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Old 09-18-2013, 05:47 PM   #11
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Default Re: Path to Yurtizenship

Good luck!!!
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:42 PM   #12
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Default Re: Path to Yurtizenship

Wowza, I know the route well. It's how I started our business! It may not be an easy route, but stick to your guns, HUMBLY, and just keep asking 'Why' any time they send you something saying 'NO'. The information is out there regarding

insulation

, wind ratings, etc., everything you need to fight the battle and WIN. Looking forward to seeing your success. Call if you need anything.
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:30 PM   #13
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Cool Re: Path to Yurtizenship

To Dan R-M...
Good luck with all your battles with the permit police. My husband and I are still wading thru the NY state code law, and hope to come up with enough bull**** to baffle the CEO with since we haven't been able to blind him with our brilliance!

Martha
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:10 PM   #14
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Default Re: Path to Yurtizenship

Well, we've come to the point where we need to hang up our yurt hopes for the time being.
We got approval from zoning, which was great. The building administrator was willing to work with us, and only had three concerns: that a "dwelling" in his jurisdiction needed to have 1) hot and cold running water, 2) septic or sewer, and 3)

insulation

with an R value.
I believe we could have given evidence of the functionality of the foil insulation that convinced him. The sticking point was the water and effluent. Since we've got a house we're working on a few hundred feet away that would have all of the above, we didn't feel like we'd need it in the space where we would sleep, eat, and play. But by his book, sleeping somewhere makes it a dwelling, and if it's a dwelling it has to have the amenities.
Baby steps. We have to keep reminding ourselves that big things happen a little bit at a time.
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:20 PM   #15
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Default Re: Path to Yurtizenship

Dan,

So close, yet so far. Could you not tie into the sewer for the new house somehow, even if it was just a temporary setup?
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Old 10-24-2013, 02:06 PM   #16
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Default Re: Path to Yurtizenship

How far away is the yurt from the house? Consider a few options:

1) Detached bedroom. These do not require bathrooms, and can usually be up to 50' from the house, more if connected by a covered walkway.

2) Connect the yurt to the septic for the other house. That usually would just require trenching and connecting in. Most septic systems will have a minimum number of bedrooms that can be permitted with them. If you're over, then the septic system has to get larger.

3) Storage. This is an accessory structure, a shed, no plumbing or electric (though you can have electric if you want). It can usually be further from the house and no plumbing is included.

4) A workshop can usually have both plumbing and electric.
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:04 PM   #17
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Default Re: Path to Yurtizenship

Thanks for the suggestions, friends. We tried the detached bedroom idea with the building fellow, but it was not on his radar of possibilities. Anywhere someone sleeps, that's a dwelling, he says. I know it seems funny, that there's no option anywhere for "camping situation" or something, but things all seem to have their categories.

I don't really think, given the status quo, that he's unreasonable in asking for hot and cold running water and septic. You can only push someone so much at once, and I'm pretty impressed that he would allow it at all. Mind you, I feel like a yurt is an ideal living situation, with or without the "necessities". But we're talking city officials, here.

From yurt site to septic (from the house) is approximately 275 feet, and that's a straight line through our garden. To route it around our commitments (garden, desirable trees, etc.) would bring the distance up to 325 feet. So 325 feet of septic and water line, and 325 feet of electric line (or a solar system) for the blower or electric heat for the water heater we'd have to put in, whether on-demand or tanked. And a propane tank, if gas. Then the actual appliance.

Originally we thought we'd do whatever they wanted, so we could live in a yurt and set a good example for folks in the area. But once we started adding up the extra expense and realized that this seriously side-tracked us from the simple living we desired, we thought again. It's true, we could just put it all in according to code and not use it. But that's a lot of resources in time and money to put on the shelf just to make a point.

It was always an option to call it a storage shed and live in it anyway, but again, we wanted to be above board so we could tell people what we were doing, how we lived. Many people, officials included, made it clear we could theoretically do this. But it lets the building folks off the hook, and leaves us completely liable if there were a complaint or a problem.
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Old 10-25-2013, 01:51 PM   #18
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Default Re: Path to Yurtizenship

Ahhh. The distance is the issue with codes as well... that's why you can't call it a detached bedroom. I hear what you're saying about being above board, and letting the building department off the hook.

Have you checked into the viability of a composting toilet and graywater system? Most counties are actually allowing certain kinds of composting toilets now. The graywater system has to be engineered, but it's actually not too bad a cost when we've done it for clients. About $400 and it's basically just a 4x4x6 hole filled with different kinds of aggregate. Is that an option?
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