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Small Cabin Forum / Properties / Avoid building permit?
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smitty
Member
# Posted: 14 Jul 2011 19:12
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Quoting: TomChum
as long as it's good people in the shack.

^^^ If this had a "LIKE" button I'd click it..

turkeyhunter
Member
# Posted: 14 Jul 2011 19:40
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Quoting: TomChum
I'd build a cabin near a shack though, as long as it's good people in the shack.



x 2..........

PA_Bound
Member
# Posted: 16 Jul 2011 10:33
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Another reason to get some form of Permit is to protect yourself in the future also. I have a friend who built a cabin without a permit. He had it for about 10 years when he had a small disagreement with a neighbor a mile or so away over hunting access. Just in spite that neighbor turned him in to the County for building without a permit, and there were penalties.

TomChum
Member
# Posted: 16 Jul 2011 11:18
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Interesting.....

- What size cabin?
- How were the penalties enforced?

PA_Bound
Member
# Posted: 16 Jul 2011 12:08
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To the best of my knowledge he never completely disclosed to anyone all he had to do to get beyond it. I do know the county inspectors showed up at the property, and gave him a pretty rough lecture on why he should not have built without a permit and what they *could* do as a result. The good news was he got to keep it the cabin, mainly I suspect because the cabin was small (approx. 10 x 16) and off-grid (no electricity and not even a well). He did have to apply for and get a permit however, even after the fact the cabin was already built (it's now permanently on display in a cabin window). If the cabin had electricity, water or plumbing, I suspect that would have been a much bigger problem as I'm sure inspections would have been required to get that permit and you know they would be pretty tough on him. But in the cabins basic form those inspections were not required. The longer term result is that the cabin is now "on the radar" and required to keep up with required maintenance, improvements and septic permits and, of course, his taxes went up. But I don't think they ever went so far as to fine him or anything similar, but I believe they could have- or at least made his cabin life really difficult.

Anonymous
# Posted: 18 Jul 2011 02:00
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Anonymous, I can build something beautiful without a permit or with it,.. This country was founded by people who didn't like to suckle the teet of a tyrannical govmnt., oh and property shouldn't just be an investment for some buisnessman looking to flip it and make money,.. It's supposed to be a place to raise children and live..the real reason they want to make all these rules and fees is to make it hard to exist without feeding the system, because then we would regain our independence from the banking system that owns your mind..if you like rules, move to china, you are a disease..

Anonymous
# Posted: 18 Jul 2011 02:42
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So you don't like following the law, rules. How's that working out for you?

smitty
Member
# Posted: 18 Jul 2011 10:59
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Laws, rules and regulations are becoming more and more oppressive by the day and that's a fact. You can't change people, they may never see the big picture, but you can change your own lifestyle. If the too big to fail banks, can use loop holes, and technicalities to avoid the rules and regs, so can you.. It's your land, you own it, and should be able to do what ever you please with it, as long as it harms no one. You're not trying to open a landfill, or toxic waste storage facility. You're building a camp..

TomChum
Member
# Posted: 18 Jul 2011 12:01 - Edited by: TomChum
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I would like parts of a society where people who have a low impact on the earth are allowed to do what they want. Should contractors then, be allowed to build 'substandard dwelllings' and sell them? If it's legal, developers would cover the countryside with them, on all sides of your retreat. Your neighbor could operate a motel of cabins with a constant stream of cars flying up and down your road. This could be cool, or it could be a nightmare.

Reality is that as population increases, controls become necessary. Everybody knows that. Sometimes because of abuse, and in many cases SIMPLY due to the concentration of people. Somebody upstream would dam up your creek and irrigate their pasture with it, you'd get nothing but cow-poop-soup. Sometimes it's real (water-rights, pollution) other times it's mostly a clash of opinions. The problem is more significant near cities, and reduces along a continuum towards zero as you get farther away from the population. But laws have to follow a county line, not a "continuum".

I think we're stuck with it and have to live with it. For a woods camp, be discrete, don't pollute, get along with your neighbors, and that's about the best advice I have - Fly low. I like a gnarly 4WD road, the tougher the better, but if I see you muddin' in the meadow the sheriff will get a photo of your truck. I am lucky in that I am far out in the woods, not sure what I'd think if I was in a subdivision of 3 acre parcels because I'd still want to have my retreat.....

