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posted by LaminatorX on Thursday February 27 2014, @12:29AM   Printer-friendly
from the This-sounds-like-a-job-for-Florida-Man dept.

Xerxes writes:

"A Florida woman who has been living off the grid has had her home declared 'Unsanitary' and has until March to connect her off-the-grid home to the city water system, or face eviction."

[ED Note: Ordinances such as this are not uncommon. My own father once had a property condemned on this basis while he was in the midst of a billing dispute with a utility.]

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by RedBear on Thursday February 27 2014, @01:21AM

    by RedBear (1734) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 27 2014, @01:21AM (#7699)

    There are people that compost it already. This has nothing to do with that. []

    Not having a clean source of water is unsanitary. Composting your own poop, however, is NOT unsanitary. It is rather quite safe. FTFA,

    A city official told Channel 4 that the municipal government is willing let her stay in the home if she can prove conditions are sanitary. The city was willing to compromise because of adverse publicity and a local attorney who was willing to take Speronis’s case on a pro bono or free basis.

    FWIW, if she wants to live off-grid, she shouldn't be living in a city. A city is a grid in itself and you are not quite self-reliant anyway.

    I would argue that your last assertion is bogus and silly. There is no good reason anyone should be forced to be dependent on public infrastructure for their home just because they live in a city. In fact the exact opposite is true. If even a fairly small percentage of dwellings in cities were partially or completely independent of the grid it would take a tremendous amount of pressure off of city utilities whenever something (like a big storm) temporarily brings down that public infrastructure. If every tenth house on the block is an Earthship-type home where the neighbors could go for shelter/heat/power/clean water during an adverse event, the city could focus on taking care of far fewer people in an emergency. So I'd say that people living off grid in cities is something that cities should actually be encouraging. Just because you're dependent on having gas stations and grocery stores nearby doesn't mean you need to be 100% dependent on having public water/power/sewer to your house.

    Earthships. Mike Reynolds and others have been demonstrating for decades that it's completely unnecessary to be connected to public utilities in order to live in perfectly sanitary conditions. A little solar power, some filtered rainwater, an indoor greenhouse and a septic tank for overflow, and you're fine. Pretty cool stuff. Of course, Reynolds got burned by the authorities in Arizona for building a subdivision that wasn't connected to public utilities and they forced him to run utilities for the entire subdivision to conform with regulations, even though nobody living there had any use for city power/water/sewer. But what he did in Arizona sparked a lot of debate that has been changing local regulations in a lot of areas all over the country in recent years. Many places now explicitly exempt self-sufficient housing from being forced to connect to public infrastructure.

    Look up "Garbage Warrior" on YouTube if you want to know more, or visit the site below. []

    ¯\_ʕ◔.◔ʔ_/¯ LOL. I dunno. I'm just a bear.
    ... Peace out. Got bear stuff to do. 彡ʕ⌐■.■ʔ
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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Mesa Mike on Thursday February 27 2014, @02:52AM

    by Mesa Mike (2788) on Thursday February 27 2014, @02:52AM (#7732)

    Water is the big issue.
    In a city, it's not common to have water rights with your city lot.
    That includes rain water, and some municipalities have prosecuted rain water collectors.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27 2014, @07:25AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27 2014, @07:25AM (#7838)

      I used to live in Southern California, where fresh water is a BIG issue. There were regular droughts, and periodic campaigns to get people to water their lawns less, drain their pools, and wash their cars at least half as frequently.

      I found it absurd that what little rain we DID get was simply allowed to run off the rooftops, into the gutter, down the storm drain and to the bay. What a waste.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @12:37AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @12:37AM (#9838)

    "where the neighbors could go for shelter/heat/power/clean water during an adverse event,"

    When an adverse even does occur those self sufficient people better have plenty of ammunition because they are going to be looted up and down by everyone.