“A Huntsville man joined the military to fight for our rights, but now he says his own rights are being threatened. A veteran and his girlfriend said their home was deemed ‘unsafe’ by city officials because they choose to live by self-sufficient means.

Tyler Truitt and his girlfriend Soraya Hamar are currently living within city limits but without city utilities.

Huntsville officials said that’s not allowed. The city filed a lawsuit against Truitt and Hamar, calling their self-sufficient lifestyle unsafe.

The couple says they’d rather be arrested than leave their land.
“We live out here off the grid, 100 percent self-sustaining,” Truitt said. “So I basically made all my utilities: I have my solar panels, I have my rainwater collection and stuff.”

The city doesn’t see that as a good thing.”

YouTube
Related: Building codes make it tough to live off the grid in Canada


Comments

Couple Facing Arrest for Living Off-Grid on Their Own Property — 17 Comments

  1. Terribly difficult this situation wonder if rather than throw away good energies by being imprisoned how about offering this experiment of sustainable living , opened to the public of their townspeople. One a day a week or once a month. Could cull some of their ideas like using solar or even pre heating water with a simple box on roof with insulate, couple of pipes, in,out and south faced glass or other ideas. Bring in people . Let’s share

    • The mayor was re-elected so I take that as a sign the townspeople are not unhappy with how he’s handling this situation.

  2. Someone should tell this guy about earthbags. An extremely low cost way to build a beautiful dwelling on your own property. But wait, thats illegal also …

    • No necessarily. There is a loophole in the codes for Alternative Materials. But by the time you pay for engineering, permits, inspections and everything the cost would skyrocket. That’s why we suggest building in rural areas with few or no codes. County departments are now online so you can search their sites for code requirements so you don’t get stuck in a predicament like this couple.

  3. The US citizens are enslaved by the US government. Expect reservations and concentration camps soon. Unite. All for one and one for all. When one has problems with the government (which is more like when the government has a problem with someone), the whole neighborhood/community/quarter/town… should stand behind them and assure the f’ning government that they are living fine with the one on point and do not see a problem at all. Shoo the government agents, they can not arrest the whole town if it is united behind someone.

    • In this case this couple decided to live in the city. While most people in the city probably sympathize with this young couple, everyone else is paying for electric, gas, water and sewer. It’s a shared expense among the community so everyone can have utilities direct to their homes. Many would resent it if someone didn’t want to pay their share. That’s the price you pay living in cities. You’re paying for extra services and convenience.

      • That’s bullshit and let me tell you why. As a former water distribution operator, I can tell you there is a system in place with all public services to generate useable profit for the city and the main stem of that profit is an availability charge, basically the equivalent of the city renting you their equipment to have utilities available for your in-home use and that charge never changes with the exception of city approval, in which case it usually goes up. Its not a “shared” expense at all, its just a uniform way to ensure people who want utilities can have them as long as they pay for the use of the equipment and the energy or resources they use. What they are doing to Tyler is making an example. What the city public works board figures is that if one person is allowed to maintain a home without having to pay the city for even the availability of public utilities, more people will adopt this outlook and begin unhooking themselves from the gridlock, which can damage the city’s budget tremendously if enough people followed through with it. Its a political move to show anyone who sides,with the morality of Tyler’s argument that the city will get its share of your money whether you like it or not and if you fight it, you will be punished. This is politics at work and its absolute horseshit that anyone should be required to pay the city anything above the taxes a city can levy legally. This is monopolizing and all its doing is filling the pockets of old men with silver tongues and light fingers…

    • “Expect reservations and concentration camps soon.” That’s really ridiculous comrade!

      Society comes with benefits and shared costs. Shirking will not earn you any respect. Like Owen implies, don’t live in the city if you don’t want the utilities that have been installed for city dwellers.

  4. The article does not say what state this is in.

    I am in Iron County, Utah, living “off-grid”in fact without utilities -on my land in the desert. But I am not close to 100% self-sufficient – having propane delivered and I purchase drinking water in town and get well-water from neighbors when I can and I have not yet begun my planned earthbag domes. Since I have the land patent for my property from the federal government I have legal rights to do what I want and to collect rain water.
    Some of the neighbors are fighting the gov’t. but I am trying to stay under their radar.

    Point is Truitt and Hamar need to learn the building restrictions in their county and would be well advised to try to get the land patent and also to build according to some building codes – even if they would not be conforming to the local codes – to be able to demonstrate that they are building safely and are not damaging the environment or contaminating the ground water or soil

    Shame the Man broke their hearts. But they need to be wise not just righteous.

    I wish them good luck

  5. The house I am living in was built in 1888 without permits. It was still on the original stacked rock foundation when I purchased it 30 years ago. It had no fancy double pane windows, and still doesn’t! When it was built, it had no insulation. It had no running water. The only water source was a spring up the hill. There was no electricity and no toilets, only a hand dug hole with an outhouse covering it. It was heated by an old, non EPA cook stove. When electricity arrived in the area, there were no permits required to put it in. There were no permits to put plumbing in the house either. Bottom line, evidently people once survived without all the fancy things required by the government. I have the history of my house and it’s owners. The man who built the house owned a mattress factory in San Francisco and a local bar. He was a wealthy man but there was no fancy technology available to him. Somehow he and his family built this house and prospered in this house. So, what happened between 1888 and the current date? Government found a way to regulate everything we do (for our own protection of course). Hooey! I will put my house, that was built without government intervention, up against any new house that was built with all the required permits. Speaking of protecting us with permits, I just had a roof replaced under the permit process…leaks everywhere ruining my siding. Can’t get any help from those who oversee the process. So much for the permit process. Bottom line, people should have the right to live as they please as long as they don’t endanger others.

    • Yes, many or even most new houses are little more than what I call cracker boxes. They’re made of waferboard and particle board and wood fiber type products that are full of toxic glues that off gas chemicals and burn like crazy. Ask a fireman and they will tell you how once a fire is well established in one of these houses they’ll often just let it burn because there’s no way to save it. Look up our past articles on Burn Baby Burn type stories like this one: http://www.naturalbuildingblog.com/how-to-build-a-house-that-will-self-destruct-and-burn-like-crazy/

      If the fires don’t kill you the toxic fumes will. We’ve covered this topic in numerous previous articles. It’s called Sick House Syndrome. Millions of people are not ill with all sorts of mysterious ailments from the toxins and mold.

      We now see the problems of gov overreach and out of control spending in all parts of our life. It’s not just building codes and crazy regulations. I’ll stop there because most people here know what I’m talking about. Things like this don’t end well.

  6. government gone too far, all about control and money. Zoning is a violation of our civil rights, left wants complete communism of this country.hope he can beat them.

    • Maybe someone can google their name and see if we can get an update on what happened. Sometimes the officials will bend the rules if there’s a huge backlash. (See previous related articles on our blog.) After all, they do want to get reelected and keep their cushy jobs.

      One thing I can say for certain is we are approaching a tipping point. For example, read the YouTube comments and note how many people left comments similar to yours. People are fed up. You can only push people so far.

  7. Be sure to learn about the building codes, regulations and ordinances in your area. For instance, this couple may very well be forced off their land now, whereas if they had done this a few miles away outside of city limits they might have been okay.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.