It's kind of a hidden gem of WA.
Bethany Dutch wrote:Hi Max!
I can tell you NO, not all of WA is so prohibitive. Here in Stevens County (we're the northeastern most county) you can have one unpermitted and uninspected dwelling per parcel. Which means you can build whatever the hell you want
I would recommend checking out Kettle Falls, Colville, and Chewelah. I live between Colville and Chewelah and they both have hospitals. The hospitals are "rural" hospitals but you can be in Spokane with several major hospitals within an hour.
jim dee wrote:
It's kind of a hidden gem of WA.
NE WA does seem pretty nice, minus mosquitos.
So in theory, one could have a skoolie (tiny home) and a TT, and still build a yurt, spaceship, or tree house, yes?
Can put the mother in law in a hut far far away...
Maxwell Myers wrote:
Thanks, that's all very helpful and intriguing! We'll certainly look into it. How are the parcels divided? Is land usually divided into a certain number of defined parcels when you buy it, or is that somewhat at the discretion of the landowner?
Are mosquitos a problem in your area? Olympia/Seattle has pretty much zero, it's strange. Coming from the Midwest, it was a real pleasant surprise.
jim dee wrote:@bethany,
I mentioned mosquitoes because my buddy was up at Kettle Falls camping and he said the they chased him out, ha.
That would be nice if one could live or build without needing prior approval of septic and potable water.
I've searched so many real estate offerings in that general area that my mind is mush right now and can't recall exactly, but I don't think i've seen too many areas requiring anything like that, unless perhaps it was in town or near the golf course or what have ya.
Any thoughts on a bit south of you, Loon Lake area or Chewelah?
Mark Tudor wrote:So I've been looking more into the details on the Stevens county site, and found the following document: http://www.co.stevens.wa.us/landservices/documents/BuildingOrdinance.pdf
Relating to exemptions for required permits, Section 1.4.2(b) part 3:
"Residence Group R, Division 3, as defined by 1982 edition of the U.B.C. relating only to detached single family dwellings, occupied by an owner-builder, and shall specifically not include structures which are used for providing services and goods for sale to members of the public, lodging to persons, for compensation, or structures which are used in the manufacture of goods intended for sale to the public. A building permit, inspection fee, and inspections shall not be required for an owner/builder residence."
So as long as you don't use it for business purposes or housing others for rental income, no permits/fees/inspections are required for an owner-built residence! It must be at least 100 feet away from the property line or other occupancy-rated structures. You must file a notice that is added to the permanent deed, and you can do this once per 5 year period. You have to follow the codes for road approach and sewage disposal, plus other (less relevant items, in my opinion), and that could be checked for compliance. This applies to the unincorporated areas of the county, so beware of locations just outside incorporated areas, as it could be absorbed later on and then the question is whether you get grandfathered in or if your structure has to be retrofitted.
jim dee wrote:@devin,
That is great for "movable" homes, similar to Stevens Co, owner/builder exempt for main living quarters.
Are you familiar with Ferry Co. and their building exemptions?
From what I've read, but both counties on either side of Stevens seem to have restrictions for building, but interested if you have heard anything about that?
Mark Tudor wrote:Here's a rough map for annual rainfall in Washington: http://content.lib.washington.edu/cmpweb/resources/map-rainfall.html
As you see the middle is definitely arid, fortunately there is a bit more rain again as you reach the NE corner and the mountains. As I've been thinking mostly about an Oehler/Wofati structure, I'd be a bit concerned about living on the west coast between building regulations and nosy neighbors, and the endless rain in most of the area. Funny that the Seattle area and the bay just NW of it is the driest part of western Washington due to the rain shadow on Mt. Olympus.
Been reading up a bit on water rights for Stevens county, and it looks like you'd better buy land that already has a well, or has a year-round spring. Not sure you could get a permitted well dug, and it'll cost thousands I would think, drilling by the foot. Of course most of what I've looked at is zoned for timber production-seeing 40 acres with a $500/year property tax bill sure is tempting!
Colville has a few lots for sale at good prices, but one was literally next door to a shooting range, so not sure how peaceful that would be. but there's a balance between "peace and quiet"/privacy, and access to services and face to face community. I'm planning to come out to Wheaton Labs in January, maybe I can spend an extra couple days to drive around NE Washington too to get a feel for the area above and beyond what Google Earth provides.