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Small Cabin Forum / Properties / Is the 144 sqft no permit rule dead in NY?
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optimistic
Member
# Posted: 8 May 2020 20:36
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A long time ago, when I just started this cabin quest, I learned about a "gray zone" trick - building 144 sqft wihtout a permit and using it as a cabin.

Is it no longer the case in NY anyway?

I even read about specific language about no travel trailers parks on vacant land?

Wow

ICC
Member
# Posted: 8 May 2020 21:14
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Quoting: optimistic
I even read about specific language about no travel trailers parks on vacant land?


That is a zoning item. Zoning can be widely different in different areas. Building code does not address trailers. Both zoning and building code can be strictly enforced or very lax. Depends on a whim at times, or at least seems so at times.


The nnn sq ft, no permit rule, most often exists to allow one to build a shed for storage or a playhouse and only as an accessory building to an already built and permitted residence. Size can range from 100 to 200 sq. ft. Again that is a zoning type of issue just like setback distances from property lines.

Once the structure begins to be used for sleeping most often all sorts of rules that are covered by building permits kick in. Some people manage to get away with a non-permitted small shed/cabin and some do not. Depends.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 9 May 2020 06:21
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I guess that shoots your tow in a trailer theory all to hell? You need to call the town/county and ask questions. This should be done prior to even putting an offer in.

Our town has the 144sqft rule at both our property and our full time home. This is why we have a 10x14 shed.

Also I believe they want a permit and drawing just so they can charge you a bit more on taxes..not so they can ban you from getting a decent size shed.

What town/county are you looking in in NY?

optimistic
Member
# Posted: 9 May 2020 07:51
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Brettny - "I guess that shoots your tow in a trailer theory all to hell?"

It would but I re-read code and it says the opposite - you are not allowed to use a trailer as a shed and not allowed to use a shed as a sleeping place so I am good on trailer and not good on shed.

"Also I believe they want a permit and drawing just so they can charge you a bit more on taxes..not so they can ban you from getting a decent size shed."

That is the whole thing here. Maybe it is better to do what I want then if shit hits the fan - play dumb and offer them what they want - taxes.

LittleDummerBoy
Member
# Posted: 9 May 2020 10:22
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When I built my cabin, I told the locals I was building a tool shed. They all rolled their eyes and went along with it. My land isn't posted, my cabin isn't locked, all the neighbors know what's up.
Never had a complaint in about 18 years, They all keep a neighborly eye on the place for me.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 9 May 2020 13:09 - Edited by: toyota_mdt_tech
Reply 


Quoting: optimistic
A long time ago, when I just started this cabin quest, I learned about a "gray zone" trick - building 144 sqft wihtout a permit and using it as a cabin.

Is it no longer the case in NY anyway?

No cabin for habitation can be built without a permit, build a storage unit instead.
Where my home and cabin is, we are allowed 200 sq feet sheds, so most go 12X16. But it can not have a permanent foundation.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 9 May 2020 14:13
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How/if you break the code laws is only something you can awnser. But at very minimum you should know them. Have you called the local building department? Asking questions isn't against the law.

optimistic
Member
# Posted: 9 May 2020 16:09
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Brettny - you mean about the trailer or the cabin?

btw... there are rumors that they are now flying drones to catch additions/decks/sheds/cabins that were not approved.

These small towns are just hungry for money.

I'm counting on my neighbors to shoot down any drone over their land haha. I would do that if I owned a gun.

xtolekbananx
Member
# Posted: 9 May 2020 19:31
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My town has 196 sq feet accessory building limit but the county has a separate rule of 144 sq feet that I don't need a permit, but it can't be used for sleeping. I got the permits because my original cabin was 200 sq feet, the town inspected with no problems and I thought that was that. A year later I get a call from county and they want to come in and inspect the place, I since added another 160 sq feet to the cabin, the lady on the phone told me to stop working blah blah blah. Little did she know I was finished already. So the inspector came, lucky me he was a decent guy and I told him I use the cabin as a hunting camp which you are allowed to as far as I know in NY. He said he doesn't care and that he liked the place very much and told me not to worry about anything and that the place reminded him of his youth in hunting camps. I guess I was lucky. So far 2 years passed and no extra taxes. I'm in Otsego County NY.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 10 May 2020 10:00
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Quoting: optimistic
btw... there are rumors that they are now flying drones to catch

If we are talking about in the APA I could see that. What town or county are we talking about?

The APA is nothing to mess with.

optimistic
Member
# Posted: 10 May 2020 11:11
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Tolke - that is a wonderful story. It's just like ICC said above - some get lucky. You did and it's great. I love hearing about inspectors who get that this is silly and just let you be and not go on some ego trip

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 10 May 2020 13:11
Reply 


Quoting: optimistic
Tolke - that is a wonderful story. It's just like ICC said above - some get lucky. You did and it's great. I love hearing about inspectors who get that this is silly and just let you be and not go on some ego trip


I think its an inspector that is just another one of us. Some are power hungry and like to make you squirm. Its nice to see "just another Joe" on the inspection. Hey, if it met code, wont collapse on you, they can asses the tax, its a win win for both parties.

optimistic
Member
# Posted: 10 May 2020 13:13
Reply 


Exactly toyota.

It is pure ego and silliness for the town to fight lot owners who have what a 12x12 shed????

inspect it, charge some extra property tax, and bye... so annoying that some are annoying.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 11 May 2020 06:24
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Have you called your local building dept yet? This is all speculation until you find out.

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