If it were easy everyone would do it, and then because of increasing numbers, more enforcement would be necessary. I don't like the permit process, but if a commercial campground appeared next door they would be required to comply, and I like that. Sorry no help here for anarchy. I just hope I have my retreat for 30 years and hope it's still cool such that my kids can enjoy it too. Living in the USA is alright, I hope it works out for all of us, for a long time.

CabinBuilder
Admin
# Posted: 18 Jul 2011 13:23 - Edited by: CabinBuilder
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Interesting and apparently controversial topic.

I'm with TomChum on this.

It seems many of us here want to have both:

- On one hand, to live and raise family in a secure, relatively regulated environment, with schools, safe and nice-looking neighborhoods, street lights, etc. And of course we want drink clean water, our environment and wildlife preserved for us and future generations.
- On the other hand, we want to have a wilderness retreat, to sit around campfire, fish, hunt, drive a 4-WD on a rough road, etc. Hey, that's why we're building our cabins!

Nothing wrong with having both. It's like going about our life/work during the week, and unwinding at the party on the weekend.

Although I agree that requiring to pay tens of thousands $ just for a permission to build on your own land... is too much.
Especially, in many cases, completely disallowing to build a small (less 1000 sq.ft) cabin for occasional/recreational use, even on far rural/wilderness lands... an over-regulation in my view.
Unfortunately it creeps up - every year there are more and more regulations, and it becomes harder and harder to comply and enjoy life.

The optimum lies somewhere in the middle - the question is where that middle is - and that opinion varies from one person to another.

turkeyhunter
Member
# Posted: 18 Jul 2011 14:56
Reply 


Quoting: CabinBuilder
Although I agree that requiring to pay tens of thousands $ just for a permission to build on your own land... is too much

Quoting: TomChum
For a woods camp, be discrete, don't pollute, get along with your neighbors, and that's about the best advice I have - Fly low. I like a gnarly 4WD road, the tougher the better, but if I see you muddin' in the meadow the sheriff will get a photo of your truck. I am lucky in that I am far out in the woods, not sure what I'd think if I was in a subdivision of 3 acre parcels because I'd still want to have my retreat.....


AMEN!!!!!

Quoting: CabinBuilder
On the other hand, we want to have a wilderness retreat, to sit around campfire, fish, hunt, drive a 4-WD on a rough road, etc. Hey, that's why we're building our cabins

Quoting: CabinBuilder
Although I agree that requiring to pay tens of thousands $ just for a permission to build on you own land... is too much.Especially, in many cases, completely disallowing to build a small (less 1000 sq.ft) cabin for occasional/recreational use, even on far rural/wilderness lands... an over-regulation in my view.Unfortunately it creeps up - every year there are more and more regulations, and it becomes harder and harder to comply and enjoy life.

Amen also :-)

bobrok
Member
# Posted: 18 Jul 2011 16:25
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Quoting: CabinBuilder
The optimum lies somewhere in the middle - the question is where that middle is - and that opinion varies from one person to another.


And perhaps this is why gov't was invented & has survived? Darwin survival of the fittest> Indian chieftains> religious elders> enlightenment> revolutionaries> autonomy vs. anarchy> the hippie movement> oppressive gov't control> more anarchy

I used to think that ALL of the world's problems were the direct result of uncontrolled overpopulation.

I now think that the world would be a better place if everyone were to take themselves off the top of their own list and have some consideration of how their own actions and decisions affect others, whether it be building a cabin or choosing to ignore someone in need.

In the immortal words of one Rodney King: "People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?"

Sometimes I wonder......

On a lighter note, there have been duly posted opinions and warnings here about avoiding required permits. Let the buyer beware, IMO.

smitty
Member
# Posted: 18 Jul 2011 17:46
Reply 


Mr. Rodney King, was just busted for DUI..
Just a fun fact..

I agree with buyer beware.. If you are out in the middle of nowhere, and don't want to mess with it.. Do it.. You may not have any trouble. But if you do get in trouble, be prepared.. Look at what they are doing to that lady in Michigan who just had a vegetable garden in her front yard.

