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locations with no zoning/building permits

 
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Hello,
I live in Cochise county, and the limit is 4 acres, not 5. The zoning to look for is RU-4. Then, apply for a building permit using the "opt out of inspection" option. It costs about $160, and can include a 3-year permit to live in an RV on the property while building. Just for the record, I moved here because of this.
 
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Most southern counties in Illinois have NO building codes. Macoupin county is one .
 
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Arkansas and Kansas has homestead land for sale with no restrictions. I'm looking too. I also want to build an earthbag home. Good luck.
 
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Old thread and OP's inquiry is (along with most replies) about the US but for Europe (in case others visitors of this thread, like me, are interested in the topic) I read this article today and it sounds like Spain could be a viable option: https://www.permaculturenews.org/2014/07/17/land-freedom-low-impact-building-spain/
 
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ken finch wrote: I am wondering if there is a website that shows counties or areas of land in which do not have zoning laws and do not require building permits? I would rather not have to contact each and every county for which property I may be interested in. I am looking to purchase 1-5 acres to build an earth bag home on. I am open to any state. If you don't know of a website it would be greatly appreciated if you could tell me of a county or area that you know of. Thanks a bunch



Eureka County, Nevada. That's the only place in Nevada. Central Nevada. Surrounded by Elko County, Nye County, Lander County. It's either the lowest populated county or second, I don't know exactly. Most of the land is BLM and most of the private land is owned by one owner, Nevada Gold Mines, a partnership between Barrick Gold Mines and Newmont Mines. The county seat is Eureka, an old historic mining town. Very quaint. Well kept mining town, not a ghost town, but has I think only 1 gas station. Eureka is on Highway 50, the "Loneliest Highway In America" aka the "Lincoln Highway".

There's another town in the northern central part of the county called Crescent Valley. It's got 1 gas station, 1 restaurant, 1 "general store", and populated mostly by mine workers. There is a lot of land available to buy around Crescent Valley area. Further north on the highway that cuts through Crescent Valley is Beowawe (Bee-Oh-Wah-Way) and it's smaller than Crescent Valley but there's a few subdivisions in the Emigrant Pass area of 10 - 20 acre lots, all OFF GRID. Crescent Valley is on grid and has municipal water.

Just north of Beowawe is I-80. From Beowawe, the nearest gas stations are in Elko Nevada (county seat of Elko County) to the east north east, and Battle Mountain (county seat of Lander County) to the west. Winnemucca is about 90 miles to the west in Humbolt County. Elko has an airport. But closest international airport would be Salt Lake City, Utah about 4 hours maybe 5 from Eureka County via I-80. Add another hour or more from Eureka City which is in the south east portion of the county. The nearest town from Eureka city is Ely Nevada (EEE-LEE not EEE-LIE), county seat of White Pine County. Ely is a nice little town. It has a number of gas stations, a modern grocery store, no big box stores but there are hardware stores and such. Most everything you would need could be gotten from Ely unless you're a plant based diet person like myself with a 2-a-day minimum requirement of Avocados and a love for organic/natural grown veggies.

The only requirements to build in Eureka County are..

1. If you required water (all humans require water, don't you think?), you can either truck the water in and store in your tanks, or you must get a state-certified well. This means no DIY well digging. This is the law in Nevada. They have a state run agency that requires you work with a state-approved well digger because the State claims water rights. All water rights are taken in the state, and no new water rights are available anywhere for commercial agriculture wells. However, don't despair, there is no approval process required to get a residential well and they have a liberal 1 acre foot limit per residential well (roughly 1785 gallons per day qualification). The only regulation being that you can only have one residential well per legal lot and it has to have a residence on it. If you buy two lots, and build one house, you may only have one residential well. And since wells are dug by state approved well diggers, the only way you can skirt this rule is by DIY well digging. (not advising that).

2. If you plan to build a residence, you will need a state certified septic system. This means it has to be signed off by someone who can certify it. Here, you can DIY your own septic system, but you have to do a good enough job to get it certified (by a contractor or state inspector). If you want a grey water system, you can do that but you will be required to build a septic for black water. Who wouldn't want a good septic system anyway?

