An Update On The Eviction!
It’s not yet good news… but it’s not bad by any means either!
If you aren’t familiar you can read our first post about our code violation HERE.
You can see the follow up email I sent HERE.
Long Story Short:
We get to stay where we are a bit longer.
Short Story Long:
We played a game of back and forth for a while once we got the news that the Appendix Passed in December. First our meeting got canceled because of a snowpocalypse coming to town and basically shutting the world down. Then James and I couldn’t make the first clear day for each of the planning, zoning and building code folks. We were finally able to reschedule for the first part of February (they extended our timeline to be out, which was January 26th so that we could meet in early Feb.)
We all sat down to talk about the ways we could approach living legally. First thing said beside hello was ‘we don’t consider this an active case any longer’ (thank you right off the batt!). They have received no more complaints and we are clearly trying to work toward a solution.
Once that air was cleared we were able to talk through some potential solutions, outlined in my previous email. The building code inspector asked if I meet the appendix. I stated that I don’t currently but I can.
It sounds like the easiest approach for them would be to have my house as a primary or accessory structure on the lot it is on. In either case utilities will need to be hooked to it. I asked about the composting toilet and explained that I actually do like it better than a flush unit and would like to keep it if possible. He definitely suggested I have that conversation with the department of health when the time comes. And reinforced that again later.
Plans going forward:
We have been udderly open about everything including our plans to travel for a year starting in April. In the short term they gave us permission to continue living here until then and allowance to keep the home parked where it is for the duration of our trip (one year). We were concerned that something would happen in the middle of our trip and we would need to fly back to handle it. They went so far as to explain that whatever their decision was that day was done, if there were more complaints while we were away they would have to defend their decision and it wouldn’t trigger us needing to fly back.
They have been so good, and easy to work with. We decided that we would check back in and figure it out once we got back from our extended road trip and see if there was a clear way to approach things then.
Our Next Steps:
Before we left Jason, the building code official, invited me to talk about the appendix at the State code meeting the following week. Which I did. If anyone is interested to speaking to their own state about how to get the tiny house appendix on their radar THIS is a link to my presentation I made for them.
Also, Hal, from the zoning department asked for examples I may know of for how other areas are handling zoning requirements. It makes me so happy to hear that the zoning part is now being looked at. Before the building department was the big hiccup, now, with the appendix that seems easier. Easy enough to start triggering the next round of ‘now what about zoning?’ A very good sign! I have heard several folks say now that the zoning part will be tricky but I have now heard 3 different zoning officials say that there is a lot of ways to approach it and that that won’t be hard. It’s just making sure the path is thought through well enough so that it won’t cause future issues.
I sent Hal some of the info the Los Angeles is working on, and some info from Brainerd, and probably the most valuable has been Fresno. Which has started actually working through the language with a finer toothed comb. I am starting to feel like maybe we should make our own attempt at it just to have another player in the mix… with all my free time ;-).
All and all, not a bad deal. It’s not tied up with a pretty bow but this is exactly the opportunity I was looking to have to change housing ideas. I couldn’t be more grateful for how the events have played out. I am very glad to feel a bit of security about the tiny house while we are out and about on our road trip. And I am excited at the possibilities for when we get back! I dare say I am very happy with how things have been going.
The next State Building Code meeting sounds like it will be on April 25th (I think 9:30-12:30), about a week after our original take off date, we may just push that timeline a week so that I can be there to push for the appendix again. And I will be reaching out to the local folks to attend in support as well! So mark the date!
Thanks for following along, I hope you can all be inspired to spark these conversations with your own states! It’s necessary stuff!