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Coming into East Tennessee - Empty Forest/Clearing - Permit and Postal Address Catch-22

 
Posts: 39
Location: Pompano Beach, FL -> Roane County, TN
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How can I get my street address in [redacted] County, TN without a building permit or, how do I get a building permit for empty land in TN if I want to build my own off-grid cabin?

I wanted to keep to myself and build a natural structure but, it appears, in order to ever get any tools or equipment delivered, I need an address.

This apparently means I need to pour concrete all over my nice land and show an inspector I have started to build. Any clarity from anyone would be great.

 
Chad Kovac
Posts: 39
Location: Pompano Beach, FL -> Roane County, TN
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I wanted to add, I am not in any of these cities or counties so do I even need a permit?
https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/commerce/fire/residential-permits/fire-apply-for-a-residential-permit.html

I also found somewhere that stated the landowner can build a single residence without a permit.
 
gardener
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To start talk to the post office.  It may be as simple as putting up a mail box with the correct number. Possibly start by getting a post office box.   Then if there is one, ask a nearby neighbor if they will let the delivery trucks drop off there.
 
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well howdy neighbor, not sure about the county your in but where I'm at the only permits or inspection there are are for septic system, you will need one of those if you plan on living there, and if you want power company to connect you to grid they have to inspect electrical before making connection. might start with septic permit or find out what's involved they can probably put you in the right direction, have you been to county courthouse yet? they will want to collect your property taxes too, people at these places are generally helpful
 
steward
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Chad Kovac wrote:How can I get my street address.....



Establishing a street address is done through the 911/emergency side of the police department, or at least in Tennessee it is. They have the authority to do so, not the post office. I did this a few years ago when I bought a parcel of raw land. If you want a street address, you'll need to take paperwork (like the lot/parcel # that's on the books at the county) to the appropriate department of the county police department showing the land is yours (or making payments on it via bank paperwork), and they will establish a street address, and give you an official document. This official document is needed to then go to the post office and they will enter the street number in their computer system and they will now deliver mail to a mailbox. If this isn't done at the post office, all mail sent to that address will go back as return to sender not deliverable/no such address.

how do I get a building permit for empty land in TN if I want to build my own off-grid cabin?



This is done at City Hall in the capitol of the county. It is possible that, as it was in my case, no building permit is needed if you're outside of any city limits. If you want anything electrical tied to the grid, that will need permits and inspection, as electricity inspection is a federal thing, and is unavoidable even if no building permit is required, as was in my case.

 
Chad Kovac
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Location: Pompano Beach, FL -> Roane County, TN
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Thanks for the helpful responses.

Is there any way around the septic permit? I don't plan on requiring a septic system. I also don't plan on requiring any electrical hookup or any lines connected to the road at all. Solar mostly with other backups.

Also, I haven't done a perc test but, I'm in the Montevallo whatsit which has very good drainage. I'm just worried about the cost of getting that done.

I'm concerned with the land, soil, trees, water, and want to care for it, not destroy it or sink an unnecessary septic tank.
 
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I had the same problem when we moved here.  I got the run around with the Post Office.  They kept telling me to call different PO's.

I finally called the county and they told me to call the Department that assigns 911 addresses.  They told me which office to call and gave me the extension.

Worked like a charm. They have maps that they work with to look up where your property is.

I don't believe any permits are required to get a physical address.  If they do explain that you are not ready for that though you need to get mail delivered to you.
 
bruce Fine
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the county I'm in is much less populated and probably more rural then roane county and the septic thing is pretty basic. I guess they don't want people to have out houses anymore. coming from pompano beach I can understand your thinking though, spent a bunch of my life in Florida, as far as your "pristine" property in Tennessee at very least it was most likely completely logged at some time in the past. when it comes right down to it you probably want to have sanitary disposal of human waste. you might check with county and see if there might be exemption for composting toilets. You probably want to follow the rules to not run a foul of the laws. I've found it best to visit courthouse, (in most counties that's where all the official offices are) and have face to face conversations with those I'm needing or wanting information or advice from.
Just remember that as soon as you start doing something on your property, not only will you be the main subject of all the local gossip throughout the Valley and at the local church, at very least, during their annual or periodic assessments, the tax assessors office will be looking to see how much they can raise your taxes based on improvements you make. That is unless your one of the "good ole boys" that has deep roots in the community or related to or close personal friends that got the assessor elected. Kinda 1/2 joking here but you know what I mean
 
Anne Miller
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A few things I forgot to mention:

When you call your County 911 Addressing Department, if your road is not already named, usually they let you name your road.  We got to name the road and also our driveway.

When you get ready to put up your mailbox, contact the Post Office as sometimes the Hwy Department will set the mailbox for you.  You buy the mailbox, put your address on it then hand it over to the Post Office.  The Post Office will give the mailbox to the Hwy Dept.
 
Chad Kovac
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Location: Pompano Beach, FL -> Roane County, TN
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Anne Miller wrote:A few things I forgot to mention:

When you call your County 911 Addressing Department, if your road is not already named, usually they let you name your road.  We got to name the road and also our driveway.

When you get ready to put up your mailbox, contact the Post Office as sometimes the Hwy Department will set the mailbox for you.  You buy the mailbox, put your address on it then hand it over to the Post Office.  The Post Office will give the mailbox to the Hwy Dept.



Ah man! The road is already named and my driveway is solely on my property. Do you think they'll let me name that? Well, it's my land now, so I guess it's time to start making calls. Thanks, everyone!
 
Anne Miller
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Since the road is already named, I doubt that you can name your driveway.

Probably the only reason we got to name ours is they didn't know it was a driveway.
 
pollinator
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Yes you can call your driveway a private road and name it.  But you have to buy the street sign.
 
James Freyr
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Chad Kovac wrote:Well, it's my land now, so I guess it's time to start making calls.



Congratulations on your new place man!
 
bruce Fine
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congrats on the new place, I have no idea where montevallo is but I'm about an hour ne of Knoxville off the clinch river. if you want to send me pm we can compare notes on transition from fla to tn, I lived in delray a little while the year the Mac plus came into existence.
 
Posts: 98
Location: East Tennessee
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I live Just North of Chattanooga, and build houses all over East TN, West NC, and North GA.  Generally in the county you do not need a permit to build. Septic needs a permit and perk test if you are planning to put in electricity they will ask to see your perk test.

You will need an electrical inspection.

However, if you do not have running water inside your house you can have an outhouse legally.

I don't much care for rules, I built my house, wired and plumbed it and installed my own septic. I didn't call anyone and no inspections happened. I did build to code, so it would have passed if I felt like being robbed.

I've been here for years, and I plan on going fully off grid.

God Bless.


 
Chad Kovac
Posts: 39
Location: Pompano Beach, FL -> Roane County, TN
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This forum is a goldmine. I wish I'd found it earlier.

I'll now more about "where I am" when I see it. It's over by Ten Mile. South of Kingston, in the ridges there. We bought ourselves one of those hillsides.

Ben, I'm going to put solar on the roof and run that inside. I'm not looking to hook into any services.

I'm going to be asking for some help when the virus clears up a bit or I get relocated permanently.

 
Ben House
Posts: 98
Location: East Tennessee
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I built a house over near ten mile, a couple years ago. If you eat BBQ that place near there has great brisket, and the sloppy chicken sandwich is good!


-Edit-


My opinion is that the time for moving is almost at an end, I just see things getting rougher before they get better (if they do.) so I would encourage you to move while you have the chance.  
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