• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies living kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Jocelyn Campbell
stewards:
  • Devaka Cooray
  • Burra Maluca
  • Miles Flansburg
garden masters:
  • Dave Burton
  • Anne Miller
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Mike Jay
gardeners:
  • Bill Crim
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Greg Martin

Co-opting the PUD (Planned Unit Development)  RSS feed

 
Posts: 38
Location: Denver, 6a / BSk, apartment dweller, looking to Woof near Denver
14
bike books forest garden hugelkultur cooking wofati
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi!
Has anyone (edit 1: recently) explored the possibility of co-opting the tool of the PUD (Planned Unit Development) for ALLOWING permaculture, wofatis, mob-grazing, etc?  
This might be anyone in the crowd with a background in civil engineering, real estate development, or architecture.

(Edit 1: I found several after posting this from the awesome "similar threads" feature, but all the threads seem dormant now).


My question:
Why not co-opt the tool of the PUD to make permaculturing not only possible, but the expected norm in regions otherwise saddled with HOA, municipal and/or county level zoning absurdity? This could be in a rural area to defend against zoning changes in the future, or potentially close to or in a town or city.


The Vision:
Imagine a community where having a chicken coop near your house is a right explicitly stated and granted to you by the rules governing the place, and which everyone signs when they buy land there.
The benefit of the PUD is that YOU are writing the rules governing the uses of the lots within the property (provided you bribe convince the fire marshal that what you've outlined is ok).  


Cold water:
I don't know of a county/municipality that would go for this... but maybe you do?


(Edit 2
Tactics: Creative Re-Naming
Farm = Garden
Terrace = Path
Pond = Swale
Willow Feeder = Tool Shed
Chicken = Pet
)


Background-goes-last:
By the way, a PUD is a tool of real estate development usually used to create McMansion Estates, Ticky-Tack-House-Glen, or the like. Typically this is done by creating endless rules about the layout, houses, and landscaping of the place (like, street-widths, property line setbacks, how many blades of grass each front lawn needs, or the minimum size of the fifth and sixth master-bedroom suites). It also usually creates a governing body, often called an HOA (Home-Owners Association) to enforce these rules and conduct small-scale embezzlement fee collection.

Where I live now (Denver area), most of the nearby counties I've looked into have zoning regulations which make 35 acres the minimum size for unrestricted agricultural use (i.e. 34.99 acres can only have 3 cows and 6 chickens...seriously); assuming that land is even zoned for agriculture. This is just my first, fuzzy, attempt to think around the issue.

Cheers!



 
pollinator
Posts: 223
Location: Western North Carolina - Zone 7B stoney
58
bee dog forest garden homestead hugelkultur cooking trees wood heat
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ash, I have a few pointers and suggestions for you.  

It seems that you are in the middle of a legislative struggle, where one body is looking to enforce the letter of the law upon you.  My largest suggestion is to make the letter of the law work for you.  There is no other way to study in depth the actual writings of the regulations that inhibit what you want to do, and finding the exceptions, exclusions, and ways to work around their restrictions.  Sometimes, it's simply a change in terminology (as described by Sepp Holzer in one video).  When terracing, he's essentiallly making a pathway.  If he calls it a pathway, there is a council needed to determine ecological effects of a pathway (since he's in a forest area).  So, he simply calls it a garden bed, and plants it with crops.  

For most of the things, I'd ask for forgiveness afterwards, because trying to ask permission would be so laborious trying to explain how simple the things that I was doing.
 
Ash Jackson
Posts: 38
Location: Denver, 6a / BSk, apartment dweller, looking to Woof near Denver
14
bike books forest garden hugelkultur cooking wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi William,

Thankfully I'm not in a struggle with a zoning body, I'm just trying to think ahead and find ways to avoid that struggle altogether either on the front end (ask permission) or the back end (beg forgiveness).

Thank you for the advice on renaming: it takes advantage of how the framing of an argument can fundamentally change the argument.

I don't think I've seen that particular Sepp video yet; do you happen to recall it's name/context/url?
Thanks!
 
pollinator
Posts: 596
Location: Southern Arizona. Zone 8b
78
bee bike fish greening the desert solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Seems to me that it would be much easier to simply buy land where there ISN'T an HOA and no (or very few) restrictions.

The only way you are going to get an HOA with the rules you mention is to start the HOA from scratch WITH those rules.  And if you're starting from scratch, why bother forming an HOA?

Generally speaking, if you buy property outside the city limits, there are far fewer restrictions on what you can do.

For example, in the county I live in, the only restrictions on livestock is that if you want cattle or horses, you need to have more than 1 acre.  Anyone can build their own home here, but if you have more than 4 acres you don't even have to have it inspected (still need a permit), no building inspections, no electrical inspections, no plumbing inspections.
 
Ash Jackson
Posts: 38
Location: Denver, 6a / BSk, apartment dweller, looking to Woof near Denver
14
bike books forest garden hugelkultur cooking wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Peter,

You lucky duck! I hope your county/municipality maintains their hands-off approach.

