All posts by Mojo Mustapha

The Hedonisia Hawaii Sustainable Community is based on a social enterprise busines model. For eco-tourist we offer low-carbon eco-friendly lodgings using recycled and reused materials, we also have a Fair-Trade Volunteer Program that allows visitors to Hawaii to enjoy a low cost vacation in Hawaii by working for lodgings under our Fair-Trade Volunteer Program. Volunteers work with their bodies doing land work and also their brains working on our socially active websites dealing with international women's rights amongst other issues. We are working with the HSCA to implement zoning changes to allow for eco-friendly communities and for residential and community buildings to be made safely and with reusable and recyclable materials. Such housing could be made much more cheaply and using locally sourced materials would leave a much smaller carbon footprint than the current situation in Hawaii whereby most "legal" building materials have to be imported from the mainland.

S.P.A.C.E.

SPACE Farmer's Market

S.P.A.C.E. Seaview Performing Art Center for Education

Space is the culmination of over 20 years of proactive community outreach programs, perfomances by Hawaii’s Volcano Circus (HVC), and its flagship education program HICCUP Circus.

SPACE Mission: to provide a place where connections between people and groups are made, renewed and strengthened for the purpose of developing a united, flourishing community. This includes :
Providing opportunities for individuals of all ages to develop and share their gifts and talents in a hands-on experiential and exploratory learning environment

Encouraging a sense of pride in the local environment, improving access to positive and prominent cultural and recreational activities like the HICCUP Circus

Creating opportunities to celebrate and delight in life together, forging real collaborations within the community, with all participants actively involved in developing, planning, and implementing programs and activities

Modeling and promoting sustainable living research in the development of local community.

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Hedonisia Hawaii Sustainable Community Rainforest Retreat

Hedonisia Hawaii Sustainable Community Rainforest Retreat

Ocean View Hut at Hedonisia Hawaii Community

For “ecotourists” and travelers who wish to experience a different Hawaii than the commercial concrete jungle of Waikiki we welcome you to stay in the real jungle on the volcanic side of Hawaii island in lush tropical rainforest.

We are one of the most eco-friendly tropical vacation rental retreats in Big Island, Hawaii. We have tried to reduce, reuse and recycle with our sustainable policies and as a result we can offer very affordable lodgings in the Hawaiian Rainforest!

And for those who would like to enjoy an educational or volunteer vacation in Hawaii we offer a Sustainable Community Manager Apprenticeship as well as the Hedonisia Fair-Trade Volunteer Program.

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Hawaiian Sanctuary

Sanctuary Pod House
Sanctuary Pod House

Come stay at a tropical oasis of natural beauty and abundance on the Big Island of Hawaii. Live in a cooperative community environment while exploring sustainability, Hawaiian style. Live in our eco-chic Jungle Pods, Jungalows or lodge rooms while immersing yourself in farm life, daily yoga, cultural classes (hula and more).

Relax and rejuvenate in our modern spa/jungle gym facilities with a personalized detox program. Adventure to nearby lava flows, waterfalls and exotic black sand beaches. Discover why the Hawaiians call this the “Healing Island”.

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Polestar Community

Polestar Community
Polestar Community

Polestar is a spiritual community on the Big Island of Hawaii that offers year-round, hands-on experience in cooperative living based on the universal teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda.

We offer an energizing life-style of daily yoga and meditation, karma yoga or service projects, and outdoor-adventure opportunities for apprentices, guests on vacation or personal retreat, and families and youth. People of all faiths are welcome.

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Points Supporting Regulations for Sustainable Rural Habitat

We need this legislation because:

1. NEED FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING: There are growing numbers of people on the County affordable housing list. The Sustainable Habitat Ordinance will help people to help themselves to provide their own, adaptable and affordable housing.  We don’t want to add any more people to the housing subsidy programs.These regulations will facilitate the availability of affordable, owner-built homes which is essential to the continued health and welfare of the residents and rural communities

2. RANGE OF ALTERNATIVES: We believe that ‘one size does not fit all’ with building codes and the diversity of population in this County would be better served with a range of alternatives to existing regulations.

