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Author Topic: Places for land with NO ZONING  (Read 8965 times)

pubcrawler

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Places for land with NO ZONING
« on: October 17, 2009, 03:01:54 AM »
Anyone know of rural places in the United States where there is NO ZONING officially? 

Interested in purchasing land for BOL in such an unzoned area.  Been looking online and haven't found any mention of such places but I know they exist.

Offline Texasbound

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2009, 07:21:49 AM »
Many rural areas of Texas are that way.  The place I bought is only limited in that I can't use it for major industrial without getting it approved first.  Even building codes are nearly nonexistent.  The county told me I can build whatever I like as long as I get approved septic.  No inspections of any kind.  They sort of looked at me funny when I asked what sort of permits were required before I started doing any work.  Response was "Why would you need a permit??".

Offline chris

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2009, 09:51:30 AM »
I'm in the same boat as TB. The septic rule is a state restriction. I also have a drive way on a FM road, so any physical changes to the last 15 feet of my drive have to be approved by the state. Otherwise, it's concrete bunker and razor wire if you want.

The county folks were somewhat miffed when I grilled them about permits etc. I couldn't imagine a place where you didn't need a permit for every damn thing. It amazes people when they hear some of our off the wall ideasabout housing, etc.

Rural Texas is about as free as you can get in this country.
Thank you for a constructive and positive contribution to the post!  I much rather see these types of responses than the negative, pessimistic posts of some other members.  - tankman1989


Offline Cacinok

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2009, 01:10:13 PM »
the majority of counties in OK don't require permits.  the exceptions being those counties w/ large cities (e.g., OKC and Tulsa).  the county i'm in does not require permits other than septic.  i specifically looked for an area w/o zoning codes.  it's bad enough that the county hires a company to fly over and photograph the properties to make sure they are taxing for all the buildings.

Offline Mr. Blank

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2009, 01:45:16 PM »
Generally speaking, those codes only apply if you want to have electric hooked up to the dwelling.
Put in a 12 volt system and tell them to piss off. :)
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Offline Beetle

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2009, 01:59:54 PM »
   On the topic of permits....
    In the process of building a house now and we have permits for everything which I am glad for. The County has kept the contractors to code even though some of the codes are over the top, but if our house is built correctly because of it I think it was worth the cash. We even need a permit for an outbuilding over 200 sq. ft.
  Even though the permits were about 3k from what I have seen the County tell the contractor to fix, it has saved me $$$ in the long run.

   Zoning is a different animal and they are crazy about it here, I could do with a lot less zoning laws.
  
« Last Edit: October 17, 2009, 02:03:17 PM by Beetle »

pubcrawler

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2009, 03:39:28 PM »
Codes/Zoning

I am certainly not interested in codes nor zoning.  Both are just taxes on the non self-sufficient in my opinion.

Sure I don't want a garbage dump opening up in my back yard cause there is no zoning - but aside from that, little true value in zoning and codes. I intend on building my own structures with my two hands and am not a contractor by training, but capable.

My Experience with Codes

From experience, we have a property in an old decaying industrial town where zoning and permits are overbearing.   We got burnt by the town when hiring a contractor to replace a roof.  It's a high roof and I was busy working and didn't have time or interest to do the roof myself. Bonding, insurance, etc. plus permit and license all required for contractor to do work. The town got something like $200 combined for contractor permit and building permit. In the end, even though approved by the town - license given to contractor, turns out contractor wasn't insured to be doing the nature of work he was doing. After damages to our building due to leaking roof we are out several thousand paid to the contractor initially plus all the damages ($20k) we need to repair/replace.

So in my experience, codes are non sense - especially if owner occupied. Just another tax on the willing.

$3k for codes for your new place is significant.  Probably other costs incurred for blueprints, plan reviews and all sorts of other bureaucratic slop.

West Texas and the border
West Texas land is nice zoning and code wise, however the border mess makes it somewhat unappealing.  Went out to West Texas a few years ago to look at land and found border check points some 60 miles away from the border. What a hassle and intrusion into your life.  I don't have to be stopped and questioned when I go to the grocery store, but it's totally the norm out there. So West Texas I-10 and below is no go in my opinion.

Oklahoma
Oklahoma seems good about codes/zoning also, but wasn't very impressed by the landscape or the old school pervasive mentality I saw there.

Other States with no zoning / no codes?
Anyone have any ideas about non-code non-zoned places in Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina and Tennessee?

Offline Mr. Blank

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2009, 05:35:29 PM »
Here in TN, we were "no code" for quite some time, but the laws have changed and as of Jan 1, 2010 all that will change.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2010, 05:10:45 PM by Mr. Blank »
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Offline Beetle

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2009, 07:40:25 PM »
    I think "Codes" are meant to keep us safe. Imagine the shade tree mechanic wiring your house or no fire escapes in a commercial building seems like a disaster waiting to happen.
   Zoning is a touchy subject. I wouldn't want a garbage dump as a neighbor or a housing development. We are zoned timber 80 acre min. per house and certainly am not complaining, they do take it to extremes.

  In a SHTF scenario I'm sure we could all build a cabin/ structures to be self sufficient, but there is a lot more engineering that goes into a modern house than meets the eye.  I doubt the untrained person would have a clue how to do it correctly.

Offline chris

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2009, 09:03:17 PM »
    I think "Codes" are meant to keep us safe.

Of course. That's the point of the nanny state. Keep us safe, and employ millions of buerecrats to define "safe". And a gun to the head to make sure we pay them for the privilege.   
Thank you for a constructive and positive contribution to the post!  I much rather see these types of responses than the negative, pessimistic posts of some other members.  - tankman1989


Offline union hill

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2009, 10:17:14 PM »
If this were a free country you could voluntarily build your home to some established standard for your own peace of mind and as a selling point for future buyers. Or, build it your way. If.

Offline Beetle

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2009, 01:26:56 PM »
  Wouldn't it be nice no building codes at all. Just make sure you live up hill from the neighbors with all that sewage flowing down hill.

Would you really buy a house from someone who said they built it to "their" specs.?

Offline P_Coltrane

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2009, 03:27:43 PM »
  Wouldn't it be nice no building codes at all. Just make sure you live up hill from the neighbors with all that sewage flowing down hill.

Would you really buy a house from someone who said they built it to "their" specs.?

Yes.

pubcrawler

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2009, 04:07:41 PM »
  Wouldn't it be nice no building codes at all. Just make sure you live up hill from the neighbors with all that sewage flowing down hill.

Would you really buy a house from someone who said they built it to "their" specs.?

Septic and Sewer

Septic and sewer is a big expensive ugly hoax.  Neither is necessary.  Sure, some irresponsible people would pollute waterways with sewage if left to their own solutions and yes some folks might wash waste downhill on your property. But it you have a farm above you, or own farm animals yourself, this is already happening.

This same thing happens every time it rains and sewer plants get storm overflow and it flushes raw materials into waterways.

Farms with cows and horses wash waste matter into streams and creeks every time it rains.

Deer manure, beer manure, wolf manure, etc. all end up washed into waterways regularly. 

What is the result? Not much, except for those large corporate many head farms that also send into waterways heaps of pesticides - which are far more dangerous than fecal matter.

How about all the birth control pills the medicated masses are swallowing, the behavior medications, etc. Sewage plants are unable to filter these compounds out of 'cleaned' water discharged back into waterways from treatment facilities.  Net result, mutated fish, dead lakes and hosts of other deathes in nature.

See: http://www.google.com/search?q=birth+control+sewage

Human urine is a very good nutrient source for growing edible plants and totally harmless. Humanure is also a good soil building compound, although you compost such and break down any pathogens before application.

I highly recommend Joseph Jenkins fine books on the topic - older versions are free downloads on his website:
http://www.jenkinspublishing.com/humanure.html

Self built homes

Back about 100 years ago many people built their own homes.  They weren't contractors or builder but rather normal people doing what they had forever - providing for their family. It's only recently that we've embarked upon this costly luxury of having people do everything for you.  I know people that call an electrician to change lightbulbs. We have people fooled as to the complexity and danger of things. 

As a free society you have the right to own you land and do what you want on your land. Since the rise of code and zoning however we have done away with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  It has become about neighbors regulating non-fashionable non-conforming behavior.  How many HOA's tell you what color your paint has to be?  Great utilization of time and resources :) While HOA are the epitome of anti-American, codes and zoning aren't far behind.

It amazes me that with all the building codes they still allow people to build out of wood, vinyl and other flammable and often highly toxic materials.  How many people were permitted to install asbestos in there homes not so long ago? Ditto for lead, and today all the love for evil vinyl.  If codes were about saving lives and safety they would demand highly fire retardant materials like adobe, cob, ferro cement, glass and steel.  It's downright hard to burn earth or cement :)

In 2004, in the United States there were estimated 395,000 home structure fires. 13,700 injuries to inhabitants and 3190 deaths. Leading cause of fire? Smoking and cooking.

But we still allow people to smoke in homes and allow kitchens to be within house structure rather than sensibly isolated in it's own fireproofed building. Why? Because the masses would bitch and moan about that impacting their freedoms. Even the aweful insurance companies still insure folks like this which causes higher premiums for everyone.

I see many homes built by owners own two hands. Young couples are pioneering in this way again.  My father in-law built his place himself without codes 30+ years ago and it's sturdier and nicer than many most luxury homes.  It's totally doable without codes or government infringement.

Look at the movement like Mike Reynolds earthships:
http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=hp&q=mike+reynolds

Face it, codes and zoning exist for taxing authority purposes.  It's so they know you have x bathrooms and x bedrooms - so they can punch the variables of your home into software and come up with a new higher yet generic tax assessment. It's all about property taxes.

Offline Pathfinder

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2009, 07:25:38 PM »
  Wouldn't it be nice no building codes at all. Just make sure you live up hill from the neighbors with all that sewage flowing down hill.

Would you really buy a house from someone who said they built it to "their" specs.?


If I inspected the hell out of the place first, yes with contingencies.

A couple of observations -

I bought a an old house - 1887 - house that was used as an apartment/rooming house for 30-40 years. Inspected every year by the city's minions. When I demolished the kitchen, I discovered an outlet wired with an extension cord from a light switch fed by knob and tube. Inspections were obviously worthless - they missed that little item. Of course I was required to bring it up to code - which I did by removing the outlet and running EMT conduit (mandatory).

Is anyone aware that building codes used in the US are now "international"? I haven't bothered to look up if they are ISO or UN-based, but they ain't ours anymore. I wonder if all the world's peoples living in mud, stick and stone huts know they are in violation of the building codes?

In ND, all electrical is handled by the state gummint, not local or county. All other ordinances are county based.

One piece of property I was looking into was in Wyoming north of Guernsey. Absolutely beautiful country, open, good cattle country. Homestead location was surrounded by large rock hills on the north and west - blocking the winter winds. Ground sloped south to the North Platte. There was a large open hard-rock mine to the west a few miles, but I didn't think that was a major issue. I was there during operations and noise and dust were both minimal.

The owner didn't want a lot for the acreage, and I was seriously considering it. My ranching buddy advised me to check with the county first. Good thing I did. The mine had a zoning variance (this is cattle country and most open land is "zoned" ag use only) on the property 1200-1500 feet south of where the homestead would have been - for a rock crushing operation. They'd had the variance for some time, but it was enough for me to queer the deal. I didn't have enough cash to buy the mine's parcel - even if the mine was willing to sell, which I doubt.  So in this case, zoning was a good thing.
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Offline Beetle

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2009, 07:43:00 PM »
Septic and Sewer

Septic and sewer is a big expensive ugly hoax.  Neither is necessary.  Sure, some irresponsible people would pollute waterways with sewage if left to their own solutions and yes some folks might wash waste downhill on your property. But it you have a farm above you, or own farm animals yourself, this is already happening.

This same thing happens every time it rains and sewer plants get storm overflow and it flushes raw materials into waterways.

Farms with cows and horses wash waste matter into streams and creeks every time it rains.

Deer manure, beer manure, wolf manure, etc. all end up washed into waterways regularly. 

What is the result? Not much, except for those large corporate many head farms that also send into waterways heaps of pesticides - which are far more dangerous than fecal matter.

How about all the birth control pills the medicated masses are swallowing, the behavior medications, etc. Sewage plants are unable to filter these compounds out of 'cleaned' water discharged back into waterways from treatment facilities.  Net result, mutated fish, dead lakes and hosts of other deathes in nature.

See: http://www.google.com/search?q=birth+control+sewage

Human urine is a very good nutrient source for growing edible plants and totally harmless. Humanure is also a good soil building compound, although you compost such and break down any pathogens before application.

I highly recommend Joseph Jenkins fine books on the topic - older versions are free downloads on his website:
http://www.jenkinspublishing.com/humanure.html

Self built homes

Back about 100 years ago many people built their own homes.  They weren't contractors or builder but rather normal people doing what they had forever - providing for their family. It's only recently that we've embarked upon this costly luxury of having people do everything for you.  I know people that call an electrician to change lightbulbs. We have people fooled as to the complexity and danger of things. 

As a free society you have the right to own you land and do what you want on your land. Since the rise of code and zoning however we have done away with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  It has become about neighbors regulating non-fashionable non-conforming behavior.  How many HOA's tell you what color your paint has to be?  Great utilization of time and resources :) While HOA are the epitome of anti-American, codes and zoning aren't far behind.

It amazes me that with all the building codes they still allow people to build out of wood, vinyl and other flammable and often highly toxic materials.  How many people were permitted to install asbestos in there homes not so long ago? Ditto for lead, and today all the love for evil vinyl.  If codes were about saving lives and safety they would demand highly fire retardant materials like adobe, cob, ferro cement, glass and steel.  It's downright hard to burn earth or cement :)

In 2004, in the United States there were estimated 395,000 home structure fires. 13,700 injuries to inhabitants and 3190 deaths. Leading cause of fire? Smoking and cooking.

But we still allow people to smoke in homes and allow kitchens to be within house structure rather than sensibly isolated in it's own fireproofed building. Why? Because the masses would bitch and moan about that impacting their freedoms. Even the aweful insurance companies still insure folks like this which causes higher premiums for everyone.

I see many homes built by owners own two hands. Young couples are pioneering in this way again.  My father in-law built his place himself without codes 30+ years ago and it's sturdier and nicer than many most luxury homes.  It's totally doable without codes or government infringement.

Look at the movement like Mike Reynolds earthships:
http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=hp&q=mike+reynolds

Face it, codes and zoning exist for taxing authority purposes.  It's so they know you have x bathrooms and x bedrooms - so they can punch the variables of your home into software and come up with a new higher yet generic tax assessment. It's all about property taxes.

    That's nice if you actually have property. I was looking at the Deer and Elk crap in my field just a little bit ago and thinking how awesome it is to have land that animals hang out on.  Now imagine Sewer not being "Necessary" in a large subdivision. That would be just gross.
    I agree with you about the meds passing through us into the water system and my wife has a job hauling Bio-solids from the treatment plants to hay fields and yes the stuff is awesome.
I would also love to live in a world without any rules or regs. but reality is we do. I still think codes are meant to keep us safe even though they do come with a price.
 

Offline Beetle

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2009, 07:46:09 PM »

Offline Beetle

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2009, 07:47:23 PM »
PS getting back on topic is Montana Code free?

Offline P_Coltrane

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2009, 07:56:06 PM »
Quote
I still think codes are meant to keep us safe even though they do come with a price.

The intention of building codes are to protect the consumer and the trades. They are somewhat effective. The price we pay for this protection -- to  name a few --   is less educated consumers, a false sense of security, and higher construction costs.

Is it worth it? Some say yes, some say no.

Offline P_Coltrane

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2009, 07:58:12 PM »
PS getting back on topic is Montana Code free?
Some areas are, some are not.

Offline Beetle

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2009, 08:03:30 PM »
I know one thing that sucks about Oregon is you can not even build a Yurt . I went round and round with the County/ State about that one and was shot down.

Offline Imperial Goat

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2009, 05:10:53 AM »
The intention of building codes are to protect the consumer and the trades. They are somewhat effective. The price we pay for this protection -- to  name a few --   is less educated consumers, a false sense of security, and higher construction costs.

Is it worth it? Some say yes, some say no.

The purpose of codes is to increase the power and authority of local .gov and to keep the payola coming from contractors to elected officials.  I live in a rural area on two acres.  I had a plywood shack of a shed that was useless as anything other than to keep rain off my stuff.  I bought a 14x24 shed that they brought in on a flat bed.  Had to have a building permit and inspection.  I'm zoned ag, butnot a declared farm.  If I was a farm, I wouldn't need a permit or inspection.  I cant have a garage door on my shed, its a fire hazard becasue of wood floors.  BUt if zoned ag I can.   Our county has several sheds with garage doors and wood floors too.  They must wish death by fire upon county employees and farmers.

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Offline Cacinok

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2009, 11:08:12 AM »
Codes/Zoning


Oklahoma
Oklahoma seems good about codes/zoning also, but wasn't very impressed by the landscape or the old school pervasive mentality I saw there.


the beauty of oklahoma is that if you don't like the landscape, then just travel east or west a couple of hours and it'll be drastically different.  out west you have flat land the sits 4000 above see level.  heading to the middle you hit rolling hills and by the time you hit the eastern side you're into the ozark "mountain" range.  we also have our own swaps down in the SE corner of the state w/ cypress trees and alligators.  that part of the state gets about 55" of rain a year, which is, iirc, the same amount as the olympic rain forest on the peninsula in WA state. 

not sure what you mean by old school mentality, but i'm guessing you'll find that everywhere.

i'm not offended by your statement, i actually chortled at it b/c i'd rather oklahoma not have a massive influx of people, especially from the socialist states.

Offline eph2

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2009, 11:29:31 AM »
If this were a free country you could voluntarily build your home to some established standard for your own peace of mind and as a selling point for future buyers. Or, build it your way. If.


Near my family in Arkansas someone put a second story on their mobile home....that's personal freedom!

pubcrawler

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2009, 05:04:12 PM »
the beauty of oklahoma is that if you don't like the landscape, then just travel east or west a couple of hours and it'll be drastically different.  out west you have flat land the sits 4000 above see level.  heading to the middle you hit rolling hills and by the time you hit the eastern side you're into the ozark "mountain" range.  we also have our own swaps down in the SE corner of the state w/ cypress trees and alligators.  that part of the state gets about 55" of rain a year, which is, iirc, the same amount as the olympic rain forest on the peninsula in WA state. 


We traveled through Oklahoma in route to South West Texas a few years back.   I saw too many cows along the route and lots of seemingly heavy orangish clay soil.   The landscape along such main high was not very appealing - not that it has to be.  Probably an excellent place for BOL. The clay soil bugged me since drainage would be an issue.   All the rain in parts of the state + clay would equal flooding - so that's what I meant mostly.

As far as the old school mentality,  saw lots of state police making budget pulling folks over.  Even got stopped by them for not executing a turn signal when entering a tool booth area. Took them and hour of harassing us and emptying our vehicle out on the side of the road before we were told to cleanup and continue on our way.

Never had such an experience anywhere - and no one should for something like a turn signal issue going into a poorly signed tool booth area along a highway where a tool never should have been.

If it makes you feel more at ease, when we entered North East Texas the landscape was similarly cow infested, heavy clay soil and many of the areas seemed to have same police mentality of trying to get rich off of travelers.  Heck in that section of Texas even national news has carried stories about them taking money and jewelery off of folks during normal traffic stops.

Offline chris

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #25 on: October 19, 2009, 05:32:11 PM »
Keep telling them pubcrawler. We don't need anymore immigrants coming to Texas.  ;)

Nothing to see here folks, keep moving.
Thank you for a constructive and positive contribution to the post!  I much rather see these types of responses than the negative, pessimistic posts of some other members.  - tankman1989


Offline Uncle Bob (he ain’t right)

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #26 on: October 19, 2009, 07:08:56 PM »
Greene County, In. No zoning or inspectors. :o :o :o

Offline Gas-Mask

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #27 on: October 19, 2009, 07:25:20 PM »
yes... Zoning is good....But some of it is  just crap thought up by people that don't have anything better to do and need to justify their existence (planners).
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Offline Gas-Mask

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #28 on: October 19, 2009, 07:29:33 PM »
Greene County, In. No zoning or inspectors. :o :o :o

Must be nice!
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pubcrawler

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Re: Places for land with NO ZONING
« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2009, 01:26:57 AM »
Greene County, In. No zoning or inspectors. :o :o :o

Greene County as in Tom Greene County would that be?

We like that area :) I'd be proud to be a citizen of Texas. Been meaning on getting back out that way again to scout land. Maybe we unload some of our land back east we'll head out there to look.

I like Texas lots.  Of course some parts are better than others.

My big qualifications for land are no zoning, no codes, small government,  lots of open space and acreage owners (not subdivisions).

Other than those, everything else is a distant minor concern at best.