And yes; you're exactly right. It would be much, MUCH easier to buy land where there is no use-based zoning regulations.

Because of my personal situation, I need to stay near the Denver metro area for the next 14.5 years; and the rural counties I'm inspecting around Denver are much more overbearing regarding land use than yours. (New example, Gilpin county says any land zoned for residential use, even if it's 6 acres in the wilderness, can only have 12 chickens or rabbits maximum).


To answer your specific question about 'why create an HOA?', my answer is:

In an area with use-based zoning (be it state, county, or municipal), a planning commission can decide to change the zoning use of your land, often without or despite your entreaty to the contrary, (reference https://www.versaland.com/, where the county placed a moratorium on orchard production on land zoned for agriculture use).

The PUD and ensuing HOA would defend against that. Think of a PUD as a "zoning fortress," where the barrier for unilateral change from the municipal entity is much higher than for "normally" zoned land.

And yes; what I'm describing would be to create a PUD zoning use, and then create the HOA per the typical requirments of creating a PUD. I would then probably write the bylaws of the HOA to have no authority to do anything but host a monthly pot-luck.
 
Peter VanDerWal
pollinator
Posts: 596
Location: Southern Arizona. Zone 8b
78
bee bike fish greening the desert solar woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Ash Jackson wrote:
Because of my personal situation, I need to stay near the Denver metro area for the next 14.5 years;



How "near"?  Custer, Delta, Saguache counties are within about 4hrs drive and supposedly haven't adopted any building codes, there may be some closer counties with minimally restrictive building codes.

I'm assuming you want to raise meat?  It only takes about 1-2 chickens per person for eggs.  
12 chickens take about 4 months to raise for meat, that's about 3 chickens per month.  Even if the limit is 12, you could probably grow 20 without the county noticing, and if they did notice they usually give you a few weeks to resolve the issue, plenty of time to slaughter the excess.

In fact, unless the neighbors complain, in most areas they never check.   If you think you have a neighbor that will bitch to the county, keep exactly 12 chickens as close to that neighbor as permitted by code.  When they complain and the county sends someone out, let them count your chickens (they don't count if they're not hatched yet and then offer to move them further away from the whiny neighbor.
Now there will be a record that you obey the code and are reasonable, and that you have a neighbor that likes to waste their time.  They are unlikely to send anyone else out in the future.

Or just buy enough land that none of your neighbors will be close enough to notice.
 
Ash Jackson
Posts: 38
Location: Denver, 6a / BSk, apartment dweller, looking to Woof near Denver
14
bike books forest garden hugelkultur cooking wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Peter,
Thank you for weighing in, especially on the chicken production numbers; as I do want to raise chickens for eggs and meat.

A building code is a bit different than a zoning, or land development, code (all three counties have the latter),

However! The Custer county code appears quite farm friendly, from the county zoning regulations:

Landowners, residents, and visitors must be prepared to accept the activities, sights, sounds and smells of Custer County’s agricultural operations as a normal and necessary aspect of living in a county with a strong rural character and a healthy ranching and farming sector. Those with an urban sensitivity may perceive such activities, sights, sounds and smells as inconveniences, eyesores, noises and odors. However, state law and county policy provides that ranching or other agricultural activities and operations within Custer County shall not be considered to be nuisances, as long as they are operated in conformance with the law and in a non‐negligent manner.



I should point out, that passage above is unique among the seven or so other counties zoning regulations I've skimmed, and seems quite encouraging on the broader scale.

I also learned from the Custer county zoning code that Colorado is a 'right to farm' state! I'm not sure of the implications yet, but it's an interesting tidbit I would not have found otherwise; so thank you for that, as well.

For me, personally, I'll take your lessons in 'neighbor management' to heart. As beautiful as the Saguache and Westcliffe areas are, I suspect they're too far for me to make the round-trip twice a week.

Thanks again!
 
Posts: 14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Having seen a number of communal and intentional communities dissolve over the years, I love the PUD idea. If someone wants to cash out, it's done on an individual basis and the community doesn't need to worry about buying people out, paying for labor donated over the years, etc. It becomes a simple real estate sale, plain and simple.

Here in Michigan the laws are pretty broad to allow a lot of creativity in setting up a PUD. It's convincing the local city or township that it's a good idea where the issues pop up. As anyone living in a rural area can attest to, you often don't get the sharpest tools in the shed sitting on the local planning commission.

If you can find a PUD within your state that has adopted a plan similar to yours, this helps getting the idea approved. This way you have a little leverage in negotiations since you can say "Well it was allowed here, I'll have my attorney look into it" Any mention of an attorney usually gets them to open up their reception to new ideas!

Having a plan taken from an adjacent state helps and needless to say, the further away it is the harder it'll be to get your project approved. In a nutshell, don't try to reinvent the wheel, find a similar project and work your ideas in from that.
 
What could go wrong in a swell place like "The Evil Eye"? Or with this tiny ad?
Getting ready for the Better World Book kickstarter - February 2019
https://permies.com/t/99513/ready-World-Book-kickstarter-February
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!