3 Shocking Ways Off-Grid Living Is Slowly Being Banned In America (And Canada)
Off-grid living is slowly and methodically being regulated out of existence by many local governments throughout the United States and Canada, an Off The Grid News analysis has found.
Although there certainly are places where living off the gird is perfectly legal, there also are quite a few locations in America and Canada where zoning regulations, building codes and other local ordinances are driving those who wish to live off the grid out of many communities.
OTGN examined laws and news stories from across North America and discovered glaring examples of government regulation:
1. Livestock regulations.
The city of Visalia, California, threatened Gingi Freeman with a $1,000-a-day fine for keeping two Nigerian Dwarf Goats – which are the size of small or medium-sized dogs — in her yard. Freeman used the goats to provide milk for her babies. The mother of two is unable to produce breast milk because of surgery she had as a teenager.
“My only options were to use formula or get breast milk from donors. There have been a couple times where we ran out of breast milk donations,” Freeman said.
Elsewhere, animal control officers seized three pygmy goats and six chickens from Dave and Sky Brown’s urban farm in the largely deserted Riverdale, Michigan, neighborhood in 2014. The officers were accompanied by police.
The animals were taken in an effort to enforce an ordinance against unlawful farm animals. At the time of the seizure, Sky Brown was worried that the animals could be killed by authorities.
The Browns were particularly upset because an animal control officer used a net to catch the chickens before they were put in crates and taken away.
“There are gun shots every night,” Brown wrote of her neighborhood. “There are meth addicts blowing up houses within blocks of us, and the city of Detroit finds it more relevant to rip screaming pets out of the hands of their devastated owners.”
The action will “effectively remove Right to Farm Act protection for many urban and suburban backyard farmers raising small numbers of animals,” Gail Philbin of the Michigan Sierra Club told Michigan Live. The Right to Farm Act is a state law that protects farmers from nuisance lawsuits and zoning regulations.Disturbingly, it could be illegal to keep livestock even on rural property in some parts of Michigan. The state’s Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development ruled in 2014 that local governments have the right to ban livestockfrom any area zoned residential. That would include subdivisions outside the city limits.