CabinBuilder
Admin
# Posted: 18 Jul 2011 17:57 - Edited by: CabinBuilder
Reply 


I have to state, so we are all clear:
This website and forum does NOT encourage building cabins without a proper permit or against governing regulations. Messages posted here are personal opinions of individuals, and should not be used as a substitute for a legal advise.

naturelover66
Member
# Posted: 18 Jul 2011 18:22
Reply 


Quoting: bobrok
I now think that the world would be a better place if everyone were to take themselves off the top of their own list and have some consideration of how their own actions and decisions affect others, whether it be building a cabin or choosing to ignore someone in need.

That Lady in Michigan........ with the garden in her front yard... she lives about 6 blocks from me. Its been discussed to death in the local news. They need to leave her alone........ but , they wont.

We need SOME regulations...... because people are crazy and stupid....... but many are so unreasonable........ its ridiculous. For me its not about "property values"...... its about safety and happiness.

Anonymous
# Posted: 18 Jul 2011 18:55
Reply 


WHY should I work thirty years of my life to be able to afford a cabin,the proper permits etc...yet have that guy down the road build a unpermitted shack out of stuff from the dump and not be angry about it affecting the property values? Laws are in place to protect us all.

Anonymous
# Posted: 18 Jul 2011 22:53
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Actually I follow all the rules and laws, I just don't believe there should be a law for everything..if u read my post u should have noticed that I said I can build just as beautiful a structure with or without a permit, just because people want to avoid permits for a vacation cabin or tiny home doesn't mean they are outlaws or bums who build shanties out of stuff from the garbage.. The govmnt should encourage people to build simple structures out in the desert or other rural areas to take some of the burden off the cities, not to mention the environmental benefits to solar systems etc... just provide a little info online on how to do it right, and for people worried about property value can respectfully work with each other on how to improve their neighborhood..if our law enforcement and city officials could spend less time responding to complaints about cheesy permit violations they could focus more on tracking down the people who break into our cabins while were away..

Anonymous
# Posted: 19 Jul 2011 00:45
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Avoiding a building permit is breaking the law no matter how pretty your building.

Anonymous
# Posted: 19 Jul 2011 00:56
Reply 


You can also respect your neighbors by getting the proper permits and keeping your yard clean. Clutter brings nasty things like RATS. All I want is to have a clean,safe place to live surrounded by people that have respect for one another. And to not be attacked on this forum by people when I am doing everything by the book.

TomChum
Member
# Posted: 19 Jul 2011 02:09
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B. Kliban
"Mon Dieu! My automobile has been eaten by rats" exclaimed Ted, with equal fluency in both languages
"Mon Dieu! My automobile has been eaten by rats" exclaimed Ted, with equal fluency in both languages


Anonymous
# Posted: 19 Jul 2011 03:07
Reply 


LOL!!!

Borrego
Member
# Posted: 19 Jul 2011 17:29
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I am all for following the intent if not letter of the law. As a builder of custom homes, it would never occur to me to work without a permit. on these types of projects that is, when governmental over sight is in everyone's best interest. The line is drawn for me when not one of the citizenry's best interests are being served, just the coffers and power mindset of the government agencies involved.

Case in point: I know of an area in the desert ( desert - meaning, sand and rocks, no vegetation at all for 100,000 of acres) where in order to get a permit for anything, one needs to provide a 10,000 gallon water tower, a 60 ft radius turnaround for firetrucks, and pay $20,000 for the local school district. Why, you ask? Well because the zip code puts this area in the same 'fire risk area' as a wooded community many miles away up in the mountains.
Make sense to anyone?

Well the people out there don't get permits. Go figure. Most of them are ex-builders, ex firefighters, ex-military, etc, who don't need any government help and are happy to help their neighbors who are less talented in the building trades. Every thing is done at least up to code. Why, because it is required? No because it is the right and safe way to do things.

