One quick read of county's letter, and the niggling list of zoning violations of a place in the middle of nowhere, and the proposed costs of mitigating them is a prime example of the ever increasing totality of government control in our every day lives. VWW
According to the complaint the Song Dog Ranchwas closed because of building code and land use violations including discharging gray water to the exterior, unaproved potable water system, apparently failing septic system, non-code wiring, no smoke detectors, no propane shut-off......
And the place is zoned agricultural in the first place. How in the hell did they expect to stay in business like that? I'd have shut them down myself.
These were not "minor" violations of building and zoning codes. These were major and a few had the potential to adversely affect both guests and neighbors. I think had there been anything to work with the local P&Z might have tried to work things out. But sometimes things are just totally out of bounds and if the authorities ignore something like this they open the floodgates for things far worse.
We live in a crowded world and unfortunately you just don't get to do whatever you want to with your property anymore and damn everyone else, even up here in the sticks, and especially not in Santa Barbara county, CA!
The legacy of the keep your nose out of it approach up here in Idaho is half a dozen superfund sites, lions and tigers running around a small town just south of here, and lots of undrinkable groundwater. It's a shame, but sometimes even well-intentioned people can cause a lot of mischief.
Sarnali, discharging "gray water" is a common occurrence in rural areas. The gray water in question was probably just the runoff from the showers, and perhaps a washing machine. Neither of which is an environmental hazard on the dry 160 acre remote parcel in question. In fact the so called failing septic system, which I doubt was any more of a pollution factor than an "approved" (read money paid to the county coffers here) system, would actually work better without the bleach and soap from the gray water being introduced into it. Have you ever been to Cuyama? The area there is mostly parched remote high desert foothills. Take a look a the pictures on the website. BTW every remote home has a propane shut off at the tank. The "unproved potable water system " ( again read more money paid to the county) was no different than those found in most truly rural homesteads, and most likely provided much healthier water than the dreck that come out of the faucets in large metropolitan water districts. Believe it or not people can survive just fine without continuous government monitoring. VWW
I have a cabin on 9 acres in the Manti-LaSal mountains of central Utah. It is in an old developement. There is no electricity, sewers, phones.. anything. I have an outhouse and a solar power system. A 350 gallon water tank that I fill myself from by hauling secondary water from town provides washing water. The County charges me 1% property tax... the assessment amount is falsely high....and provides absolutely no services at all.
Fortunately for me my cabin is grandfathered. New cabins have to be built with full-code 220V two phase wiring. All codes for a suburban home have to be met. No electricity, remember? People who build generally add a propane system to provide lights and use wood stoves in the winter while leaving the wires dangling outside.
If you can't find water on your lot by drilling you cannot build any new construction (though the County is happy to allow you to buy it as a building lot and tax it as one).
I'm well aware of the greed of these govt entities which take and take and take for the single purpose of providing jobs for themselves and their friends and relatives. We call them the San Pete County Mafia. A family full employment agency.
So I supose that you prefer to stay at place that have expose wires (in damp areas it sounds like), grey water draining into your camp area, and a slew of structure that where most likely pounded together with old rusty nails and rotted wood found laying around?
Don't get me wrong, I not saying that the guvmnt is the answer to all problems, but this was not a homestead, this was a place of public accommodation. As such a minimum level of sanitation/safety should be expected.
Now they rip it all down, they can allow all the freinds they want to stay, at no charge.
You're making a lot of assumptions. The gray water was "probably just" shower and washer run off, the water was "most likley" healthier,
While I doubt anyone is dumping effluant on the ground or gray water next to a potable water source, by not making sure waste water and potable water don't mix, you run the risk of contamination.
I'm aware propane tanks have a shut off at the tank, suppose the tank is on the other side of the property? My gas line has a shut off at the meter, also one at the furnace, and the hot water tank, and the fireplace. It's at least prudent to be able to isolate componants in a fuel train, and if you run a business then the fire code requires it.
Basic sanitary guidelines apply no matter where you live and exhist for the well being of everyone involved, resident and guest. It's not "government interferance" to require business's to contain their waste and follow legal requirements for building wiring, fire prevention and water supplies.
Sarnali, I make those assumptions because I owned a remote 160 arce plot in No. Cal. and am intamatly aware of what goes on without government oversite in a rual setting. Think about it for a minute. This man lived there with his family and had numerous guests pay money to stay at this location for YEARS! His family and paying guests weren't getting sick from the water, nor were they contracting dysentary. or cholera from disease carrying effluent because he like most reasonable people took care to make sure that his loved ones and friends weren't put in danger. No one sufferd from burns due to the lack of a redundant propane system shut off because it just doesn't make sense to run propane long distances from where you use it. No one uses bare electrical wiring either. What he was using was Romex like most people wire their homes with. I did get a kick out of noknee's remark that the whole mess was made out of rotting wood and rusty nails. Again any reasonable human being expecting people to pay money to stay there wouldn't be so stupid. I am surprised that someone like you that has served in the military isn't more aware that "one size fits all" rules are often ridiculous. VWW
Being a city slicker or suburbanite all my life I really can't comment on living in a rural setting. And I've never been to the SongDog Ranch so I don't know anymore about them than I read in the commision's report. I'm sure they are intelligent well meaning people.
However if they're going to run it as a business, they have to follow the legal requirements of that business, it appears they were not.
I don't agree that the nanny state needs to be involved with every aspect of our lives, but if you're going to run a guest accomodation, then your buildings and grounds have to meet the minimum criteria for establishments of that nature.
If by minimum criteria you mean a safe clean place for guests to stay, I would reply that the owner of Sundog Ranch has by his record, of safely running the place for many years, met those criteria. You know that restraunts are built to government standards, and routinly inspected by government personel, yet on several occasions I have become quite ill after eating at them. I'll take a conciencious business owner over government minions anyday. VWW
I'd been there once with the So Cal Sportster group; wrote my first story for MO about the place... very friendly and rather sad to hear many months ago about the loss of the biker camping spot along Route 33... couldn't argue w/ the reasons however. Sure, I can rough it with the best of them... but government rules are rules! Oh well....
Well you photos prove it Fonzie. A definate unsanitary shythole constucted from rusty nails and rotten timber. Did the owner hold a gun on you to make your group feign good time? I sure am glad that the government came to the rescue and shut the place down before any more unsuspecting bikers were lured into that dangerous,unsanitary hellhole. VWW