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Coconino County, AZ - Pilot Program work-around?

 
Posts: 3
Location: Tucson, AZ
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Greetings and salutations!


First time poster, parcel owner, eventual builder, and new to the concept of permaculture/natural building, so my apologies if this thread isn't quite in the right place; I'm still learning!

This post/inquiry is directly aimed towards individuals who have experience building an earthbag/alternative-material home in Coconino County, Arizona, where I've recently purchased a plot of land in an Agricultural Residential zone. Currently, the property is being surveyed by a professional surveyor, and within the next two weeks I should be aware of property boundaries.

That being said, my partner and I are seeking to create an earthbag home by hand, complete with a composting toilet rather than a wastewater system (so no plumbing/septic required). We're also interested in using a similar method to create a water cistern for collection purposes, and incorporating solar for electrical needs. In addition, we'd like to own a few chickens and grow several of our own plants, so that we essentially have a sustainable homestead that we can enjoy for years to come.

I am aware that Coconino County offers the Innovative Materials and Systems Pilot Program (PP) which potentially eliminates a need for the ungodly amount of permits generally required for building an alternative-material home. My land fits in every keyhole, except one: the PP states that the AR land in question, when applying for the PP, must be 2.5 acres or more. Unfortunately, the land I've acquired is about 1.16 acres, just shy of half the requirement.

So the question is this: is there any way that the county could be persuaded to allow for a lesser acreage to apply for the PP, provided certain terms are met?

I have gone ahead and e-mailed the sustainability team for the county and am waiting to hear back, so hopefully they'll be able to offer an inkling as to the why's and how's, but no less, this seemed like the perfect place to try and get some answers, if there are any to be had, and I thank you!
 
Posts: 103
Location: Far Northern California Coast, Far South Pacific Northwest
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Hello there and welcome! It's nice to see people 'falling' into permaculture in so many ways, it's a great rabbit hole to explore.

I don't have any advice or knowledge of earthbag homes or the permitting required but hoping this comment will get you some help. Glad you are trying to reach out to the rule makers and find a way, hoping they will work with you. I'd be interested to find why the limit on property size, is it an aesthetic issue or ??

Best of luck on your new endeavors!
 
Posts: 23
Location: Northern Arizona, 7300'
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Hi!
I'm in Coconino County too, and while I don't really have answers to your questions, the sustainability dept was really helpful to me a few months ago when I was trying to figure out how to get around the rules for building a 300-400ft2 greenhouse with a cob/earthbag north wall without a permit. Unfortunately, they were great at getting me the answers I needed from other departments but were not helpful in avoiding permits . They seemed to actually be interested in finding workarounds to make my project happen but did not mention the program you're talking about (I'm also AR with 1 acre, in Parks). So, I had to stick with a 200ft2 build to avoid it the hassle.
Keep us posted, I'm really interested in hearing about your progress.
 
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