3. WE WANT AN ORDINANCE: It is the objective of the Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance to follow up the attached resolution with a bill for a Hawaii County Sustainable Habitat Ordinance.

4. MORE MONEY FOR THE COUNTY: Hawaii County income from taxes will increase by issuing permits for many houses that would not now qualify for permits.  An optional Code would satisfy the needs of residents who otherwise only can afford to build without a permit from the existing system of regulation.

5. FREEDOM TO DO YOUR OWN PLUMBING/ELECTRIC: Owner builders are currently not legally allowed to do plumbing or electrical in their own homes…why? This is not the case for many other states, where owner builders can do any of their own work including electrical and plumbing as long as it passes inspection.  Most people will not do their own, in practice.  Impact on existing trades and professions will be relatively small – those who want and can afford will still mostly use them.  Existing trades unions can co-exist with neighborly barter economies.

6. PUBLIC RECOGNITION AND ACCOUNTABILITY: This proposal includes a system of public record keeping of owner builders who state they are building under an alternate code, or even experimental method.  Many people live in unpermitted houses, and would like to find a way to be legal.  They won’t have to hide anymore, and will be able to choose to build in alternative ways and also the public will be informed of which houses are built like this.

7. HONOR DIVERSITY: We are an island of incredible climate/cultural diversity, and we should not make cultures illegitimate that adapt to the various microclimate and microcultural situations that exist .

8. IMPROVE EXISTING HOUSING: A Sustainable Habitat Ordinance will improve the quality of existing substandard housing by providing a system for overseeing the successful execution of alternative and sustainable design and building techniques.  i.e. healthy agricultural practices, and improving compliance with minimum State Dept. of Health regulations.

9. NO ZONING CHANGES: A Sustainable Habitat Ordinance is not expected to alter existing zoning ordinances.

10.  PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES: We advocate moving towards “educating” and “supporting” the use of ecological methods. The job of civil servants (the County) is to provide info/educational/support resources to people who want to learn how to shelter themselves safely in any variety of ways (in contrast to enforcing one specific set of rules/codes). They may do that directly (county staff) and/or by a referral program to consultants, designers etc.

11.  SAVE ON COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION:  Hawaii Island’s rural areas are sometimes remote and often serviced by substandard roads, resulting in extra cost in transporting building materials from commercial centers.

12. BUILD COMMUNITY: Benefits for those who need these alternatives will be large and more than just economic (like providing self esteem/”I can do it,” and community-building through work parties, sharing neighborhood/local skills, enabling more community living, etc.).

13. ECOLOGICAL TO USE LOCAL MATERIALS: In rural areas of Hawaii Island there are many locally available, underutilized, renewable building materials, such as bamboo, tropical hardwoods, and other tropical wood species. The use of locally-available and minimally processed building materials can reduce overall construction costs and result in a smaller ecological footprint. According to the Hawaii County Integrated Resource and Solid Waste Management Plan, lumber accounts for 10% or more of materials disposed of in Hawaii County’s landfills.

14. WE DON’T NEED TO BUILD LIKE THE MAINLAND: Hawaii Island is blessed with a mild climate that can obviate the need for insulation, artificial heating and cooling, and associated construction materials.

15. PROTECT NATURAL RESOURCES: In the spirit of the newly passed Charter Amendment 2010 Prop. 6, this resolution supports the ideal of conserving and protecting Hawaii’s natural and cultural resources.

16. EXPAND FOOD PRODUCTION: The first goal of the County of Hawaii Agriculture Development Plan is to expand Hawai’i Island food production so that 30% of its residents’ demand for food can be supplied by local producers by 2020.

17. ENCOURAGE RURAL SELF SUFFICIENCY: Establishment and occupation of owner-built sustainable habitat on agricultural land increases food production on that land, contributing to island-wide food sufficiency goals.

18. OTHERS HAVE DONE THIS: Alternative “limited density rural dwelling” building code ordinances have been adopted in many other jurisdictions in the United States over the last three decades.

