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Old 07-04-2012, 12:37 PM   #1
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HELP! Living in a Skoolie within city limits-- advice?

Greetings Skoolie users--


My partner and I have a handsomely converted '97 International. We've roved around the country, from Maine to New Mexico, to Colorado, and now to Portland, OR. We've settled into a fantastic spot following a lead of homeowners interested in having backyard caretakers, set up shop, studio, and employment here.

Unfortunately, one of those "not busy enough" neighbors has found it so unnerving that we are dwelling in a vehicle that she's called the city code inspectors to serve us with a 30 Day notice to cease living in the vehicle.

I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with city ordinances that prohibit "living" in a vehicle. There are ways to circumvent the definition of "living" - but despite having a secluded yard and all immediate neighbors being very much into us and our scenario, it seems like we're up against a bonafide ordinance re: "accessory structures". We're scrambling now to not have to uproot from this spot where we've finally felt committed to build community, stay for a spell, and work on our projects and occupations.

Please help if you know of loopholes, advice, anecdotes or any other methods to address this quandary!

Many thanks,
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:10 AM   #2
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Re: HELP! Living in a Skoolie within city limits-- advice?

that is the way multnomah and clackamas counties are... ya gotta be in the right zoned area or they will make you move, and if ya don't they will remove the bus, after making ya get out..
no way would i live there...
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:49 AM   #3
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Re: HELP! Living in a Skoolie within city limits-- advice?

Sometimes you best source of info can come from those doing the kicking you out.
Talk with the/a LEO in the area.
Check with the city to find out what codes are being broken, maybe time limits on staying in one spot etc.
Ask for and extension to fine a suitable place to park the bus.
Possible find and RV Park for short time setup until better arrangements can be made?
Is it titled as a bus or RV/MH?

Best of luck,
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:10 PM   #4
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Re: HELP! Living in a Skoolie within city limits-- advice?

If it is licensed as and RV, can they really do anything about it? are you not VISITING people??
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:24 PM   #5
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Re: HELP! Living in a Skoolie within city limits-- advice?

You are up against Code Enforcement. Many communities do not allow living in an RV in a residential area except for loading /unloading (and sometimes not even that). the people whom you are house sitting for should have checked that out. You need to talk to them. If you are illegal, it's their fault. If they got approval from someone, you need to know whom and contact them. In the meantime, you can either stay and risk arrest and your bus getting impounded (not my choice) or shift into a campground/RV Park/Mobile Home Park.

Only other thing I can suggest is to contact Escapees to see if they have dealt with this area before. As housesitters, I don't think you have any leg to stand on.
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:40 PM   #6
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Re: HELP! Living in a Skoolie within city limits-- advice?

Thanks all, so far...

Our vehicle *is* a registered motorhome, (in)conveniently in the faraway state of Maine.
Technically having the vehicle there isn't a problem, it's the hookups. We're not even using 120v/220v large-size hookups, just extension cords to house wiring and a hose for our sink.

These things constitute living a vehicle, which is the prohibitive part. We're going to attempt to dub our bus a 'work space' but unfortunately that might imply a perpetual paranoia of aforementioned complaining neighbor. We are trying to finesse a rebuttal to her outlandish claims, which included us "using the bathroom in the compost" (??!). That gives a portrait of whom we're up against, and with luck the city could share our opinion if we play our cards right. We're actually here beautifying, garden-ifying, and caretaking a second lot on our friend's property: so even 'visiting' doesn't cut it necessarily, but "work studio" seems the best option.

Mostly, we're interested in anyone's ability to confront/appeal/parry ordinance trouble. Seems doubtful without the paranoia ingredient. Le sigh!

Thanks for your replies, and of course future solutions
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