We are a collective within an intentional community in Sonoma County. We have been practicing permaculture and living in ways that lessen our environmental impact. We have also been restoring the land devastated by clear cuts and the industrial ground of a lumber mill. We are now being cited by the county code enforcement for numerous violations because the work that we are doing here cannot be permitted by the county. Composting our own waste cannot be permitted. Living in simple, tiny structures cannot be permitted. Living out our culture on our land is illegal.
Our mission is to enable rural dwellers to have the freedom to use their land as they see fit so long as they are not causing significant harm to other people or the environment. Various county and state authorities have laws and procedures that restrict or prevent owners and renters from using their land freely. These state authorities include the building, zoning, fire department, well and septic, etc. Whereas some of these codes are enforced for environmental safety, or the prevention of wild fires, other codes are meant to protect the residents of the land from injury, disease, or discomfort even if the residents are fully aware of the risks involved in the layout of homes. The intention of this organization is to allow dwellers to assume their own liability for the use of their land, and relieve state and county authorities of such liability upon being fully informed about the risks assessed by the authorities regarding their land and homes.
There are several reasons for this initiative, including financial, environmental, and cultural reasons. See the other pages in this website for cost/benefit analysis of county building codes and zoning, environmental impacts, and more about who we are and how our culture is incompatible with these state regulations.