There are absolutely no plan checks, no permits required, no hidden taxes, no regulatory agencies, and no zoning enforcement anywhere in Eureka County. Lot setbacks in a town (Eureka, Crescent Valley) on lots with municipal water and roads leading to all properties have absolutely NO setbacks. Setback requirements elsewhere in the rural parts is 15 feet from property line to allow neighbors to access their properties. This is inherently a good thing since no land in Nevada can be legally landlocked. (Unlike California where I've been wanting to buy some land for a permaculture food forest. Some stinking leftist organization purchased an easement to protect this canyon. There's a road to the property and it's very historic. It's over 100 years old. But the owner/seller of the property got locked out and brought legal proceedings to get an easement by necessity and gave up because it would have cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars to get that case through to completion.)

I am sick of government. Even Montana where Paul Wheaton is located, is riddled with government gotchas. I'm sick of them. I'm strongly considering a move to Eureka County Nevada. For freedom sake. Our society is crumbling around us, I don't have high hopes for USA surviving this overstretch by the powers that be. To me, freedom is more important than convenience.

If you want to be around people, have the most amount of sunshine to heat your earthship home and gather up the most amount of solar energy possible, I would highly suggest you look into Crescent Valley, Nevada.

That said, I would stay away from the center of Crescent Valley due to alkaline soil/salted soil from the flood plain, as typical in all the basins in the Basin and Range geographical area which is mostly Central Nevada and portions of Utah.

Lastly, I took a trip last year to Central Nevada to scope the area and see if I could stand living there. I am from "heaven" on the Central Coast of California where we have Goldylocks weather (not to warm, not too cold, not too dry, not too wet). I am surrounded by incredible beauty here. And I am addicted to hiking/bushwhacking/adventuring/exploring and a bit of fence hopping. I wondered if I could stand Central Nevada. I knew there was no way I would be able to stand anywhere near Las Vegas, or most if not all of Arizona and most of New Mexico. Been to all over those places and need some good weather to grow the veggies I exclusively live on. Weather is important to me. I was surprise just how beautiful the high deserts of Nevada were. They are very green too. As far as deserts are concerned, they are full of life. I went in July. When California's central valley was 105-110, Mojave desert and East Sierras the same. I then took Highway 6 from California to Ely Nevada. By the time I got to Tonopah the weather had cooled down to 102 (higher altitude) and leaving Tonopah it kept cooling down and started getting greener. It was absolutely beautiful. I only ran across another car on highway 6 like once every 10 or 15 minutes. One time it was about an hour I saw absolutely no cars. Camped overnight in the mountains south of Ely Nevada in a campground. It was 85 when I got there around 4 pm. Very lovely weather, gentle breeze. It was nice. Overnight got down to mid 50's. Very nice. Next day went from Ely to Eureka then Austin on highway 50, the loneliest highway in America. It was so nice. Absolutely beautiful, magnificent views. Nevada has more mountain ranges than any other state in the country and Central Nevada is the least populated part of the entire country, Alaska included. Something like 2 people per square mile or less than 2. It's very low. You can see mountains almost every direction. Most of them in July were snow capped. There are no forests in the basins. The forests are only on the range tops. If you want to be surrounded by trees you will need to plant them yourself.

All in all I am very strongly considering Eureka County. My need to hike and explore, and be engulfed by nature will be unquenched in Nevada. I'll have so much to explore. Even the areas where there are private properties are checkerboarded by BLM lands typically a section at a time. But there are portions where BLM owns entire townships, and not just one but several in line. Except for say national parks or state parks, you are welcome to hunt and explore all the BLM lands without restriction. This is very meaningful to me as well. If you buy land there you stand a good chance of backing up to BLM land, so you could leave your property line into a 1 mile by 1 mile "back yard" to roam around.

Most of the basins are warm in the summer, some more other others. But they typically don't pass 95 degrees F during the days. As far as winter weather is concerned, a light dusting of snow each winter, thaws quickly. I won't be deterred by weather. I like it warm actually and not big into cccccccold weather. Off grid is very very doable there. Indeed that's how most Nevada residents live, especially those in Eureka County outside of Crescent Valley, Beowawe and Eureka towns. Apart from solar electric there is a wind component and no zoning/permits means you can erect a windmill without someone shooting you down in a planning meeting.


