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    Hola from San Diego

    Hi Friends,

    Pleased to have found this forum! My wife and I spent one year and ~$35k constructing our THOW from scratch. We wanted to live simply, save money on the high cost of living in this city, and focus on a sustainable lifestyle with low-impact on the environment.

    I bought a traditional home with some land and moved the THOW there to finish up the construction (it was previously parked on a friend's property).

    One day, some County code enforcement officers showed up to scold me on the "illegal construction" on my property. It turns out that one of the neighbors tattled and told them I was building an unpermitted ADU. This, of course, is false as it was constructed wholly on a dual-axle trailer registered legally in the state.

    After having to prove that this was a trailer (the visible wheels should have been enough), I was told the following:

    There are no code violations we can cite you for, but just so you know, you're being watched...
    By my neighbors? By the county? Who knows...but as a USMC veteran who has struggled with PTSD and depression, this bold threat really cut deep and made me feel unsafe to live on my own property.

    My wife and I decided to complete the tiny house build, rent out our primary home and property, then rent land from someone we connected with on Craigslist where we now reside peacefully.

    Although my experience with the county government was awful and reinforced every negative stereotype I have ever heard, there have been so many thoughtful and caring people that have helped out along this journey.

    I don't regret anything!
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    #2
    CasitaiiTiny, Welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear you had to deal with the issues you had while building your THOW. Unfortunately, it's an all too common story. Hopefully with all the tiny house TV shows and festivals, local government agencies will start to be more realistic in regards to their zoning and regulations as they relate to tiny houses. And from one former Marine to another, Semper Fi.

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      #3
      Wow CasitaiiTiny! I am sorry, too, you had to experience negativity with your THOW build, but I am estatic that you persevered and eventually were victorious! On the bright side, you can now relate to so many people who have had such encounters, and you can act as a very powerful and encouraging person in their lives while they pursue their own tiny house dreams. Which is amazing! Also, a side note, it is really awesome to hear yours and Chuck 's taking comfort in the tiny house community as veterans! I love that the tiny house efforts can be a valuable tool in veterans' lives (and in so many people's lives of varying backgrounds and needs) as I know a lot of veterans (100,000+ a year in the US) are homeless. Thanks again for sharing! Blessings!

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        #4
        Thanks Chuck and Meglymoo87 you guys are AWESOME

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          #5
          Hi CasitaiiTiny and welcome.

          Sorry to hear about your problems. However, just to let you know California just passed Assembly Bill 50 (I think that's the number) permitting ADUs throughout the state. I know it comes after the fact, but we are making progress.

          We live in the Palmdale, CA and are building in Juniper Hills, CA and had to move 3 storage containers off our property because of code violations. A neighbor 1/2 acre away complained to my husband we were "blocking" his view. Not long after came inspection of the entire area and several people had to move storage containers, etc. There's no accounting for some neighbors.

          Glad you found a place to settle and thank you for your service. My husband was in the Air Force early 70s and glad to this be a welcoming environment for Vets.

          Thanks too to you, Chuck, and all our Veterans for their service.

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            #6
            Hi TinyHouseGirl Yes, I did hear about that new law. Unfortunately, it still takes over a year for the permitting process and I think we can expect that wait time to increase with more people taking interest.

            Wouldn't it be nice if neighbors could talk to each other and work out differences without involving the State?

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              #7
              Yes, it would be great and we just have to keep the pressure on county and city governments to make it happen. As we are in Los Angeles county, we have lots of requirements to meet, but the people in our local (Lancaster) county planning office are helpful and we have gotten lots of support from them about building a round house (yurt)/small house/alternative house, as others in the area have built round houses, traditional yurts, geodesic domes, container homes and small (800 ft) homes. Being a smaller office, I think it makes it easier to deal with.

              We have met several of our other neighbors and they are just wonderful - helpful, friendly, open, just really good people. Juniper Hills has lots of horse people (the best kind of folk), the area is zoned for agriculture so we might plant fruit trees, and there's lots of independent thinkers. One of our original reasons for purchasing there was to have a horse or two, but now having had bilateral knee replacements, I think I'll be rethinking that.


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                #8
                Hey! My girlfriend struggles with PTSD!!! She is also a veteran. I find it interesting how many veterans are struggling with this. Welcome to the forum and congrats on taking the big leap into THOWland!!

                Some people need to mind their business!! Hehe...so I am not sure how bad your ptsd. But my girlfriend has had tremendous results from sacred plant medicine I highly recommend as a healing tool. I have had friends that have had great results as well.

                Infinite Love & Gratitude,

                SM

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