Message from reader: I want to add a discovery I made in the state laws of VT. This is for the Residential Building Energy Standards – “The following residential construction shall not be subject to the requirements of this subchapter: … (D) The owner discloses in writing to a prospective buyer, before entering into a binding purchase and sales agreement, with respect to the nature and extent of any noncompliance with RBES. …” This exemption also requires the owner to be the builder plus occupier of the residence. This can be read here: https://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/30/002/00051
This is a sensical and fair “opt out clause” for laws that restrict a person on their own property, especially when they may be living in a way that does no harm to anyone. As other people whom I have read have stated (Joel Salatin being the first who comes to mind), these building code laws and related should have opt out clauses in many cases.
Note, the RBES is separate and additional to the state’s “Fire & Building Safety Code”, which states: “Note that most owner-occupied single family residences are exempt from the definition of public buildings and are thus not included in the scope of this code; see definition of “public buildings” for exceptions).” This can be read here: http://firesafety.vermont.gov/sites/firesafety/files/files/rules/dfs_rules_firecode2015_current.pdf
I’ll add in that agricultural buildings are often not “public buildings” and the state laws state that agricultural buildings and uses are exempt from town zoning by-laws. The state law requiring a specific water supply and septic system is, however, repressive.
Thanks to readers who post great content like this. I’m sure it helps lots of readers. This comment was posted on our popular page Counties With Few or No Building Codes.