Alec Buchanan wrote:So... how are other permies (legally) catching their rainwater? Or (legally) using off-grid solar? Or (legally) composting humanure? Any natural builders that have gone through the trouble of permitting and regulations? Are people really waiting until they find a place with "no restrictions" before they begin their permie lives?
It seems like it'd cost a fortune for me to do things by the book. I also wouldn't be allowed to have an off-grid solar setup. Building a permittable home, with all its requirements, would be completely impossible without joining the rat race.
Am I the only person here that thinks it is just as important for people to live responsibly (earth care, people care) as it is to follow the rules? I'm not advocating for recklessness or ignorance, but I do think that waiting for laws to catch up with the permaculture world is unrealistic. I doubt permies are going to change the world by following the rulebook, and since there is so much urgency to repair and nurture the planet, shouldn't we reprioritize? I'm not worried about getting a slap on the wrist from an official if it means I get to live the life I am supposed to live. Totally worth it.
Just saying.... I don't think I would have ever become a permie if the motto was "follow the rules".
Also, just saying... you CAN get away with permaculture - just DO IT! There are lots of ways to make it happen, and you don't need a place with no restrictions.
This is planet Earth. Can I get an amen, or am I really that radical? Anyone?
Mark Dominesey wrote:So many places, in particular the homesteading groups on FB, all state that the best place with the least restrictions is rural Missouri. Good growing, 4 seasons, decent land, good prices. I guess that is good enough for some folks. The flip side of unregulated counties is that their services are usually crap, under-resourced fire departments, minimal police assistance for crime, awful roads, etc.
I would suggest places or states with a real enforceable right to farm law. The entire state of Maryland has a great right to farm law. Neighbors cannot do anything about the animal noise or smells, or what we do with the property as long as we follow the very easily found and very easily understood regulations. Your house needs to comply with the IBC, but your farm and animal buildings do not. You only need a zoning permit for ag buildings, to make sure your setbacks are correct, but no building permits are needed or issued. and even a zoning permit is not needed until you hit 600sqft. If you put power in, then you need an electrical permit, same with plumbing, but you can build it any way or how ever you want.
They do want electrical permits if you install solar to your outbuildings and you need a permit for a composting toilet. But all of that is not that harmful compared to the protections you get from jerk neighbors in how you farm or what you farm. We had jerk neighbors on both sides who called animal control daily - who always told them that there is nothing to enforce regarding farm animals. Luckily both jerk neighbors moved.
I hear folks recommending Maine or Vermont or Montana, while nice in practice, I am not sure a 5 month winter is a worthwhile tradeoff for some regulation.
Stacy Witscher wrote:Roger - my understanding is that property taxes are a state matter, and how they are assessed varies. Our property has multiple zones, and we have multiple choices on taxation. While we have only been in Oregon for 1 1/2 years, the assessor has not been out and we would know as our property is gated and not much is visible from the road. In our county at least, code violations are only investigated if private citizens complain, other agencies don't have the right.
In California, certain behaviors trigger a new assessment. It does not happen automatically.
I LOVE IBC Code.
John C Daley wrote:Roger, what isplease?
I LOVE IBC Code.
The flip side of a completely unrestricted area is that while you may be wanting to be a steward your land and to care for it and improve it, your neighbor may not be so progressive. No restrictions means for everyone. Including the folks who think climate change is a Chinese hoax and think the best solution to any animal getting on their property, domestic or not, is to shoot it.
One thing that I think has been ignored in this discussion is the community/local culture factor. Please, I beg of all young and ambitious homesteaders, do your research on the local community and culture before just buying land in some completely random location half way across the country!
There are no laws against solar or rainwater catchment.