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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Posts
    4,236

    Widow faces eviction for 'living off the grid'

    This lady chose a different way, but geez! I thought about putting this topic in news that makes you smile, but it is certainly not funny to her. I considered crimes in the news, but I believe she will be found to not have committed a crime. Bizarre news? Perhaps... what do you think?

    Robin Speronis of Cape Coral, FL doesnít have a refrigerator, oven, running water or electricity at her modest home.
    And when Robin needs water, she collects it in rain barrels and uses a colloidal-silver generator to disinfect it. She cooks on a propane camping stove, and her electronics run on solar-charged batteries. In the bathroom, a camping shower solves the problem of no running water. 3 hours of sunshine heats it. Water from her rain barrel to fill the tank of the toilet and flush it as though she had running water.


    Robinís husband died three years ago after battling a debilitating neuromuscular disease. She says navigating the costly and frustrating health-care system prompted her to unplug. ďI wanted to look at every other part of my lifestyle and say, do I need this? Is this of value to me? " She made a conscious decision to live off the grid.


    Unfortunately for Robin, her decision to talk to a local TV station about off-the-grid living put her on the radar of the city of Cape Coral.

    The very next day, authorities tacked a notice to vacate the property on her door, despite the fact she owns her home free and clear and is up-to-date on her taxes. ďA code-enforcement officer came, knocked on the door then posts a placard that says uninhabitable property, do not enter."


    A local attorney has decided to represent Speronis for free.


    Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/12/widow-fac...qaorgDeXvBk.99

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    OnEarth
    Posts
    3,315
    She needs a good atty and I hope one comes to her rescue pro bono. As long as it's not a huge awful hoarding situ; and it's clean and sanitary....then going off the grid is no one's business. Esp if she owns the home! BUT if the HOME is in DISREPAIR, then they could force her to vacate.
    Dont Be A Sheep

  3. #3
    I don't see the problem? Is she doing anything that could cause a community cholera outbreak or something?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    6,766
    Code enforcement...bastages

    Having dealt with some code enforcers before she might be required to have copper plumbing installed by a licenced plumber etc. Structural issues blah blah. In other words it may pass for code enforcement in the Virgin Islands but it doesn't pass in Cape Coral.
    pfffffft. She's not for enough off the grid.

    Come to think of it, if it's not written in the code then it's not a law that exist.

    The city’s code-compliance manager told the station the home was tagged because it doesn’t have running water or electricity – but neither is mentioned as a requirement in the code cited by the city on the notice.
    Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/12/widow-fac...qeHl803dwxD.99

  5. #5
    It isn't a grandfathered-in code?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    5,939
    I lived like this (not by choice) for over 10 years (longggg story, not worth going into). I lived in fear, every single day, that this would happen to me. I feel for this poor lady.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    6,766
    Quote Originally Posted by Kimster View Post
    It isn't a grandfathered-in code?
    I'd say we're in a gray area here. It's not like she's renting or selling the property. I lean more toward her legal rights.

    Not knowing everything though, like the condition of the home. I've seen inspectors declare homes as dilapidated and tear the whole house down.

    The code inspector might try issuing repair orders. (which can get costly)

    Right now I'm leaning the code enforcer may have overstepped his duty.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Posts
    4,236
    Nobody wants someone in the neighborhood to detract from property values, blah, blah, blah, but this woman appears to have sanitation & appearances covered. Otherwise, wouldn't someone have already complained?

    Meanwhile:
    Data about crime rate in Cape Coral, Florida (FL): murders, rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, thefts, auto thefts, arson. And 88 Registered Sex Offenders in the city!


    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime...#ixzz2nlWkz43T

    I really hope she wins big against the city & is elected mayor next year.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    3,557
    I lived in Cape Coral many years ago. The rules then were that you could not park a truck in your driveway and your grass could not be over a couple of inches!

    jmo
    No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. - 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

    We are all one poor choice from being a subject on this forum. Think twice.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Georgia -- Redneck Country
    Posts
    7,175
    Quote Originally Posted by Peliman View Post
    I'd say we're in a gray area here. It's not like she's renting or selling the property. I lean more toward her legal rights.

    Not knowing everything though, like the condition of the home. I've seen inspectors declare homes as dilapidated and tear the whole house down.

    The code inspector might try issuing repair orders. (which can get costly)

    Right now I'm leaning the code enforcer may have overstepped his duty.
    I ain't no expert but....doesn't the code say you have to have wiring that meets certain standards and plumbing that meets certain standards etc....?

    If the wiring and plumbing is fine and she just doesn't WANT to pay for electricity and city water how is that a code violation?


