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Author Topic: Building on a remote property  (Read 2578 times)

Cliffyp

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Building on a remote property
« on: May 23, 2016, 09:04:30 pm »

We will be moving to NH within the year.  Grafton looks to be the most promising area.

We want to buy rural/remote property and just have a homestead/mini farm.  This would require some clearing, however we would want to do the absolute smallest amount of clearing possible.  Most of the acreages that we've been looking at online say that they are on a Class VI road.  I understand these are not paved and not maintained.  I've seen somewhere that building permits are not given to properties unless they have a Class V road access.

If anyone has any knowledge of the legalities pertaining to this, I would love an explanation.  Does an off grid structure/cabin/house require a permit?

Thanks
-Cliff
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trevorparscal

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Re: Building on a remote property
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2016, 10:39:57 am »

I saw this recently, it might help you: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dDhnmj6pYWM


- Trevor
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ptb

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Re: Building on a remote property
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2016, 03:52:18 pm »

In (the town of) Grafton, to build a house, you'll need to fill out a "building notification" form (I believe it was ~$25?), a driveway [something] form ($20), and have a state approved/inspected wastewater disposal system (usually a septic system with a septic tank and leach field). Grafton does not have building code enforcement. Basically what that means is that unless you make a nuisance of yourself, your neighbors will not have reason to call the state fire marshall to have your building inspected. The entire state of NH is subject to the International Residential Code, but in Grafton it is not enforced. For that reason, there is never a certificate of occupancy issued for homes built in Grafton (and some other similar towns).

I know of no reason why you would not be able to build on any property you legally own as long as the septic issue is taken care of. If a road is not winter maintained (not plowed) you may not be able to get into or out of your home during the winter. As long as you can manage that yourself, and also get the necessary building materials to your site, you should be able to do whatever you want to.

The building notification form is nothing more than notification to the town of Grafton that you're going to build something which will serve as a reminder to them to eventually come out and assess your building and to ensure that a state approved wastewater system is in place.

If you plan to carry in all of your water, you can probably get away with only a privy (an outhouse). If you have piped water either from a well, cistern, etc, you will need to have at least a greywater disposal system. A friend of mine went through the entire state septic regulations and pulled out all the relevant paragraphs for those people who want a composting toilet, but still have a greywater disposal system. See here: https://gist.github.com/ptb/45664fcb2140167f296b

The driveway "permit" is basically the town's road manager's opportunity to let you know if you need a culvert and to make sure that your driveway won't negatively impact the town's roads.

The state requires all septic systems to be inspected by a NH DES inspector. If you've never built a septic system before, there are people who I can point you to to help oversee that part of the project.

I encourage you to verify everything I've written here for yourself. I've built my own home in Grafton and this has been my experience, but your results may vary.

- Peter
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Cliffyp

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Re: Building on a remote property
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2016, 09:45:43 am »

Thanks for the great reply. It sheds some light and give me a good starting point for further investigation.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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lio45

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Re: Building on a remote property
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2016, 03:39:44 pm »

My NH lands are on a Class VI road.

I believe that if I wanted to build a dwelling there, I'd have to sign some kind of waiver saying I will not hold the town liable for the fact that ambulances and firetrucks and police and so on might not be able to reach me in a timely manner.

Don't forget that these roads are not plowed. When I go there in winter with my car, I am forced to leave the car on US Route 3 and walk. Depending on winters, sometimes with my 4x4 truck I could reach my property, but that's not guaranteed.

I'm in the Colebrook area, I suppose it might not be a problem in southern NH which doesn't get much snow.

The road sometimes gets "magically" patched up by others. I've been meaning to do my share too, but never got to do it. There are other owners further up the road from me who have big timber operations, I suspect some of them own road graders that they will use from time to time when they figure the road requires it.

I like the fact that no one has any road maintenance obligation... don't like it, you can help improve it, if you're okay with it, you don't have to do anything. It's pretty libertarian in spirit :)


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lio45

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Re: Building on a remote property
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2016, 03:49:41 pm »

Most of the acreages that we've been looking at online say that they are on a Class VI road.  I understand these are not paved and not maintained.  I've seen somewhere that building permits are not given to properties unless they have a Class V road access.

It's a town decision, if I recall correctly.

I know that in my town there are a few cottages (only used seasonally) on my class VI road, and I know that I could build a building on my land if I wanted to (I've checked already). However, I'd have to take some acres out of Current Use, which would suck (my yearly taxes are unbelievably low -- I'm also getting the further Recreational Discount).

So, yes, it's definitely possible to get a permit.

One thing that I would really recommend you consider is just how far away each property is from the closest non-Class-VI road. The longer the section of road that you will have to maintain and either plow yourself or cross with a 4x4, the more difficult it will be for you guys to function normally.

If it's not that long a drive on that Class VI road, you can basically think of it as your own very very long driveway.

For the record, for a few years I had a Ford F150 4x4 with a snowplow that I bought on the classifieds for $1,500 (wasn't young, but it worked). You could open your own "long driveway" with such a vehicle if you were so inclined.







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politicalGRAFFITI

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Re: Building on a remote property
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2016, 09:14:17 pm »

Unless you continually keep a road plowed, it would take a loader to come in and make it passable once the snow gets ahead of you. Even in southern New Hampshire. In fact the thaw freeze cycle is the worst to deal with... you end up with concrete to remove. Really cold conditions at least keep it fluffy.

lio45

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Re: Building on a remote property
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2016, 11:31:39 am »

Well, of course you have to keep it plowed. That's how snowplowing works. Every time there's a significant snowfall, you have to plow.

And of course there will be a barrier of packed snow, much higher than anything else, that will appear at the intersection of your Class VI road and the nearest plowed road every time. You'll have to remove that (much easier while it's fresh) if you want the road to remain usable.

You might be able to get away with not plowing your road if you're lucky (and it might not always be the case for all winters) but you will probably have to remove that barrier on occasion, even if you have a 4x4.





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