stay away from the larger urban counties (Knox, Shelby, Hamilton, etc.), and never ever try this in a subdivision with restrictive covenants.

If you do choose to do this realize that unless you pay for things like subscription fire protection (or it is included with your property taxes), don't expect them to show up and put out your house when it catches fire. This happened to a family in Obion county a while back when a self-started brush fire got out of control. Self-installed non-code-compliant electrical systems catch fire at a higher rate than regular systems, and few (if any) banks will loan money on a house without basic code inspections.

Back to directly answer your question: Tennessee's combination of lack of state-level regulations; long southern growing season; relatively mild winters; and ample natural resources like good soil, water, wood, and even coal; is ideal. It is known among preppers and survivalists as one of the best states for going off-grid east of the Mississippi. Eastern KY and West Virgina are also good. If you want better you'll need to check out states like Arkansas or Missouri. I realize that there is a difference between prepping for TEOTWAWKI and simply going off-grid, but there are also lots of similarities.

For a start point, check out the eastern Cumberland Plateau region, which is the area between Knoxville and Nashville.

SurvivalRealty.com: Tennessee Properties and Agents
Tennessee as a survival retreat location: What you should know and things to consider before making the move
Tennessee Prepper Groups

Last edited by jwkilgore; 06-17-2015 at 10:48 AM..
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Old 06-19-2015, 08:21 AM
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A little bit of gogling does not give you a clear picture. It's starting to happen in several states now where authorities are preventing citizens from living off-grid.

Is living off the Grid now a crime?
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Old 06-19-2015, 09:41 AM
Location: Chattanooga, TN
2,773 posts, read 3,676,401 times
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No, that is one of the situations I found. It's covered by the first and third bullet points above:

(1) The vast majority of Los Angeles County is overwhelmingly urban. Therefore the entirety of the county, even the more rural portions, is governed by urban laws. Building codes, zoning restrictions, etc. You either obey the local laws, or go somewhere else. This is in addition to the overwhelmingly strict California state laws; that is the last state I would pick to try an off-grid libertarian lifestyle.

The urban area restrictions apply in all states with large urban centers. Even in Tennessee I suggest staying away from the urban counties: Hamilton, Shelby, Knox, and Davidson specifically, but also other mostly urban counties bordering these. Do your homework first. Ask the government (local city and county) if the zoning laws exist. Whether they are enforced now or not is irrelevant; if the laws exist, all it takes is someone complaining to force compliance. And don't trust the word of the current landowner or Realtor who is trying to sell you something.

- and -

(3) California is most definitely included with the states where all water is already owned by someone else. Well water out of aquifers, rain water, everything; it's already been claimed by people who got there before you. Pick another state.

Last edited by jwkilgore; 06-19-2015 at 09:53 AM..
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Old 07-10-2015, 09:38 AM
Location: lost in the land of snow & lakes MN
2 posts, read 4,215 times
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Counties that have opted out of state Residential Building Codes
Please check with local government to determine if any local permits are required before you begin construction.
Benton Wayne - Bledsoe Weakly - Cannon - Carroll - Chester - Claiborne - Cocke
- Decatur - Fentress - Franklin - Grundy - Hardin - Henderson - Henry - Houston
- Humphreys - Jackson - Johnson - Lake - Lawrence - Lewis - McMinn - McNairy -
Morgan - Obion - Overton - Perry - Pickett - Polk - Scott - Sequatchie - Stewart -
Unicoi - Van Buren

I am also looking to go off grid I have some income asset's and love building things. I don't know if I want to join an already established group, start a new one or go it alone. still in the info gathering stage but have great interest in east side of Tennessee.
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Old 07-14-2015, 09:33 AM
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Y'all might find this interesting...

Diary of a Grid Defector: How an energy reporter is going off the grid | Utility Dive
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