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HSCA Sustainable Habitat Resolution

A RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE HAWAI‘I COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS TO ESTABLISH A SUSTAINABLE HABITAT ORDINANCE.

WHEREAS, the purpose and intent of a Sustainable Habitat Ordinance is, in part, to provide minimum requirements for the protection of life, limb, health, property, safety, and the welfare of the general public and the owners and occupants of dwellings and appurtenant structures, through waiver or exemption from some existing codes, and adoption of alternative standards; and

WHEREAS, a Sustainable Habitat Ordinance will permit the use of the ingenuity and preferences of individual owner/builders of dwellings on agricultural parcels in rural areas of Hawai‘i County for owner occupancy, and allow the use of substitute materials, procedures and alternatives, to the specifications prescribed by various and future international technical codes, to the extent that a reasonable degree of health and safety is provided; and

WHEREAS, Hawai‘i Island has a shortage of affordable housing; and

WHEREAS, thousands of residences on Hawai‘i Island have been constructed without Hawai‘i County building permits, particularly residences constructed in rural areas; and

WHEREAS, the cost of construction of houses and outbuildings in accordance with the current Building Code is cost prohibitive for many residents of Hawai‘i Island who reside in rural areas; and

WHEREAS, there are many locally available, underutilized, renewable building materials, such as bamboo, tropical hardwoods, and other tropical wood species, on Hawai‘i Island, particularly in rural areas; and

WHEREAS, the use of locally-available and minimally processed building materials can reduce overall construction costs and result in a smaller ecological footprint; and

WHEREAS, the rural areas of Hawai‘i Island are remote, often serviced by substandard roads, and the cost of transporting building materials from commercial centers to rural areas, results in extra cost to the residents; and

WHEREAS, substantial rural areas of Hawai‘i Island are zoned agricultural, and are not serviced by public utilities; and

WHEREAS, Hawai‘i Island is blessed with a mild climate and in many rural areas there is no need for insulation, artificial heating and cooling, and the construction materials associated with said construction; and

WHEREAS, according to the Hawai‘i County Integrated Resource and Solid Waste Management Plan, lumber accounts for 10% or more of materials disposed of in Hawai‘i County’s landfills; and

WHEREAS, the Hawai‘i County Integrated Resource and Solid Waste Management Plan commits Hawai‘i County to diverting resources from its two landfills; and

WHEREAS, the first goal of the County of Hawai‘i Agriculture Development Plan is to expand Hawai‘i Island food production so that 30% of its residents’ demands for food can be supplied by local producers by 2020; and

WHEREAS, establishment and occupation of owner-built sustainable habitat on agricultural land increases food production on that land, contributing to island-wide food sufficiency goals; and

WHEREAS, self-reliance, resource sharing, neighborly cooperation, and community living are a vital part of economic livelihood, including building construction, in Hawai‘i Island’s rural areas; and

WHEREAS, in 2005 the State of Hawai‘i enacted Act 8 which provided for the development of a sustainability plan to address the vital needs of Hawai‘i through the year 2050 and established the Hawai‘i 2050 Sustainability Task Force to review the Hawai‘i State Plan and the State’s comprehensive planning system; and

WHEREAS, the Task Force’s first priority is to modify, correct, and improve upon the nine benchmarks that are intended to initiate discussion.  First among these benchmarks is to increase affordable housing opportunities for households up to 140% of median income; and

WHEREAS, alternative rural building codes have been successfully passed in other jurisdictions in the United States; now therefore;

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE COUNTY OF HAWAI‘I that it requests the Hawai‘i County Department of Public Works to co-operate with the Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance to establish minimum requirements for owners and occupants of limited density rural dwellings and appurtenant structures in support of a forthcoming Sustainable Habitat Ordinance.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this resolution shall be transmitted to the Director, County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works and Mr. Graham Ellis, Chair, Hawai‘i Sustainable Community Alliance.

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HSCA Position – Bill 270

TO: County of Hawaii Council Members

FROM:  Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance  (representing over 200 members)

The population of  Hawaii  County is one of the most economically and culturally diverse of any county in the USA yet we have only one Building Code based upon the erroneous assumption that “one size will work for all”.  Other  mainland Counties have adopted  optional alternative building codes that have proved successful in maintaining health and safety standards while allowing for diversity in construction methods and materials.

