Okay, so I really enjoyed this video from Small House Society on how he dealt with the Iowa City code enforcement for 6 years– even though his city specified that he could only live in his structure for 30 days out of the year!  My town has a similar ordinance when it comes to temporary dwelling units (like tiny houses on wheels).


First, if you haven't watched the video, here it is:
It's 18 minutes long, but definitely worth a thorough watching. There's some good advice on how to deal with housing codes, plus how to do the research you'll need to find out what the deal is in your town.  I left a comment on the video and got a very good piece of advice in response.  Here's what I said:


Very interesting. I'm planning on building a Tumblweed Fencl in Northern VT, and the housing code where I'm planning to build has a similar ordinance. It appears that my tiny house would be considered a camper, and therefore not in compliance to live in it for more than 30 days in a 12 month period. I think my strategy is going to be simply not dealing with the city unless they come to me.


And the response:


I think the real key to success with this is two-fold. (1) Build the home somewhere else to avoid the construction noise and debris that might upset neighbors. (2) Let your immediate neighbors know what's going on and test the water to make sure they are okay with it. I think it's fair to refer to these tiny homes as guest homes or studios. In that respect, I don't think anyone really cares. People have had backyard studios and work-sheds for years without any problem.


This makes me even happier about being offered my uncle's airplane hangar to work in.  Having an indoor space with a level concrete floor, flood lighting, and reliable electricity is really going to help speed up the project.  Plus I won't piss anybody in the neighborhood off with construction noises.