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Old 07-25-2012, 05:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HawaiiYurts View Post
Thanks Jafo. To be clear: Not all yurt companies are aiming toward a permit-able yurt. And if they are clear about that, and up front with their potential customers, then I don't think it's too horrendous if they don't have the engineering.
I understand. My thought is, we are building a permit check list and this thread is about permitting so my train of thought is on that process. I agree that if you are planning on using this as any kind of permanent or even semi-permanent structure, you are best to go with a manufacturer who will offer you some sort of engineering specs.

Now those

camping yurts

that are totally portable; let's hope we never see the day where you have to get an occupancy permit for tent camping!
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Old 08-11-2012, 11:53 AM   #12
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Default Pacific Northwest Counties

Does anyone have any information on the counties that are "pro yurt" ? That is to say I would like to build a yurt in an area that I can live in it full time. Small acreage preferably. Any help in the areas of Washington and Oregon would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 08-11-2012, 02:41 PM   #13
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You might want to ask

Pacific Yurts

as their HQ is actually in Oregon. The state parks there utilize their yurts for year round camping so I am betting the state in general is somewhat friendly to it. They have a service rep here that is a member:

Yurt Forum - A Yurt Community - View Profile: Pacific Yurts

You can ask them via Private Message and see?
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Old 08-14-2012, 01:05 AM   #14
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Yes, I'd think Pacific could give you some tips about that area. And it may be more effective to figure out which counties do NOT accept them? But I'd expect Oregon and Washington would be pretty accepting of them as a rule...

I think a lot of areas don't have a hard and fast policy. Rural areas are often 'don't ask, don't tell'. Perhaps the thing to do would be to research and pick out ten areas you like for other reasons and then start calling the building departments of the areas. Then maybe we can update 'friendly zones' or 'unfriendly zones' on here. That would be useful in future industry efforts to clear yurts through the IBC as well.

I know that in Arizona, Colorado was successful in permitting after they addressed the

insulation

r-value codes and fire codes. I'm not sure if that's statewide. Here in Hawaii, we have been successful permitting on all islands except Oahu and Maui, but I haven't actually tried there yet because we haven't had a client that wants to permit there yet. I've heard they are 'anti', but I'm look forward to challenging it.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:49 AM   #15
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Unhappy permitting

I spoke with a CSR @

Pacific Yurts

regarding permitting in Oregon. Although she was nice, I really did'nt get the help I was asking for. I asked her to point me in the direction of "yurt freindly" counties as I would like to build a yurt in Oregon or Washington. I asked her maybe the President could help if she didn't know. Anyway to get to the point, she said most people didn't disclose that they were putting up a yurt, as there was probably an already existing structure. I am at the beginning stages of this and I want to conform to the applicable laws and such, and I see myself being somewhat if not totally off grid at some point and living in my yurt full time. I can see that this is going to take a lot of research, phone calls, and due dilligence on my part, and I don't think it should really be this difficult.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:53 AM   #16
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Do you have any specific counties in mind?
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:08 PM   #17
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I suspect this is not as difficult as it seems to you right now. The first step is to narrow down some places so you can start asking questions. It seems you want someone to say 'counties a,b,c and d allow yurts. and e,f and g do not'. But in most places, no one has compiled that info. And even if they had at some point, with constantly changing codes and policy, it wouldn't necessarily be accurate info.

We can start compiling current yurt friendly zones here, it's a start. In most cases, yurt manufacturers help by providing what a client asks for to complete a permit process and they don't get involved any further than that. They aren't going to walk you through the process and there may be liability issues surrounding their saying one county does or does not permit yurts. It's been an area that many manufacturers shy away from.

Our business at

Yurts of Hawaii

is very unique in that aspect, but then that's what we focus on, and have CYC do their part to make us a good yurt. Point being, in most places in the nation, you have to do that foot work yourself and then there's a network that can help you navigate that process. When I started our business, yurts weren't permittable here. I had to fight the county, prove our engineering, durability and go through a long process of going on up the chain of command with photos, complete engineering specs, wind loads, weight, seismic ratings, etc. In some places it won't be that difficult. You have to call the individual county building department. Simple as that to start with. If you get a yurt friendly one (and there are many), you save yourself some hassle.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:38 PM   #18
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Default permitting in Pacific Northwest

I don't have any specific counties at this point in either Washington or Oregon, I was hoping someone with a yurt in either of these 2 states could offer some input as to their experience. Any help would be appreciated. Then again I could get a piece of land off the beaten path and say F9%3 the system and just do what I wanted in the first place.

Seriously, any help with specific areas of Washington or Oregon would be a great help

Mike
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Old 08-18-2012, 07:32 AM   #19
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Our yurt isn't permitted, 'cause it's a temporary structure the county is ok with, but we've been exploring the prospects of cob and straw bale. The former is as far off the zoning board's radar as yurts, I'm sure.
The best advice we've gotten is to learn as much as one can about the zoning board and building inspectors (talking to folks who have built in the area recently) and to remember that most are not out to get you, but are more than willing to work with someone who is trying to do things the right way (the safe way). They won't automatically be antagonistic to new ideas if those ideas can be proven to be sound, but they're not going to do the work to establish the proof.
In some cases, the board or inspectors will actually be excited about working with you, because they want to encourage safe new ideas.
You can comment, Melissa, on the reality of that situation. We haven't acted on the advice yet ourselves, but it sounds reasonable and jives with our experience when informally asking a member of our zoning board about our yurt "summer home" by the garden.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:05 PM   #20
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The most logical starting point is to call a county and ask them if they know of yurts and if so, do they allow them to be permitted as residences or accessory buildings. You can't trust other people's experiences, because these things can change even as quickly as year to year. Hopefully for the better! But not always.

To do something under the guise of 'temporary' works for many, but leaves you open to the county being able to come in and either demand it be taken down, facing fines, or begin permitting it. The best bet is always going to be to know the counties stance on it. If they don't have a stance, then get the yurt and it's foundation drafted by a licensed, local architect and pay a professional to start routing it. That goes far. *edited to add* OR, wing it and if they come and make you take it down, well, easy enough. Heartbreaking in many cases though.

In Oregon/Washington, the biggest factor for codes with yurts is going to be

insulation

, so go with a company who sells insulation that meets the r-value factors. Other than that, I have found NO PART of yurts that pose an issue to the IBC building codes, or can not be made to meet them.

An excellent engineer in the area is Steve Kicinski. He is working with

NAYA

on various things where yurts and pending IBC codes clash. His company is Ellisport Engineering. He would be an excellent person to speak with about codes in the area and I believe he is licensed in both of those states. But let's post yurt friendly/unfriendly areas as we know and we can begin a list of sorts for people. Where are you located again, Dan? County and state?
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Last edited by HawaiiYurts; 08-22-2012 at 08:07 PM.
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