Just my .02

bushbunkie
Member
# Posted: 21 Jul 2011 09:04
Reply 


This has been quite an interesting thread.
We live in Ontario, Canada.
I must say, that when my wife and I decided to build our 10 x 10 bunkie without a permit we really struggled...as we usually follow the "rules of the community".
Where we are, you need to have a principal residence on your property, before you build an outbuilding (shed / bunkie).
The principle residence must be a minimum of 1000 square feet, and of course septic system, etc, etc....major outlay of money...and within a time frame.
I know there are reasons for the rules and regulations because of the yahoos out there...and I appreciate that....what I don't agree with is that there is not a regulatory path for responsible folks to follow who don't have all the $$ at the moment.
The result is that the system has made the cabin dream accessible only to the upper middle class, if you follow all the rules.
And I don't ever confuse "following the rules" with "being responsible".
There are a lot of folks with the $$ to follow the rules....but are not responsible once they get there! In fact, some of those folks are the worst who now feel entitled.

My wife and I would be the first to pay up if there was a fair "graduated" type of process, where you were given a reasonable time line to make improvements (inspected) on your property , as your finances improved through out your life. It's how my folks got ahead with their first cottage 30years ago.

Even my neighbor, a local contractor hates these new bylaws.
He said in the old days, locals always had business because folks like my wife and I would pick away every year with improvements. A well, new driveway, couple of loads of gravel,fencing, foundation, etc.
There was always work for contractors.
Now, when you get your property, it's all or nothing...you go right for the build or do nothing at all. Which means many people let go of their dream and never purchaces property, and therefore never provide work for local contractors.
That is where I have the issue....letting go of a dream.

So our route has been simply:
- Have become good neighbors and respect that others have homes in the area. Would never lend my bunkie to anyone.
- Built a bunkie.
- Had a local contractor put in a driveway
- Use a human manure compost system, and recycle the waste into a new flower garden
- Had a local contractor put in a well for us
- had a local contractor lay down a couple yards of gravel this year.
- You can bet that one day, if and when we have the funds for a septic system, it will be my contractor neighbor that get's my business.
I think by now I also own shares in the local Hardware store!
My two cents as well.
Cheers.

smitty
Member
# Posted: 21 Jul 2011 14:20 - Edited by: smitty
Reply 


Quoting: bushbunkie
The result is that the system has made the cabin dream accessible only to the upper middle class, if you follow all the rules.


This is a very good point..
Who could benefit from building a small cabin the most? The poor.
They could have an inexpensive shelter, and means for a self sustaining food supply.. But can't afford the permits and fees to achieve it, with very little money, and no line of credit.. That's bad news, and they could benefit the most, and as far as I know, there are no programs in place for someone like this that would want to follow the rules, but just can not afford the red tape.
That turns them into criminals, by doing what they have to do to survive and provide for their families.
And in my opinion, all so someone else with more means, can have a fancy vacation home, and not have to see the poor people. Out of sight out of mind.

I'm not sure, but I think that makes me a liberal or something.. lol

Anonymous
# Posted: 21 Jul 2011 23:20
Reply 


I was very poor and started with a dream of building a cabin and worked long and hard taking jobs other people would never want. There is no excuse to break the law and build substandard housing.

Luke
Member
# Posted: 26 Jul 2011 20:26
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For those of us living/buillding in New York State consider the following code interpretation located at: http://www.dos.ny.gov/DCEA/pdf/TBhuntfishcab.pdf
If I understand this correctly it would classify a cabin under the "Utility" use group and not "Single Family Dwelling". This allows for non traditional utilities- if required at all and much relaxed code requirementas. Interesting technical bulletin and precedent.

TomChum
Member
# Posted: 26 Jul 2011 20:51 - Edited by: TomChum
Reply 


Municipalities often preserve Americana with one hand and erase it with the other. If small, rustic cabins aren't a valid part of "Americana" to retain, then I don't know what is. It warms my heart that at least New York appears to understand "cabins".

Here is the text of the document at http://www.dos.ny.gov/DCEA/pdf/TBhuntfishcab.pdf

===============

Occupancy Classification of APA Hunting and Fishing Cabins
NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Division of Code Enforcement and Administration

TECHNICAL BULLETIN
January 1, 2003
This document provides information with regard to the occupancy classification of hunting and fishing cabins.
A "hunting and fishing cabin" is defined, in the regulations of the Adirondack Park Agency (APA), as "a cabin, camp or lean-to or other similar structure designed for occasional occupancy for hunting, fishing, or similar purposes." These buildings are not "single family dwellings" in the APA regulations. These structures do not have connections to public utilities (i.e., no commercial electric power nor telephone service).

