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Brickbat: This Land Is My Land

RVTupungatoClem Smith was homeless for six years, and if Jefferson County, Colorado, code enforcement has its way, he may be homeless again. He used inheritance money to buy land he plans to build a house on, an RV he lives in at the property until the house is built, and a shipping container he says he uses as work space. But code enforcement says it's illegal to park an RV or place a shipping container on a property without a house and is threatening to fine him if he doesn't move them.

Photo Credit: Tupungato

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    After a neighbor complained about the RV, shipping container and trash, Smith was cited for code violations.

    I'd bring in the ugliest, cheapest used trailer to act as my permanent home to show that neighbor what it means to start off on the wrong foot.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    They would probably just re-interpret the code as meaning a house that's a permanent structure, not a manufactured home or trailer. Once the government has decided to fuck with someone it's impossible to get them to stop until they've bled the victim for every penny they can wring from them in fines, fees, or taxes. Or until the victim is dead after Officer Triggerhappy McFuckface shoots them because ... reasons.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    She said the basic codes exist for a reason -- health, safety and welfare.

    Nope, nope and nope.

    "It's also about expectations," she said, "and balancing everyone's property rights."

    Also nope.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Hey, if everyone has 0 property rights, that's balanced!

  • SRVolunteer||

    Just like going from thousands of Jedi and only two Sith to two Jedi and two Sith brings balance to the Force!

  • Inigo Montoya||

    There's a whole minor movement in architecture surrounding the creation of ultramodern homes by stacking 2-3 shipping refitted containers and some glass walls. This busybody neighbor has about as much architectural sensibility as a garden slug.

    Besides, didn't Colorado used to be the West? Where's the tradition of homesteading pioneers who start out in little more than a shack made from rough-hewn logs? What goes on in the minds of people like this? Sheesh.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Colorado is full of city folk from Taxifornia. Being busybodies is what they like to do.

    Its not your property to do whatever you want.
    Its not your money to do whatever you want.

    The education system has ingrained these socialist ideals into these people and their Boomer parents too.

  • Longtobefree||

    "I own this property," he told Denver7, with emotion welling up in his voice. "I paid for it in cash. It's all mine.

    According to the progressives, "you didn't build that".
    So get in line with the arrogant, self centered, property is just for investment not for living on, group and go away.
    (And thanks for the sales taxes and real estate taxes you paid.)

    Note to the general populace; before buying land, check which political party has been in charge of the county and state for the last few years,

  • frankania||

    In 1988, I was building an underground concrete dome house in RURAL Pa. Building inspector slugs shut my project down for insane bureaucratic reasons, so I sold the land and moved to Mexico. Here, I can build ANYTHING I want, usually without permits...Live Free, stop worrying!

  • Conchfritters||

    The right to own an RV and park it on your own land is basically the essence of freedom. Did he move to Jefferson County China?

  • Juice||

    Being poor without being a ward of the state is illegal in this country.

  • EscherEnigma||

    ... I'm curious. In the eyes of libertarians, are terms and conditions of a purchase legitimate or not? Because face it, local laws and regulations, including what you can and can't put on your property, and the proper channels to go through to live in an RV for a year and a half while your house is built, could be fairly considered part of those "terms and conditions" of the property purchase that he agreed to.

    So ignoring whether or not he's sympathetic (he is), whether you think this guy is in the "right" seems to depend on whether you think it's legitimate to put conditions on a purchase.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Also, if you want to see why the neighbors complained, follow-through to the article and watch the video. It shows what his property looks like, and yeah, it's got trash piled up haphazardly and is a real mess. If you're his neighbor, there's a good chance he just dropped your property values. It's in their own self-interest to obligate him to finishing a house† or get rid of him.
    ________
    †According to the article there are ways to get a permit to park the RV until the house is built. He just didn't do them.

  • Radioactive||

    sounds like pistols and brandy at dawn is the only way to settle this fairly

  • DaveSs||

    a) Trash all over a property is a frequent occurrence in rural areas across the country. The extent of the 'trash' here is hardly worth mentioning. Most of the 'trash' seems to be related to his camping or to his work to improve the property.

    b) Who in their right mind would think they need the government's permission to camp, park and/or live in an RV on their own property, particularly when that property is in a rural location.

  • ace_m82||

    Yes, and the local mafia or cartel "rules" could be seen as "terms and conditions" of a property purchase in Chicago.

    You only owe the previous owner anything. You don't owe any third party anything at all.

  • croaker||

    This is how Killdozers get built.

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