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    1,834
    I once worked with another teacher that had 2 children ages 9 and 11,she was struggling financially. Instead of using electricity(lights) she used candles in the evening. She was a good mother and I told her she should not tell this to people because they might feel it was child neglect and remove her children.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    6,766
    Quote Originally Posted by Sonya610 View Post
    I ain't no expert but....doesn't the code say you have to have wiring that meets certain standards and plumbing that meets certain standards etc....?
    Well yes there are standards which change over the years. New construction would have to meet the current code. Older dwellings normally keep their old installation. A real old home may have fuses while an not so older home may have a 100 amp main breaker, then the city changes the code to all new construction must have a 250 amp main breaker.

    A buyer can buy the home as-is or ask for the electric to be brought to code.

    If the owner wishes to rent the home a certificate of occupancy applies and the code inspector will order all electrical and plumbing to code.

    I don't think owners would be required to change to code every time the city changes it unless it becomes a danger.

    If the wiring and plumbing is fine and she just doesn't WANT to pay for electricity and city water how is that a code violation?
    It's been reported the city code does not require water and electric, so I don't think they can enforce it if the law doesn't exist.

    2nd - If she doesn't use the water and electric, what difference does it make what the condition of the electric and plumbing is. IMO

    On the other hand, could someone pitch a tent in her back yard and live in it?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    6,481
    Land of the free.

    LOL.
    _____________
    Everything I have posted at this website, past or present, represents my opinion or my understanding of events based on facts that are publicly available.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    In the Boonies of Louisiana
    Posts
    3,354
    I am completely on the widow's side on this. She is not committing any crime or endangering anyone and her house certainly isn't "unlivable". There are millions of people throughout the world who don't have electricity or utilities.

    This whole story is infuriating and one big reason why I moved to the boonies. The city and their code enforcement agents get all up in your business telling you how to live on property that you own and have paid for.

    Basically they are making it a crime to be poor and unable to afford things like electricity or whatever standards they deem as mandatory. You don't have the right to choose to live a simple life, you are forced to be connected to "the grid". Plus the utility companies are monopolies. If you don't like the way they treat you, too bad, they are your only option for utilities.

    It has been a long term goal of mine to get off the grid and to live a life on my terms and not be bound by utility companies and city codes. We have already ditched the city water system and have our own well to provide our water. If I could just get solar panels then I would be soooo happy.

    The video shows her house and it is neat, well kept and not in disrepair. I guess the city would rather see her out on the streets. They would probably like to fine her with fines that she can't afford and then put a lien on her house and take it.

    The "off the grid" movement is growing and gaining strength and popularity. I fully support people who want to live life off the grid and on their own terms.
    SwampMama

    GUILTY!!!

    Cyrus C. convicted of 2004 arson in Harvey, La. that killed 4 people, including his 19-month-old daughter, his teenage girlfriend, the girlfriend's mom and GF's young brother (age 11). He was acquitted in 2008 (state charges) in 2008 and found GUILTY (federal charges) in 2013

    http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/...d_of_2004.html

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    6,766
    Well get this!

    The city code enforcement officer cites "international code" for their justification. No due process.

    International code?

    The International Code Council is a member-focused association. It is dedicated to developing model codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. Most U.S. communities and many global markets choose the International Codes.

    The International Codes, or I-Codes, published by ICC, provide minimum safeguards for people at home, at school and in the workplace. The I-Codes are a complete set of comprehensive, coordinated building safety and fire prevention codes. Building codes benefit public safety and support the industryís need for one set of codes without regional limitations.
    [P] 504.3 Plumbing system hazards.
    Where it is found that a plumbing system in a structure constitutes a hazard to the occupants or the structure by reason of inadequate service, inadequate venting, cross connection, backsiphonage, improper installation, deterioration or damage or for similar reasons, the code official shall require the defects to be corrected to eliminate the hazard.

    http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/ic...-P-2012-000010

    SECTION 604 ELECTRICAL FACILITIES

    604.1 Facilities required.
    Every occupied building shall be provided with an electrical system in compliance with the requirements of this section and Section 605.

    604.2 Service.
    The size and usage of appliances and equipment shall serve as a basis for determining the need for additional facilities in accordance with NFPA 70. Dwelling units shall be served by a three-wire, 120/240 volt, single-phase electrical service having a minimum rating of 60 amperes.

    604.3 Electrical system hazards.
    Where it is found that the electrical system in a structure constitutes a hazard to the occupants or the structure by reason of inadequate service, improper fusing, insufficient receptacle and lighting outlets, improper wiring or installation, deterioration or damage, or for similar reasons, the code official shall require the defects to be corrected to eliminate the hazard.

    http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/ic...-P-2012-000010

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