 
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"I didn't realize how rare a county I live in." Which county Bruce? (Thanks)
 
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From what i am seeing on the above referenced table and what I can find on google, Washington County, MO doesn't seem to have any sort of building permits or code. Health code allows SFR with 3 acres to install septic without a permit.
Has anyone come across this area as possible for Superadobe? We just bought 5 acres and they have 15 more adjacent to use and maybe 30 more spread around the county.
 
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I am also very interested in sustainable communities and connecting with lime-minded people, looking to move right away,  would like to stay in touch
 
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Perry Way wrote:

ken finch wrote: I am wondering if there is a website that shows counties or areas of land in which do not have zoning laws and do not require building permits? I would rather not have to contact each and every county for which property I may be interested in. I am looking to purchase 1-5 acres to build an earth bag home on. I am open to any state. If you don't know of a website it would be greatly appreciated if you could tell me of a county or area that you know of. Thanks a bunch



Eureka County, Nevada. That's the only place in Nevada.



Esmeralda County requires no building codes.
 
pollinator
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We are mortgage-free and off-grid in a rural southern county of Colorado. We can report that, in Colorado generally, and this county of Las Animas specifically, you'll need the following to get to a "fully-permitted" house:

1. septic system permit (implies a successful perk test, and no special system designs) from the local health department. inspectors are good about coming out, but document with pics anyway.
2. building permit (with an "engineered" foundation plan, from your local PE) from the county building department. Inspector doesn't always come when you call, so *always* document all stages with pics; you can refer back to these if anyone questions things later. Saves having to rip things open if inspector is having a bad day. Supposedly, inspector will come out at various stages of construction ... what really happens is he'll want to see the engineered foundation stamp at the permit application stage in his office, where you pay the permit fee, and that is it, until the final inspection at the end of construction.
3. state plumbing and electrical permits (state inspectors for these). Inspectors are scheduled through state website, and are good about coming out. With these folks, the best advice I've ever heard, and it may apply to all others as well, is to "expect some amount of code violations or things they want done differently ... and just do it".

No other permits required that I'm aware of for a built "residential structure". Agriculture (AG) buildings (outbuildings) are less restricted, to the point where they don't really care what you do, if you call it an AG outbuilding. We have seen COB homes, yurts, and others in the area, some at our homestead friends locations. Most likely, all of them had to have a septic system permit, possibly an engineered foundation stamp,  and doubtful on anything else. Most are self-built, and probably self-financed, as ours was (to bypass loan-madness). Further into the pines, and nobody knows or cares.

As others have pointed out, "insurance" is an issue, as would a bank-financed construction loan ... these would make it nearly impossible to do what you want to do with alternative home types. But, insurance is a joke anyway, and adding in our wildfire-prone area ... no self-respecting insurance agency (that is profit-based) would show up around here ... they stick to the cities and their code-heavy environs. We self-insure (to bypass insurance-madness), we are our own fire department, and so on.

Hope this helps ...
 
pollinator
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Some questions;
What is a perk test for a septic system?
What is this about

insurance-madness

, surely insurance is like the lottery, you buy a ticket to cover potential damage ?
Many people buy lottery tickets.

loan-madness- surely its not madness if the payments are less than the rent you would pay while saving the cash to pay outright.
I have used small loans to pay for the foundations and then I have been able to fly along with my project 2 years before I would have saved enough for them.
 
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John

 
What is a perk test for a septic system?


I'm guessing 'perk test' is short for 'perculation test'.  To test that grey water will soak away at an appropriate rate in a leach field or similar disposal site.  If it goes away too slowly, or too quickly this can cause issues.
 
Jt Lamb
pollinator
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These *each* probably deserve their own thread, and one day I hope to get to that ...

Loan-madness is everything around the issue of building "alternative housing" via a bank loan to do so (insert your own horror stories here). Building it in a self-financed way is a method to bypass all of that. Basically, no "requirements" from the bank, in order to build.

Insurance-madness is everything around the issue of trying to insure something these days, be it health insurance, property or home catastrophe insurance, etc. In the old days, you paid in, they paid out, for a disaster. Today, there are just as many restrictions coming from insurance as there are coming from the bank for a bank loan. Deductibles (approaching 10k or more, per year for health), restrictions if you are rural (too far from a fire department or hydrant), legal documents that need a lawyer to decipher, on and on ...
 
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