Our Alliance proposes that an amendment be attached to Bill #270 requiring our County Administration to adopt an optional alternative building code within one year.

The County of Hawaii presently has many thousands of residents living in non-compliant homes. These people are not in financial stress due to mortgages in a time when so many other people are in danger of losing their homes due to the rising numbers of bank foreclosures the recession continues to create.

Residents living in non-compliant homes are mostly homesteaders, financing their own construction sustainably, in a traditional fashion, that needs to be supported. The County needs to creatively find ways to bring these homeowners into legal compliance without increasing the risks of homelessness.

Our Alliance requests the removal of Page 19. Section 5-61. Criminal prosecution.  If passed this will make criminals out of otherwise law abiding citizens presently living in unpermitted or unfinaled homes.

Section 5-60, Administrative enforcement., and section. 5-62 Injunctive action., are available at present and are sufficient for the purposes intended.

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Sonoma County California – Limited Density Owner Built Rural Dwellings

Sonoma County, California, Code of Ordinances >>

CHAPTER 7A – REGULATIONS FOR LIMITED DENSITY OWNER-BUILT RURAL DWELLINGS >>

Sec. 7A-1. – Title.

This section shall be known and may be cited as the Regulations for Limited Density Owner-Built Rural Dwellings.

(Ord. No. 2875.).

Sec. 7A-2. – Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide minimum requirements for the protection of life, limb, health, property, safety, and welfare of the general public and the owners and occupants of limited density owner-built rural dwellings and appurtenant structures.

(Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-3. – Intent and application.

The provisions of this chapter shall apply to the lawful construction, enlargement, conversion, alteration, repair, use, maintenance, and occupancy of limited density owner-built rural dwellings and appurtenant structures.

It is the intent of this chapter that the requirements contained herein shall apply to seasonally or permanently occupied dwellings, hunting shelters, guest cottages, private vacation homes and recreational shelters located in rural areas. The intent of this chapter shall not apply to transient vacation rentals.

Owner-built rural dwellings shall be permitted only in conformance with the allowable general plan residential density on parcels of at least twenty (20) acres in size which parcels are designated in the Sonoma County General Plan as RRD, LEA, LIA, or DA. Construction shall be limited to one (1) rural dwelling unit per legally established parcel of land.

(Ord. No. 5904, § II, 11-2-2010; Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-4. – Existing buildings.

The provisions of this chapter regulating the erection and lawful construction of dwellings and appurtenant structures shall not apply to existing structures as to which lawful construction is commenced or approved prior to the effective date of this chapter. Requirements relating to use, maintenance, and occupancy shall apply to all dwellings and appurtenant structures approved for construction or constructed before or after the effective date of this chapter.

Existing structures shall be issued a certificate of occupancy by the building inspection department upon meeting the requirements of this section.

(Ord. No. 5904, § II, 11-2-2010; Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-5. – Amendments to insure compliance.

For the purposes of this chapter the sale, lease, renting or employee occupancy of owner-built structures shall not occur within three (3) years of the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.

(Ord. No. 5904, § II, 11-2-2010; Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-6. – Abatement of substandard buildings.

All structures or portions thereof which are determined by the enforcing agency to constitute a substandard building shall be declared to be a public nuisance and shall be abated by repair, rehabilitation, or removal in accordance with Sonoma County Code, Chapter 1, Section 1-7.1, and Health and Safety Code Sections l7980 through 17995. In cases of extreme hardship to owner-occupants of the dwellings, the appropriate local body should provide for deferral of the effective date of orders of abatement.

(Ord. No. 5904, § II, 11-2-2010; Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-7. – Board of appeals for limited density owner-built dwelling regulations.

Requirements for the board of appeals and the appeal process shall be consistent with Chapter 7, Section 7-3 and 7-4 of the Sonoma County Code.

(Ord. No. 5904, § II, 11-2-2010; Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-8. – Recordation of owner-built rural dwelling.

