Code of the country

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by cast iron, Mar 13, 2005.

  1. cast iron

    cast iron Well-Known Member

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    I watched an interesting show last night on the tube. It was a local show that travels around WA state and highlights different areas of the state. Last night they were in Spokane county WA. The subject of the show was the increasing friction seen when suburbanites move to the rural areas.

    We've talked about it here off and on. Suburban family buys some acreage out in the country, and finds their expectations are not in line with country living... too noisy, smelly farm animals, unpaved roads etc. Apparently the rural areas of this county are experiencing the same thing. They interviewed two people who had moved to the country and were upset with how things were. They complained of the roosters going off at all times of the day and night. Complained about the smell of the neighbors alpaca's (or something like that). The man was particularly upset that the road was not paved and smooth.

    Unfortunately I didn't get to hear the whole program (had the sound muted for part of it) but apparently the county has published, "Spokane county" "Code of the Country". This booklet has codes that talk about what its like to live in the country. They showed some passages from the code book, like something to the effect that farm animals make noise and it is a common occurrence in the country. Another one they showed said something to the effect that gravel roads are the norm in many parts of the rural areas and will not be paved.

    Near as I could tell, these were actual enforceable codes with the typical code numbering scheme you often see. In fact they made a point about the guy who was mad about the gravel road leading to his house. He has apparently made many attempts to get the road paved over, but he keeps hitting a road block with these "country codes". They won't let him (or the county) mess with the road because it is "per code".

    They also interviewed the couple that owned the local hardware/feed store. This couple said they had to bite their lip when the new residents would come in and complain about country stuff. Apparently they get lots of complaints about country living from the new folks who come in the store.

    There was some sort of movement under way to issue this code book to potential new property owners. Not sure exactly how they planned to do that, but the point was to let people know what they would be getting into. What surprised me even more was the county official they interviewed was all for the idea. She said that doing this may cut down on the number of complaints the county gets about these issues.

    Wayne
     
  2. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A _great_ idea, I've heard of that type of thing in Colorado counties as well, and many rural areas are not publishing an enforcable deal, but a few pages of expectations & how things are here & now - take it or leave it. Most couties around these parts are setting up land use as agriculture first, unless annexed by a town/ city.

    Townships & counties really get hammered by these things, and that ultimately hammers a farmer. Proerty taxes pay for these things, which is something that fool on the gavel road likely will never get through his head. If (all for example) he owns 5 acres, he will be assessed $5 an acre for his tar road. The rest of the farmers in his township or county will aslo be assesed $5 an acre - or $25. His tar road - of no use to me - would cost me $1000. It would cost my neighbors farming 1000 acres $5000.

    Rural government bodies _need_ to be protected from uch foolish people. I applude them.

    Why are you surprised by it?

    --->Paul
     

  3. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    I was LMAO earlier today when I heard that a guy from California paid $390,000 for 300 acres in the area. I paid $8,000 for 41 acres a few years ago. Granted the acreage I bought didn't have a house. The buyer's planning on removing a hilltop to build an aircraft landing strip. Apparently the guy is so stupid that he not only got ripped on the price but he also neglected to notice that the county bridge into that area probably won't support the transport of the heavy equipment he needs for the earth work. Because of the approach you'll never get a lowboy anywhere near the bridge much less across it. A local guy moved a small to medium sized excavator over that bridge last fall and the whole bridge shifted sideways. The piles supporting the bridge are partially rotted.

    Besides that, the bridge is frequently impassible when the river floods. The river actually flows over the bridge at higher levels.

    Welcome to rural West Virginia ... sucker.
     
  4. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Over here on the wet side, Skagit County actually has a "Right to Farm" document that potential rural property owners have to read and sign. From what I hear, it's really cut down on the nuisance law suits people used to bring against farmers for *gasp* running their tractors on Sunday and the like.
     
  5. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I like "Right to Farm" as a term better than "Code of the country" because here in England the "Code of the countrySIDE" is rules (posted at starts of paths etc) about not littering, closing gates that were closed as you enter them, leashing dogs when livestock are around, etc. esp. for walkers/ramblers who follow ancient right of way paths through farmers' fields. It's quite odd raised summers on Grandparents' farm ("Watch out for the bull!") to hike through a field of CATTLE- I can see sheep will never endanger me (well actually I had a ram once...) but I wonder if farmers here worry about not putting the bull etc in the field on the weekend.... Livestock here in such small fields are used to people and the sheep usually come up to see if you're the shepherd with a treat. I have read farmers here commenting about idiots who're walking on the paths advising them something's wrong with their cow- she has HORNS and only bulls should etc.
     
  6. cast iron

    cast iron Well-Known Member

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    I'll be darned, I had never heard of this type of thing before seeing this show. I think it's a really great idea. The whole farm equipment thing was another area they highlighted in this code. Something to the effect of "farmers often start their days very early in the morning, and often work both Saturday and Sunday. It's not unusual to hear the sounds of farm equipment at any/all times of the day in rural areas".
     
