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Home Forums General Discussion Anybody off grid in Southern BC, Canada ?

This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  fleetfoot44 6 years ago.

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  • #36764

    Wayne604
    Member

    I would like to correspond with like minded people already living off grid in BC. I`m currently looking for land to pursue the dream.

    Thanks,

    Wayne

    #41174

    elnav
    Member

    I’m just south of Prince George. More central BC but definitely off grid compared to lower mainland. Wife’s uncles both live off grid. Somebody built a new house nearby that is totally off grid. Doesn’t even have a well. Is a tent pitched under a big spruce off grid enough for you? < smile>

    #41175

    Wayne604
    Member

    Thanks for the reply.

    How do you get around all the silly bylaws, zoning and red tape ? I’ve heard of people getting shut down because they’re apparently violating some building code or ??? I came across a guy selling his land near Clearwater BC cause they shut him down. I guess a neighbour complained cause the guys home was not “like everyone elses” and they made him stop everything. Said zoning didnt allow what he was trying to do.

    All I want to do id find and acre or two and build a small self sufficient off grid house without any nonsense from gov officials.

    How do you know what land to buy and where ?

    Thanks

    Wayne

    #41176

    elnav
    Member

    “How do you get around all the silly bylaws, zoning and red tape” ?

    That attitude will not win you any brownie points with oficials. All too often we see someone coming up from the lower mainland with big ideas and the attitude they are smarter than the local yokels. Guaranteed you will not get any co-operation! However if you approach them with the idea of asking their help its amazing how they respond. Someone asked on the Land Buddy forum about sanitation regulations. AS you have probably found out already BC enacted a province wide new regulation a few years ago. The new spec required a septic system that cost $25,000 to install.

    We were applying for a vendor permit for a food cart business so I asked the Health Inspector about this. He tells me he would accept a sewage lagoon system as long as the property was at least 5 acres.

    A friend of mine is caretaker for a church owned summer camp which uses a lagoon system and which this particular inspector had recently visited. This camp can accomodate 200 residents and the lagoon system handles this with ease. Then I asked about composting toilets and other alternatives for smaller off grid hommes. The inspector said composting toilets would prove a problem during winter freeze ups. He also made it clear he would be willing to look at any reasonable solution that addresses his concerns. Insulation and adding heat is obviously part of the solution so the toilet facilities can be approved.

    With respect to our own food cart applications he took a similar approach. There were areas of legitimate issues. We talked with him at his office for a while and them he came to inspect the actual food cart. On the potentially contentious issues I listened carefully as he would say ” this is not approved, but if it was me I would do so and such. Mind you I’m not telling you what to do just saying what I would do if I was in your shoes,that does conform to the interpretation of the regulations”.

    By asking for the inspectors aid in finding a way to comply with the regulation but still wit-in your budget and goals, you may find a solution.

    Everyone seems to view inspectors as the enemy. Someone who is going to destroy your hopes and plans to do what you desire. Having been on both sides of that situation I have had numerous opportunity to learn how to get on the right side of an inspector responsible for enforcing some arbitrary regulation.

    when I re-built a cottage into a real home I encountered a similar situation. The power utility insisted I place the service entrance is a real poor situation. It took half an hour of discussion to convince the inspector to let me do it the way I proposed on the plans I had drawn up. but they did allow it and it proved to be better than if I had done it strictly by the book.

    Yes I too have heard third hand stories about people running afoul of some red tape but I am also aware that the persons involved had an atttitude problem about all authority figures. No wonder they clashed.

    If you go to a regional office saying you are going to do so and such and demand they issue you a permit they will ignore you but if you approach the inspectors asking for help watch what happens. Crown lands and much of undeveloped land is unserviced. Unless it’s inside town borders is likely to be off-grid except maybe if a power line passes nearby. BC generally allows mobile homes and trailers although inside town limits local ordenances may exist that regulates them.

    Someone built an off-grid home here not two years back. It was allowed. But forget about squatting on crown land for free and building an off grid residence. With few exceptions home steading is no longer permitted.

    #41831

    fleetfoot44
    Participant

    Hey Wayne,

    Still looking for off-grid land in BC? If so, contact me.

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