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Zoning Issue!!

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Old 02-04-2020, 03:27 PM   #1
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Default Zoning issue!!

Hello everyone! It has been a while since I have been on here and I am wanting some advise. My partner and myself put a 20’ yurt in our back yard while we rented out the house to my sister. We have lived in it full time for 3 years now. Yesterday we got a message in the mail from our county plan commission stating that we are in violation of the “joint zoning ordinance”. They go on to say give them a call so we can discuss the matter further and to come up with an amicable time line for removal. Failure to respond shall result in further legal action.

To point out the obvious we didn’t not contact anyone to get approval to put the yurt up. We thought asking for forgiveness was easier then permission. Our idea was to put it up and work out the kinks before we put it on a different piece of property. We are in northwest Indiana. So my question is.. does anyone know of any loop holes to the system, such as the log cabin rule? We would really like to stay out here for another year or two! We have been calling some lawyers to get advise as well. Any information would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!!

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Old 02-05-2020, 01:30 AM   #2
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Default Re: Zoning issue!!

I just discussed this with my wife. Neither she nor I are lawyers. In the early 1980s she worked for the town of Jackson Wyoming (pop 7K) in the bldg dept., planning dept., and the planning commission. Zoning issues went across her desk.

She said to meet with the county planning commission and explain your situation in detail. If there is in fact a compliance issue, ask for a zoning variance. If that fails, IMO your best bet is to get legal representation. Or, simply comply with the law, and get on with other plans for the yurt. Good luck.
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Old 02-07-2020, 03:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: Zoning issue!!

Every single county within every single state is different in their specific requirements. The very best source for primary information in your case lies with your specific county codes. I've found it rare that there are 'anti-yurt' clauses in any given area. Typically refusals by building departments to permit are based on poor or incomplete info. If you have a yurt manufactured by a legit, respected company in North America, chances are they have their engineering in order and you can challenge the rules in your given area.

I'd need to know more to help more, but I've built my entire business on the first step of fighting to allow permittability for yurts in our county. The numbers don't lie and they have to prove where you aren't meeting code. My recommendation: Hire a local draftsman/architect to help you assess your current structure, get plans drafted, and permit as an 'As built' structure.

Last edited by HawaiiYurts; 02-07-2020 at 03:35 AM.
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Old 02-09-2020, 02:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: Zoning issue!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueberry View Post
Hello everyone! It has been a while since I have been on here and I am wanting some advise. My partner and myself put a 20’ yurt in our back yard while we rented out the house to my sister. We have lived in it full time for 3 years now. Yesterday we got a message in the mail from our county plan commission stating that we are in violation of the “joint zoning ordinance”. They go on to say give them a call so we can discuss the matter further and to come up with an amicable time line for removal. Failure to respond shall result in further legal action.

What exactly is the zoning violation? Did you call and ask them? Definitely don't ignore them because that's not going to go in your favor in any way.



If I were to guess, you might be violating the "multiple dwellings per property" code that's common across the US. Some cities are starting to allow for these, so if that's the rub then you might want to cite some cities that are doing it (like SLC, where I live, for example).



But there are likely building code violations as well, since when building without a permit you're not really paying too much attention to building codes. Examples would include the framing/deck, electrical service,

insulation

requirements, etc.



Don't want to be a downer here but this kind of situation hasn't ended well for some people here, especially when building within a city limit.
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Old 02-20-2020, 11:17 AM   #5
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Default Re: Zoning issue!!

I think the guy that reads the meter noticed something and passed it along. lol That's all computerized now, but possibly there was a glitch a computer noticed, and that where the red flag originated. Coulda been an unfriendly neighbor too.

Been a couple weeks now, so what's going on?
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Old 02-21-2020, 10:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: Zoning issue!!

Blueberry, I mistakenly made a comment last night about a current zoning issue in our subdivision, on the 'looking to get idea of cost' thread. Should have been on here.
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