  7. cast iron

    cast iron Well-Known Member

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    I agree Paul, I think it is a good idea. The reason I was pleasantly surprised is that the county official backed the idea. The politicians in my area would be frothing at the mouth to attract new residents (increase the tax base), even if it meant "misrepresenting" what the area is like. I have no doubt they would be opposed to this type of thing because they fear it would dissuade some people from buying in the area.

    Wayne
     
  8. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    Several areas here in Michigan have booklets that the real estate people pass out to people from the cities looking at rural property. It includes smells, sounds, and farm equipment etc.

    I do think it is rather hard for some of us who have lived in the country all our lives to live with what farming has become for many. The factory farms around us put out a smell that was never part of my life before. We have one a couple of miles from us that runs the huge grain dryer 24/7 for months as they have workers working in shifts.
     
  9. ThreeJane

    ThreeJane Me Love Your Face

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    I keep seeing the same stuff over here in North Idaho.

    Case in point - last summer, some woman from Marin, CA, made a big stink (and, IIRC, a lawsuit) because farmers in Rathdrum burn their fields to get rid of the stubble.

    She alleged it contributed majorly to the death of a person with asthma and other breathing problems.

    She conveniently forgot that the farmers have about a week to burn, whereas most of the year, people burn their slash and no one complains. Not to mention the woodstoves.

    Also - the "Coalition to Save Canfield Mountain". Seems there's a guy who owns 80 acres up on the mountain, on the side that faces Coeur d'Alene, wanted to put 20 or so houses on his acreage. Group gets together and somehow stops him. Then he says he'll make a park on the mountain, open to all - but wants to put some houses on the acreage. No, no, no, the group screams. So he tries again, saying, "Hey, I'll put a PRIVATE park up there, only for the use of the houses."

    No, no, no, they scream. One woman interviewed on local TV said, "I moved up here from California so I don't have to see that kind of expansion going on."

    Yes, dear, then move to Elmira or Moyie Springs. Progress is inevitable. You choose to live pretty much IN the city, you're going to see expansion.

    So what's the property owner doing? He's clearcutting all 80 acres of his property, which he has every right to do. Apparently he needs to make SOME money off the property. the Coalition is trying to stop him from doing that too.

    Then people complain about the dust because something like 80% of the roads here are unpaved. And they don't like the cattle smells. And the roosters make too much noise. And people are *gasp* cutting down their timber for money.

    Argh.
     
  10. BackwoodsIdaho

    BackwoodsIdaho Well-Known Member

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    The other person that made a big stink about the grass burning and donated several $100,000 to the lawsuit to stop the burning was Dennis Pence, the founder of Coldwater Creek and a easterner transplant. Boycott Coldwater Creek, the evil empire.
     
  11. ThreeJane

    ThreeJane Me Love Your Face

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    I understand there used to be quite a neat little farmer's market action on the Cedar Street Bridge before CC took it and turned it into a mini-CC mall.

    *sigh*

    I buy most of my clothes (and my kids' clothes) at thrift shops. I can't afford chi-chi clothes like Coldwater Creek. Something about my puritanical soul just screams in horror at the thought of paying $75 for a skirt. :)
     
  12. BackwoodsIdaho

    BackwoodsIdaho Well-Known Member

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    i worked at that god forsaken hell hole when I first arrived in Sandpoint. They are a bad place to work and bad north idaho citizen.
     
  13. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    Same S***, different side o' the country. What surprises me is that people move here to be "in the country" without pausing to consider that the cows (or sheep in my case) aren't cardboard cutouts. They move. They make noise. They (eep!) POOP! No sh**, if you'll pardon the pun.

    And yet I get asked all the time if people can bring their kids by to see the sheep. I'm sort of the agrarian answer to disney world. Go figure.

    Truth be told, I hold out much hope not for the first generation, but for the second. If we can keep the kids from looking down on "farm kids" (something which was endemic when I was a kid) and instead have them convinced that farm kids are the luckiest kids on the planet, there is much hope for things 10-15 years out.

    Make a great effort to make your kids look romantic and like they've got the greatest lives ever. Invite the city kids over to play in the barn... NOTHING, but nothing, beats the first time you ride a rope swing through a hayloft and at the apex of the arc let go... to fall seemingly forever through the dusty air into the hay.

    And really, if you don't have to do it... haying is fun. Feeding animals is fun. Even mucking out is fun.

    Invite the kids over. Ignore the adults. Corrupt the kids.

    ;-)
     
  14. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

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    :haha:

    MorrisonCorner, you got it right! I've heard several town kids tell my kids how lucky they are being homeschooled on a farm!

    Our young visitors get to collect eggs, play with chicks and ducklings, snuggle a bunny, attempt to rope a goat, play with goat kids and ride a horse. They can stuff themselves with berries right off the canes. They love building bonfires where we are clearing for pasture so they can roast weinies and marshmallows. I like having them because they LIKE digging holes to plant fruit trees and they love shoveling poop.