The building inspection department shall record with the county recorder a “certificate of occupancy” for limited density owner-built rural dwelling upon approval of final inspection.

(Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-9. – Constitutional and statutory validity.

It is the express purpose of this chapter to conform the regulations regarding the construction and use of limited density rural owner-built dwellings and appurtenant structures to the requirements of Article 1, Section 1, of the California State Constitution, and the statutes of the State of California. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, or phrase of this chapter is, for any reason, held to be unconstitutional or contrary to California statutes, such ruling shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter.

(Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-10. – Violations.

The critical concern in the promulgation of this chapter is to provide for health and safety while maintaining respect for the law and voluntary compliance with the provisions of this chapter, and therefore, in the event that an order to correct a substandard condition is ignored, it is the intent of this section that civil abatement procedures should be the first remedy pursued by the enforcement agency.

(Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-11. – Permits.

Permits shall be required for the construction of rural dwellings and appurtenant structures.

Exemptions: Permits shall not be required for small or unimportant work, or alterations or repairs that do not present a health or safety hazard, and which are in conformance with local zoning requirements or property standards. For the purposes of this exemption, small or unimportant work shall be that which meets the criteria for an “A-BLD” permit.

(Ord. No. 5904, § II, 11-2-2010; Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-12. – Issuance.

The application, plans, and other data filed by an applicant for a permit shall be reviewed by the appropriate enforcement agency to verify compliance with the provisions of this article. Where the enforcement agency determines that the permit applications and other data indicates that the structure(s) will comply with the provisions of this article, the agency shall issue a permit therefore to the applicant.

(Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-13. – Application.

To obtain a permit, the applicant shall first file an application therefore with the designated enforcement agency. Permit applications shall contain the following information: (1) name and mailing address of the applicant; (2) address and location of the proposed structure(s); (3) a general description of the structure(s) which shall include mechanical installations with all clearances and venting procedures detailed, electrical installations, foundation, structural, and construction details; (4) a plot plan indicating the location of the dwelling in relation to property lines, other structures, sanitation and bathing facilities, water resources, and water ways; (5) approval for the installation of a private sewage disposal system or alternate waste disposal means from the permit and resource management department; (6) a stipulation by the applicant that the building or structure is to be owner-built; (7) the signature of the owner or authorized agent; (8) the use or occupancy for which the work is intended; (9) and any other data or information as may be required by statute or regulation.

(Ord. No. 5904, § II, 11-2-2010; Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-14. – Plans.

Plans shall consist of a general description of the structure(s), including all necessary information to facilitate a reasonable judgment of conformance by the enforcing agency. This may include a simplified diagram of the floor plan, structural cross-section and site elevation in order to determine the appropriate dimensions of structural members. Architectural drawings and structural analyses shall not be required except for structures of complex design, or non-conventional construction, or unusual conditions for which the enforcement agency cannot make a reasonable judgment of conformance to this chapter based upon the general description and simplified plan(s).

(Ord. No. 5904, § II, 11-2-2010; Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-15. – Waiver of plans.

The enforcement agency may waive the submission of any plans if the agency finds that the nature of the work applied for is such that the reviewing of plans is not necessary to obtain compliance with this chapter.

(Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-16. – Modifications.

Modifications to the design, materials, and methods of construction are permitted, provided that the structural integrity of the building or structure is maintained, the building continues to conform to the provisions of this chapter and the enforcement agency is notified in writing of the proposed modification. The determination of structural integrity and conformance of the proposed modifications to the provisions of this chapter shall be made by the Chief Building Official.

(Ord. No. 5904, § II, 11-2-2010; Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-17. – Permit validity.

Permits shall be valid, without renewal, for a minimum period of three (3) years.

(Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-18. – Inspections.

All construction or work for which a permit is required shall be subject to inspection by the designated enforcement agency in conformance with Chapter 1, Section 109 of the California Building Code.

(Ord. No. 5904, § II, 11-2-2010; Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-19. – Required inspections.

Inspections of the building or structure(s) shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 1, Section 109.3 of the 2010 California Building Code for minimum inspection requirements to determine compliance with the provisions of this chapter.

(Ord. No. 5904, § II, 11-2-2010; Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-20. – Special inspections.

Special inspections shall be in accordance with Chapter 17 of the California Building Code.

(Ord. No. 5904, § II, 11-2-2010; Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-21. – Inspection waivers.

Inspections for electrical, mechanical or plumbing installations may be waived by the enforcement agency for structures which do not contain electrical, mechanical, or plumbing installations, or for alterations, additions, modifications or repairs that do not involve electrical, mechanical, or plumbing installations.

(Ord. No. 5904, § II, 11-2-2010; Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-22. – Inspection requests and notice.

It shall be the duty of the applicant to notify the enforcement agency that the construction is ready for inspection and to provide access to the premises. Inspections shall be requested by the applicant at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance of the intended inspection. Inspections shall be performed on the next business day after the request has been received.

(Ord. No. 5904, § II, 11-2-2010; Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-23. – Certificate of occupancy.

After the structure(s) is completed for occupancy and any inspections which have been required by the enforcing agency have been conducted, and work approved, the enforcement agency shall issue a certificate of occupancy for such dwelling(s) and appurtenant structure(s) which comply with the provisions of this chapter.

(Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-24. – Temporary occupancy.

The use and occupancy of a portion or portions of a dwelling or appurtenant structure prior to the completion of the entire structure shall be allowed when approved by the chief building official, and provided that approved sanitary facilities are available at the site, and that the work completed does not create any condition to an extent that endangers life, health, or safety of the public or occupants. The occupants of any such uncompleted structure shall assume sole responsibility for the occupancy of the structure or portion thereof.

(Ord. No. 5904, § II, 11-2-2010; Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-25. – Fees.

Fees may be required and collected by the enforcement agency to provide for the cost of administering the provisions of this chapter. It is the intent of this chapter that permit and inspection fee schedules be established to reflect the actual inspection and administrative cost resulting from the application of this chapter.

(Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-26. – Definitions.

1.

Enforcing/enforcement agency. “Enforcing or enforcement agency” shall mean the permit and resource management department, unless otherwise specifically noted.

2.

California Model Codes. “California Model Codes” shall mean state regulations that govern the design and construction of buildings, associated facilities and equipment, known as “building standards,” and in particular, Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations, Parts 1-12, as adopted by the California Building Standards Commission.

3.

Conventional construction. “Conventional construction” shall mean structures of simple design and construction with no unusual conditions that conform with Chapter 23 of the California Building Code.

4.

Graywater. “Graywater” shall include all domestic waste water obtained from the drainage of showers, bathtubs, lavatories, and laundry facilities, exclusive of kitchen sinks, toilets, bidets, dishwashers, or any waste water utilized for the transport and disposal of body eliminations.

5.

Limited density rural dwelling. “Limited density rural dwelling” is any structure consisting of one (1) or more habitable rooms intended or designed to be occupied by one (1) family with facilities for living and sleeping, with use restricted to rural areas that fulfills the requirements of this chapter.

6.

Non-conventional construction. “Non-conventional construction” shall mean structures of complex design and construction which may contain unusual conditions, as determined by the chief building official, and do not conform with the conventional construction requirements of Chapter 23 of the California Building Code.

7.

Owner-built.

(a)

“Owner-built” shall mean constructed by any person or family who acts as the general contractor for, or as the provider of part or all of the labor necessary to build housing to be occupied as the principal residence of that person or family, and not intended for sale, lease, rent or employee occupancy.

(b)

For the purposes of this chapter, the sale, lease, renting or employee occupancy of owner-built structures shall not occur within three (3) years of the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.

8.

Rural. For the purposes of this chapter only, “rural” shall mean those unincorporated areas of counties designated and zoned by the enforcing agency for the application of this chapter. Suitable areas may include those wherein the predominant land usage is agricultural and undeveloped.

9.

