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Permitting A Yurt

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Old 09-24-2023, 10:03 PM   #81
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Default Re: Permitting a yurt

Quote:
Originally Posted by elewis33 View Post
I would say your #1 step, to get the ball rolling, is to go down to the county/city permitting office and talk through your plans with them. And Make sure they understand exactly what/how you plan to use the yurt.



Every jurisdiction can have slightly different rules about these kinds of things, especially if you're talking about rural counties/towns.

I see some hints in these posts, but I'd strongly recommend NOT drawing attention to yourself and just calling your yurt a pop-up/collapsible "yoga room" if you get caught. I made this mistake and I estimate I will have spent upwards of $70k to deal with what uninformed, territorial, ignorant, malicious, or downright nasty people in power demanding unrealistic and unneccesary add ons. I could write a novel about this but will settle for brevity: DON'T TELL THE COUNTY YOUR PLANS
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Old 09-25-2023, 06:25 AM   #82
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Default Re: Permitting a yurt

Had you contacted them before you started or purchased anything, I think this would have worked out better and cost you less.
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Old 09-25-2023, 08:10 AM   #83
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Default Re: Permitting a yurt

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Originally Posted by Jafo View Post
Had you contacted them before you started or purchased anything, I think this would have worked out better and cost you less.
The usual best advice...but in this case that's not true at all. I actually started talking to the county well before I decided to purchase a yurt and went that way based on their assurances. Given what I know now, I would have built a cabin for the same price but less work.

If I were making the advice true, it would be "had you contacted them, and then contacted the state to make sure they knew what they were talking about, and then talked to a lawyer to make sure the state person knew the rules, and then brought a suit against the county commissioners to fix ambiguities in their zoning resolution and won, it would have worked out better and cost you more"

Long and short is this: county (and many counties) have yurts in their zoning regs as recreational occupancy (if it's not your residence as defined in the zoning, which in my county is the place you spend the majority of your time) and one may occupy the yurt a limited amount of time, like an RV. But if you tell them about it, they don't know what to do, so they asked for a dwelling permit so they could assure setbacks were being honored (that's it), and possibly to get a few hundred dollars in sales tax/permit revenue. But by calling it a dwelling, regardless of what the county zoning director thinks, the state invokes the full code book, meaning every accoutrement needed to allow a renter to live comfortably in the structure full time is needed, and if it's somewhere that freezes, there are more things to cover and more paperwork to file if you're not

heating

it constantly.

It got so expensive (relative to what we planned to spend, not because of ripping things out and redoing, I still build to code regardless of whether I'm required to) we sought help from a lawyer, who said we should have never told the county anything.

Here is the logic, as long as you are NOT making the yurt your residence (i.e., you don't need running water or hard-piped propane/electric heat):
  • In rural areas, chances are good they'll never know you put it up, or if they do see it, they'll just assume it's a tent
  • Deck aside, yurts are temporary in nature and can be taken down if demanded, moved
  • they will have to prove you're living in it as a residence which puts the burden on them
  • they will not want to do that, as there are bigger fish to fry than someone setting up a big tent on their own property without permission
  • worst case scenario you have to get a permit and repitch, and then you can decide whether to build a house or persist with a yurt

So I will revise my statement for the forum community: if your yurt is not your primary residence and you're not planning on having an obvious-from-the-road penetration of electrical or fuel gas and your county include the term "recreational occupancy" in their zoning resolution, and you don't have neighbors who seem like they like to tattle on people for things not their business, I highly recommend not getting the county involved. Or if you do, know the rules all the way to the state level, talk to the local inspectors until they're sick of your questions, and decide if a yurt is still something you can afford.
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Old 09-25-2023, 02:52 PM   #84
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Default Re: Permitting a yurt

I agree with Jafo. You pooped on the govt lawn. They don't like that. It's all 'bout respect knowwhutimean.
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Old 09-25-2023, 02:56 PM   #85
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Default Re: Permitting a yurt

You gotsta pay for them real important gubmint jobs and retirements. And don't forget the donuts and coffee. And new truck every five years.


"Yup it's a tuff job." lol
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Old 09-25-2023, 10:30 PM   #86
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Default Re: Permitting a yurt

Ha! I had agreed with Jafo on the right way to do it. But that's what I did and it got me in a world of frustration...so I'm rethinking my approach.

I made a similar mistake 5 years ago on some state land I have to cross through to get to my place. Out of precaution I asked them permission and they charged me for an access permit. But turns out I was the only landowner crossing that patch (of 10) to do this. I suspect my wheels represent less than 1% of the traffic on the road, most of it from ranchers going after cows. Come heavy rains and some washouts state comes calling and wants me to fix the road for $100k because I'm the only person they can tie to the road.

Just seems the math has flipped in the last decade. Asking permission costs more than asking for forgiveness. Didn't use to be that way
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Old 09-27-2023, 01:22 PM   #87
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Default Re: Permitting a yurt

That totally sucks.

Last edited by Bob Rowlands; 09-27-2023 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 09-27-2023, 01:32 PM   #88
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Default Re: Permitting a yurt

There's NEVER enough money.

Last edited by Bob Rowlands; 09-27-2023 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 01-10-2024, 03:47 AM   #89
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Default Re: Permitting a yurt

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diamond View Post
Has anyone successfully obtained a Building Consent for a Yurt in New Zealand, in Canterbury in particular?
I would be keen to hear from anyone who has done this. I presume most of the Yurts here are unconsented.
Yes, quite a few yurts have consented in New Zealand, but they are all NZ-made. I have some friends who have done it with an 8-meter yurt, but 9 meters can also be done. I am happy to answer some of your questions if you like to know more.
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