Building Code of New York State (BCNYS) defines the term dwelling unit as "A single unit providing complete, independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation." Hunting and fishing cabins in New York State are designed for occasional use and meet the described definition. Pressurized water systems for potable water, solar panels or propane/gas electric systems, gray water systems, chemical toilets, sanitary pit privies, residential onsite wastewater treatment systems are permitted.

It is the opinion of the Division of Code Enforcement and Administration that a building meeting the APA definition of hunting and fishing cabin is classified most appropriately as Group U occupancy by the BCNYS section 312.1. The BCNYS provides that buildings classified as Group U occupancy shall comply with provisions relating to the adequacy of the structural system. Such buildings may be constructed on properly designed foundations of concrete blocks or on piers.

BCNYS section 1103.2.5 exempts U occupancy buildings from its provisions for accessibility by physically disabled persons. There are no fire protection equipment requirements; however, section 508.1 exception 3 of the Fire Code of New York State (FCNYS) provides that buildings classified as Group U occupancy be at least 50 feet from the property lines. Such buildings are classified as "low energy use" buildings by Energy Conservation Construction Code (ECNYS) section 101.4.11 or as "renewable energy usage" buildings by ECNYS section 101.4.1.2, as applicable.

Anonymous
# Posted: 23 Aug 2011 02:05
Reply 


I like the discussion here. 25 years ago I asked a man if I could build a fishing cabin on his property. We talked about permits and law. He said "i'll say I didn't build it and I don't know who did." It is almost a mile from paved road, made of t1-11 and 2x4s. 100 yards from a beautiful river. It is 12x12 sitting on 9 cinder block piers and has a galvanized roof with a foot of overhang all around, two windows and two doors. at the time i paid Lowes $500.00 to deliver the material to the corner of a corn field. It took as long to carry the stuff in the woods as it did to build the cabin. I drew the plan on a grocery bag so I could use # 2 studs for everything except the joist. The joist are treated 2x6. I currently live thousands of miles from that place. Two years ago I drove up in the yard in a rental car and asked his son if The cabin was still there. The man who gave me permission died 10 years ago. He said yes people use it all the time. it survived 4 major hurricanes. It was clean as a pin and dry as a bone. the over hang kept the siding relatively dry. the home made door was held by the homemade latch I nailed in place over 20 years ago. someone had left an old broom in the corner. With an outhouse and a pitcher pump I could live the rest of my days there, but my wife would not have it. Besides it's over 2000 miles from where I live now. Just an old man rambling, but economical doesn't mean shoddy or ugly. The river is still beautiful and the little cabin, looking like it has been there forever, is obviously loved.

smitty
Member
# Posted: 23 Aug 2011 05:44
Reply 


That's a wonderful story..

turkeyhunter
Member
# Posted: 23 Aug 2011 08:06
Reply 


Quoting: Anonymous
I like the discussion here. 25 years ago I asked a man if I could build a fishing cabin on his property. We talked about permits and law. He said "i'll say I didn't build it and I don't know who did." It is almost a mile from paved road, made of t1-11 and 2x4s. 100 yards from a beautiful river. It is 12x12 sitting on 9 cinder block piers and has a galvanized roof with a foot of overhang all around, two windows and two doors. at the time i paid Lowes $500.00 to deliver the material to the corner of a corn field. It took as long to carry the stuff in the woods as it did to build the cabin. I drew the plan on a grocery bag so I could use # 2 studs for everything except the joist. The joist are treated 2x6. I currently live thousands of miles from that place. Two years ago I drove up in the yard in a rental car and asked his son if The cabin was still there. The man who gave me permission died 10 years ago. He said yes people use it all the time. it survived 4 major hurricanes. It was clean as a pin and dry as a bone. the over hang kept the siding relatively dry. the home made door was held by the homemade latch I nailed in place over 20 years ago. someone had left an old broom in the corner. With an outhouse and a pitcher pump I could live the rest of my days there, but my wife would not have it. Besides it's over 2000 miles from where I live now. Just an old man rambling, but economical doesn't mean shoddy or ugly. The river is still beautiful and the little cabin, looking like it has been there forever, is obviously loved.


now that is a good read with my coffee this morning---glad the old camp is still alive and well---any pic's of the place???

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