Sound structural condition. A structure shall be considered to be in “sound structural condition” when it is constructed and maintained in substantial conformance with the California Model Codes, accepted construction principles, or performance criteria (engineering analysis) which provide minimum requirements for the stressing of structural members; footing sizes when related to major load-bearing points; proper support of load-bearing members; nailing schedules where essential to general structural integrity; and provisions for adequate egress, ventilation, sanitation, and fire safety. Conditions which would not render a structure unsound are; ceiling heights, size or arrangement of rooms, heating, plumbing, and electrification requirements, alternative materials, appliances or facilities, or methods of construction, or building designs that perform to protect health and safety for the application and purpose intended, and any other provisions of this chapter regulating the construction, use and occupancy of dwellings and appurtenant structures.

10.

Substandard building. A “substandard building” is a structure or portion thereof in which there exists any hazardous condition, as determined by the chief building official, to an extent that endangers the life, limb, health, or safety of the occupants. Except as amended by the provisions of this chapter, Health and Safety Code Section 17920.3 shall be the determining criteria for compliance with the standards of this chapter and the defining of a substandard building.

(Ord. No. 5904, § II, 11-2-2010; Ord. No. 4906, § 4(A), 1995; Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-27. – General requirements.

Each structure shall be constructed and maintained in a sound structural condition to be safe and sanitary, and to shelter the occupants from the elements.

(Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-28. – Intent of general requirements.

It shall be the purpose and intent of this chapter to permit the use of ingenuity and preferences of the builder, and to allow and facilitate the use of alternatives to the specifications prescribed by the California Model Codes to the extent that a reasonable degree of health and safety is provided by such alternatives, and that the materials, methods of construction, and structural integrity of the structure shall perform in application for the purpose intended. To provide for the application of this chapter, it shall be necessary for the enforcement agency to determine the compliance of appropriate structures with the general and specific requirements of this article.

(Ord. No. 5904, § II, 11-2-2010; Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-29. – California Model Codes to be a basis of approval.

Except as otherwise required by this chapter, dwellings and appurtenant structures constructed pursuant to this part shall conform with the latest applicable editions of the California Building, Residential, Electrical, Plumbing, Mechanical, Energy, Fire and Green Building Standards Codes. Such codes shall be a basis for approval.

(Ord. No. 5904, § II, 11-2-2010; Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-30. – Construction requirements.

1.

Structural requirements. Buildings or structures constructed pursuant to this chapter may be of any type of construction which will provide for a sound structural condition. Structural hazards which result in an unsound condition and which may constitute a substandard building are delineated by Section 1001(c), Uniform Housing Code (most recent edition).

2.

Foundations. Pier foundations, stone masonry footings and foundations, pressure treated lumber, poles, or equivalent foundation materials or designs may be used provided that the bearing and lateral stability as documented by engineering analysis, is sufficient for the purpose intended.

3.

Materials. Owner-produced or used materials and appliances may be utilized unless found not to be of sufficient strength or durability to perform the intended function; owner-produced and/or used lumber that has been graded, or shakes and shingles may be utilized unless found to contain dry rot, excessive splitting, or other defects obviously rendering the material unfit in strength or durability for the intended purpose.

4.

Mechanical requirements. Heating and cooking appliances and gas piping installed in buildings constructed pursuant to this chapter shall be installed and vented in accordance with the requirements of the latest applicable editions of the California Mechanical and Plumbing Codes. Alternate materials and methods of venting shall be permitted if substantially equivalent in safety and durability. The latest edition of the various codes shall apply.

5.

Heating capacity. When a heating facility or appliance is installed, it shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter; however, there shall be no specified requirement for heating capacity or temperature maintenance. The use of a solid fuel or solar heating device may be deemed as complying with the requirements of this section. Conditioned space shall be in accordance with the requirements of the latest applicable edition of the California Energy Code. Wood burning appliances shall be in conformance with Chapter 7C of the Sonoma County Code.

6.

Electrical requirements. No dwelling or appurtenant structure constructed pursuant to this chapter shall be required to be connected to a source of electrical power, or wired, or otherwise fitted for electrification, except as set forth below in Section 7A-30(7) of this section.

7.

Installation requirements. Where electrical wiring or appliances are installed, they shall be installed in accordance with the provisions of the latest applicable edition of the California Electrical Code.

Exceptions to installation requirements. In structures where electrical usage is confined to one (1) or more rooms of a structure, the remainder of the structure shall not be required to be wired or otherwise fitted for electrification unless the enforcement agency determines otherwise for conformance to this chapter.

It is the intent of this subsection to apply to buildings in which there exists a workshop, kitchen, or other single room which may require electrification, and where there is no expectation of further electrical demand.

Service limit. The main service equipment shall be limited in size to the intended load capacity of the installed electrical facilities.

8.

Room requirements. There shall be no requirements for room dimensions provided that there is adequate light and ventilation and adequate means of egress in conformance with the latest applicable editions of the California Model Codes. In single family dwellings not exceeding two (2) stories in height where, due to the location or to the surrounding terrain, emergency rescue from the exterior is not feasible, egress windows from sleeping spaces may be omitted when an additional doorway or an approved exit escape hatch is provided for egress from such rooms. The doorways provided shall open directly to the exterior of the building or shall open onto corridors or passageways which lead to individual exterior exits. The corridors or passageways provided shall not cross nor shall they follow the same route in whole or in part of the building exterior. Approved exit escape hatches shall be installed in accordance with the terms of their approval.

Exception: Openable windows or exterior doors for emergency egress or rescue from sleeping rooms of a single-family dwelling may be omitted when such rooms are located on a mezzanine floor or loft area which is at least fifty (50) percent open to the floor below. Such mezzanine or loft area shall have at least two (2) means of evacuation acceptable to the enforcing authority and may include stairways, ladders, escape hatches, or any other design or arrangement which will allow egress in the event of an emergency.

(Ord. No. 5904, § II, 11-2-2010; Ord. No. 275.)

Sec. 7A-31. – Sanitation requirements.

Sanitation facilities, including the type, design, and number of facilities, as required and approved by the chief building official of permit and resources management department, shall be provided to the dwelling sites. It shall not be required that such facilities be located within the dwelling.

(Ord. No. 5904, § II, 11-2-2010; Ord. No. 4906, § 4(B) (part), 1995; Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-32. – Plumbing specifications.

Where conventional plumbing, in all or in part, is installed within the structure, it shall be installed in accordance with the latest applicable edition of the California Plumbing Code. Alternative materials and methods shall be permitted provided that the design complies with the intent of the code, and that such alternatives shall perform to protect health and safety for the intended purpose.

(Ord. No. 5904, § II, 11-2-2010; Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-33. – Sanitation facilities.

A water closet shall not be required when an alternate system is provided and has been approved by the chief building official of permit and resources management department. Where an alternative to the water closet is installed, a system for the disposal or treatment of waste water shall be provided to the dwelling. Graywater systems shall be designed according to water availability, use and discharge in accordance with Ch. 16A of the latest applicable edition of the California Plumbing Code.

A bathtub or shower and a lavatory, or alternate bathing and washing facility approved by the chief building official of permit and resources management department, shall be provided to the dwelling site.

(Ord. No. 5904, § II, 11-2-2010; Ord. No. 4906, § 4(B) (part), 1995; Ord. No. 2875.)

Sec. 7A-34. – Domestic water supply.

a.

Domestic water supply shall be available on the dwelling site, although such water need not be pressurized. Where water delivery is pressurized, appropriate piping shall be installed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Quantity of water shall be in accordance with Chapter 7, Section 7-12 of the Sonoma County Code.

b.

Supply for fire fighting. A minimum storage of two thousand five hundred (2,500) gallons shall be available. Storage may be in tanks, swimming pools, ponds or other similar storage facilities.

c.

Where pressurized water delivery system is incorporated into a structure greater than six hundred forty (640) square feet, and are located a minimum of one hundred (100) feet from all other buildings, fire sprinklers shall be installed. An automatic fire sprinkler system shall be also be required when additions or alterations are made to existing limited density owner-built rural dwellings in accordance with Sonoma County Code Section 7-13(A)(34) Table 903.2

(Ord. No. 5904, § II, 11-2-2010; Ord. No. 4906, § 4(B) (part), 1995; Ord. No. 2875.)

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