Support Cochise County Resolution 14-77 Owner-Builder Opt-Out

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Civil Petition - Keep Cochise County Resolution 14-77

Petition to Cease and Desist Any and ALL Action to Repeal/Modify Resolution 14-77 Amendment to the Cochise County Building Safety Code for Residential Owner Built Buildings and Accessory Structures.

Cochise County, Arizona is known for being the most off-grid friendly county in the State of Arizona. The county currently allows a land owner of a RU, SM, or SR zoned parcel of 4 or more acres to design and build a home to their specification without having to go through the hassle and financial commitment of a conventionally permitted structure. Meaning a property owner is able to design a home or accessory structure using materials such as adobe, cob, hempcrete, aircrete, foamcrete, earthbag, RASTRA, rammed earth, strawbale, as well as erect structures such as earthship, shed-to-house, shipping container, tiny house, yurt, etc.. The type and size of house, and the building materials used, are only limited by the imagination of the property owners! 

Although they aren’t going out of their way to make this public, Cochise County Board of Supervisors as well as the Department of Planning and Zoning are considering eliminating the Resolution which gives us the Building Permit Opt-Out that allows a parcel owner to build the above mentioned structures within their own financial constraints or needlessly spending thousands of dollars permitting.

The County Department of Planning and Zoning claim the reason for considering to eliminate the permit opt-out option is for safety concerns. However, opt-outs are required to meet building safety codes and there is no statistical evidence to suggest that opt-out structures are less safe than a conventionally permitted structure. Previously, Mike Izzo Building Supervisor at Development services has stated "What Contractors want to see is a level playing field" when asking the Board of Supervisors to re-visit the topic he expressed his concerns that building opt-outs are unfair to local contractors!  

Currently, a parcel owner is able to obtain an opt-out building permit for $158. County fees for a standard permitted home start at $2,500 and that does not include paying an engineer for stamped building plans! Permitting a conventionally built home costs a landowner thousands of dollars before ground is even broken. Many people choosing to build an opt-out building want to live within their means, debt free without having to go through a loan process to build their home. Removing the opt-out which has afforded so many landowners the satisfaction of building their own structure/s unnecessarily strips citizens of the liberties and freedoms they utilize in Cochise county.

Please support our efforts to maintain our freedoms here in Cochise County. Signing this petition and sharing it with others helps us to maintain our way of life. With enough of us standing behind this cause we can't be ignored!