US Marine Kicked Out of Home for Living Off Grid

US Marine Kicked Out of Home for Living Off Grid

Tyler Truitt takes a stand against the city of Huntsville to defend his right to live off the grid.

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A US Marine Corps Veteran had his property condemned by the City of Huntsville for living off grid.

He is now fighting city hall to stand up for his right to live on his two acres of land in a self sufficient manner.

The property owner, Tyler Truitt, said this issue is about his rights under the US Constitution, which he took an oath to uphold and protect.

“Give people the most freedom and liberty as possible without infringing on anyone else’s rights. I just don’t see how we are hurting anyone by being here”.

Truitt and his girlfriend Soraya Hamar are currently refusing to leave the property and the city is threatening to arrest them! Truitt says he will come back every day and they can arrest him over and over, because this is his home and he has a right to be there.

They live on the land 100% off the grid. They use 550 gallons of rain water collection, a composting toilet, and solar panels instead of municipal utilities. The home was structurally sound, but condemned because he is not using city utilities.

There is currently a gofundme to raise money to support the couple and their efforts to live off the grid. As of this moment they have raised $510 of their $10k goal. Please comment here if you decide to donate so we can let him know! You can also follow the fight on facebook by liking this page.

Watch the original news piece here:

His support team has notified our blog that he will be making a video update to this story today or tomorrow. Check back here for the update.

Have any of our readers faced ramifications like this for trying to homestead or live off grid on your own property? Tell us your story!

In my personal opinion, this shows how important it is to make sure you know the codes, regulations, and laws of the city, county and state when you buy land and plan to live off grid.

I honor Tyler’s fight, but will probably look for un-zoned land when it is time for me to buy so I can live off grid hassle-free.

40 COMMENTS

  1. I wonder if it is actually because they’re not using city utilities, or because it doesn’t sound like they may have gotten permitting and inspections. You’re better off living off grid in county not city limits anyway.

    • That is my suspicion, though it could very well be that there is some set of ordinances requiring hooking up to local waste lines instead of digging a cesspool or septic tank.

      He is probably better off selling and researching a new spot that is more amenable to his lifestyle.

      • Johnathan Wayne Yother

        I live in Huntsville, Alabama. I was locked up for a year and my Mother got fined for having my pickup parked under her carport during that time (I let her sell it before the year was even up to pay for the fine – I lost about $2500 on that truck). I had one friend who lost her inherited house because she wanted to live mostly off-grid. She still had city water and waste (they are combined here in the city) so she wouldn’t have to convert to chemical toilets, but refused to use city electricity. The house was completely within codes, and had been for over 50 years. They kept threatening her and finally came in and took the house and property. I have another friend here that rents properties, he used one house to store repair materials in that no one lived in and the city came and forced him to remove all sinks, tubs, the water heater, breaker box, outside power lines, etc., while he was forced to still pay for the water and electric he wasn’t even hooked to, and no one had lived in that house for 15 years when they started harassing him (house was still within code). That same friend had tenets that started a fire in one of his other properties damaging the inside (but not the structure or outside) and they started fining him within 2 weeks of the fire for not having it rebuilt already, though he had placed it on the market to sell already. Huntsville city cares little to nothing about it’s citizens, only about income, and seizing property to auction and fining people is free income. The reason I live here is because my Mother lives here and won’t move as the house belonged to my Grandparents before her, and I take care of her.

      • and your totally ignorant of a composting toilet it would seem. Or a govt sheep. Which is it

  2. Isn’t it funny how the government won’t lift finger to help the homeless, and they don’t seem to care that the homeless are “living off-grid” so to speak. But when they find someone with a home- someone who CAN pay corporations for utilities but choose NOT to- well, they can’t stand for that. And their solution is to make that person homeless as well??? The take-away here is this: the government is perfectly fine with people living off-grid… as long as they don’t have money or shelter.

    • Most homeless are not parking trailer houses on lots within city limits (apparent offense #1), most homeless aren’t operating a cistern which cities have rules against for public health reasons – learned the hard way (likely offense #2), most homeless don’t have electrical or sewage treatment solutions which need to meet code and be inspected (offenses #3 & 4). And educate yourself just how much the government attempts to help the homeless from the police officer to the shelters to the free medical. The problem is this proud Marine was either too ignorant to know there are rules to living within an incorporated city or he knew there were such rules but chose to ignore them and wrap himself in the flag and hope a gofundme would bail his butt out. Lame story, lame owners, reflects poorly not on city governance but on folks thinking wrongly that they can write their own rules. Do your homework.

      • Could you please educate us on how much help there is from the government for the homeless? And please make sure that your answers are verifiable.

        • Emergency shelters, soup kitchens, food pantrys, warming/cooling centers, clothing closets, transitional housing programs, low-income housing vouchers, CDBG grants used to build low income housing, VA housing vouchers, work training programs, mental health services, Medicaid, case management – these are all services paid entirely for or supported by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), through the use of need based funding allocation or competitive grants.

          As far as verifiable, goggle is your friend. May I suggest you start at the HUD website?

      • You are the most ignorant loser and clearly don’t understand. Obviously homeless people dont have those amenities. They are living in the streets polluting. He is a man living right you as whole. Living the way we lived before all this crap was invented.

      • Johnathan Wayne Yother

        You, apparently, have never seen a “tent city”. We have many of them here in Huntsville. They use the toilet behind bushes, tents, etc., or in buckets that they dump behind bushes, etc…… