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  • I need to vent

    I am really starting to get frustrated and even a little PO'ed. I had a very nice home and huge shop in CA but could not afford to run my machine shop business in CA because the cost of everything is so much higher, electricity, water, income tax, property tax, house payment Workman's comp and such. CA is not a very business friendly state, they wouldn't even let me run my shop from my home which was on 3 acres and in a rural area. So I moved here to WA on Whidbey Island. The move solved many of my problems with the cost of living and doing business, my power bill went from $500 a month to $90 and there is no state income tax and many other cost benefits. I am also able to have my business at my home.

    So here's my problem, I have been trying to buy property for the last year so I can build a new home and most important a new shop. So a month ago I made an offer on a 5 acre parcel and it was accepted. A few days latter I get the CC&R's in the mail and I can't believe the restrictions, it was worse than most residential CC&R's, It was like the Gestapo wrote them. Needless to say I backed out of the deal on a feasibility issue.

    I kept looking and two weeks ago I made an offer on a house that was on 2 acres and the offer was accepted. This time the contractor said no problem putting in a shop, he even positioned the house to optimize an out building. Well a few days later I get an envelope in the mail with the CC&R's and the largest building that can be built is 600sf, my garage would be bigger than that.

    So Sunday my wife and I go look at another 5 acre parcel and this one is really nice. There are homes with large shops on two parcels on the same road so my shop shouldn't be a problem right? Tonight my agent emails me the CC&Rs' and they are the strictest ones yet. There were parking restrictions about parking any kind of trailer such as a boat or boat trailer, truck or RV outside. So that rules out my tractor or trailer that I haul my tractor on. There were animal restrictions such as no noisy animals, so if my dog barks I can get in trouble? There was a vegetative buffer that requires a 50 foot vegetative buffer along all property boundaries, which then makes the building site almost nothing, because of the layout of the parcel, and I was going to sell some of the timber to help pay for grading cost. There was a "no temporary structures" restriction, which makes it difficult to store stuff while building. No more than a year construction time is allowed. Any vehicle deemed to be inoperative for 30 days shall be removed. Can't work on boats or cars outside of a garage. It says you have to maintain the property in a reasonably presentable condition, so if I don't mow my lawn are they going to fine me? There is one that says non-muffled motorcycles, motor bike, trail bikes and similar vehicles are prohibited within the property. Another one even restricts any outdoor lighting, it must not adversely affect the night view of the adjoining properties. And the one that really got to me, and I don't even own a gun anymore, is no weapons such as firearms, bows, slingshots, BB guns, traps or any like weapons shall be used within the property. So I couldn't get a pellet gun and shoot it on my own property.

    I think most of these rules are just fine in a residential neighborhood but we are talking about a 5 acre parcel in a rural area on an island where almost every 5th house has a shop, and there are many home based businesses, in a town with 959 people. This is not downtown Seattle or a bedroom community of Seattle.

    Why do people feel the need to control what other people want to do on their own property. I don't care what the neighbor wants to do on his property as long as it is legal, thats why I live in a rural area. I value my freedom as I do his too. If he wants to park a junk car on his property thats OK with me, that's part of living in a rural area.

    The problem is too many people are coming from the city and bringing their rules with them and its really screwing it up for people like me who enjoy the freedom associated with living in a rural area.

    I really need to get moved in to a larger shop as my business is outgrowing the shop I am in now. I don't want to rent shop space as I don't want to commute and I don't want to buy a building for someone else.

    Sorry about the rant,
    Last edited by Mark Hockett; 05-15-2008, 03:28 AM.
    Mark Hockett

  • #2
    That's just one of the problems with Puget Sound. I'm retiring to Oroville in Eastern Washington where the politics and life style are a bit more reasonable. And a train rolls through once a week in case I need anything really heavy!

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    • #3
      maybe you need to look in oregon. there is an income tax, but no sales tax, and if you pick the right area, the property tax is not that high. there is such a thing as zoning variations.... alot easier to get than trying to convince a homeowners group to change their restrictions.

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      • #4
        I hate that...I live in a residential setting but I chose my neighborhood exactly because of the large un-subdivided plots. But you can't build anything on it (600ft^2 max garage just like you), store anything on it, or have any hobbies that can't be fully contained in your house or garage. I do it anyway strategically camoflauged with fencing and trees...but it sucks to know that someone can tell me to quit and get rid of my stuff at any moment.

        There has to be some place where people still value the freedom to do what you want on your property. Maybe Texas? I also wonder about moving into commercially zoned property...seems like it may be easier to to run your house from your business rather than the other way around?

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        • #5
          Dennis,
          Some of the reasons we moved to the island are my wife wanted to be near the water, We both hated the heat in CA, we both hate dealing with traffic and we like the isolation the island gives us from the city, we don't even have a McDonald's here on the south end of Whidbey. If I need the city its a 20 minute ferry ride and the ferry runs every half hour.

          mconlee,
          We looked in OR before we moved to Whidbey. I grew up about 15 miles from where I live now so that is probably why we ended up where we did.
          Mark Hockett

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          • #6
            Hi all,

            sorry to hear about the problems, life is hard enough without that amount of rules & regs being laid on top.

            Just to say that its not only in the US. We bought our current house last summer, forget about 5 acres, we dont have that much space over here! I liked it because it had a single garage built in and a double garage in the garden for my workshop.

            In the smallprint it states 'no home businesses', 'no comercial vehicle outside', 'no caravans, trailers, motorhomes outside', 'gardens to be kept tidy' and several others, i cant even fit extra windows in the double garage! WTF?

            Stuff that, i got some serious machinery in the garage, i run an ornate iron business from there as well, i'm building a half-size traction engine that will need a trailer, just wait 'till i get that beast steamed up and drive it round the town!

            I hate this type of pressure, my home is my castle and within the bounds of manners, respect for others and common decency, i'll bloody do what i want in it!

            Hope you get it sorted soon.

            Dave
            If it does'nt fit, hit it.
            https://ddmetalproducts.co.uk
            http://www.davekearley.co.uk

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            • #7
              About the only real restriction we have here is on the number of dead vehicles you are allowed to display. The regional district bylaw officer may start to nag you if you have more than 20 or so visible from off your property and somebody complains. They can also go after you if you have an unusual infestation of certified noxious weeds such as European thistle. You can't build a second residence but there isn't any restriction on outbuildings like a shop, barn, storage shed etc. I have 5 outbuildings and as long as they aren't on a permanent foundation ( pyramid blocks aren't considered permanent) you don't need to meet any code or get a permit either. In fact, up until a few years ago we didn't even have street addresses. Of course we also don't have sewer, water, street lights, sidewalks, lot line mail, garbage pickup, courier or pizza delivery. No fire department, no police patrols.

              We like it this way.
              Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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              • #8
                There is a subdivision in Colorado where you can't mow your own yard, so every one hires it done, not only that but no basket ball poles,fixed or temp, a leash law for any animal, No small business and a few others that are just as silly.

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                • #9
                  Land of the free and home of the brave.

                  Life is sure getting more restricted Mark. It is making inroads here also
                  A few years back my son was in your country following the Superbike series(?). I recall he rang me one morning on my birthday from some godforsaken town (his words). He said "dad this country is screwed up, everywhere I go there are signs all over telling people that they cannot do this, cannot do that. land of the Free? bullsh*t!"
                  Best of luck in your search Mark.
                  Ken.

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                  • #10
                    A certain Canadian band had it nailed, back in the 70's
                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1Q7cP3ij5g

                    I'm by no means pointing fingers here, parts of Oz are as bad
                    Just got my head together
                    now my body's falling apart

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                    • #11
                      Mark,
                      I feel your pain! Don't come to Wisconsin ..... our deer herd is sick with chronic wasting disease, streams are filled with fish dying from hemorrhagic virus, other fish are filled with toxic waste including mercury, taxes are horrible, and country living restrictions and regulations are untenable.

                      If you want to be near the water, suffer no state taxes, and have near total freedom to live the way you desire without foolish regulations and restrictions then give thought to Southeast Alaska. Prince of Wales, Wrangle, Ketchikan, Petersburg, Sitka, to name a few.

                      I lived in Craig, Alaska (Prince of Wales) for 4 years and that's as close to heaven as I will likely get. Tremendous Freedom!


                      Harold
                      For those having fought for it, Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.
                      Freedom is only one generation away from extinction.

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                      • #12
                        LMAO....welcome friend.

                        I still have a list of crap I need to do for this house before we get our "approval to reside here". I have to put a hand rail on the front porch steps (two of them) even though not another house on the block has a hand rail. I had to put five new plugs in the kitchen, because it had to be "brought up to code". I had to replace three outlet covers, because he didn't like how they looked. They made me replace a piece of concrete because it had a crack through the center. I had to either side or paint the garage, because it was old.

                        We also have rules on dogs, I'm not supposed to have more than two...oops. I'm not supposed to run a business out of the garage...oops. Nor am I supposed to have my well for irrigation...oops again. We also have the rules on outbuildings, but I don't have the cash to add on to my current outbuilding....or build another.

                        Definately a PITA, no matter how you look at it.

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                        • #13
                          Here too

                          Not as bad here as it or was going to be - local up-set stopped the worst of it.

                          Watch out - those Planners, Greenies and fellow-travellers will have you living with battery hens, in ghetoes or on collective farms yet!!

                          Never mind "Big Brother" - its the "Nanny State" that will getcha!!

                          Misbehave annif ya lucky ya'll getcha choice of Gulag!!!

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                          • #14
                            Back to the future??

                            2008?
                            Nah, it feels more like 1984 mate!
                            Ken.

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                            • #15
                              City folks?

                              Nope, not just them, it isn't the person's location, it is their attitude.

                              I live in a city. We DO have a few dumb rules, and a few good ones about keeping the house up to snuff when it is sold.... There was blockbusting in the 1970's and the rules were made because people were selling out for pennies on the dollar (afraid of black folks, if blockbusting means nothing to you) and leaving the property trashed.

                              Aside from that, NO CCRs. The most obvious thing is not parking a truck on the street overnight if full of junk.... although it IS done, but aside from that, not much.

                              Other places around here even less.

                              No, the problem isn't city folks, it's "Yuppies"..... they are still around. They think the world revolves around them, and that they should never have to compromise with you... YOU should do all the compromising.

                              Trouble is, you moved to a place that is a magnet for Yuppies with money....
                              1601

                              Keep eye on ball.
                              Hashim Khan

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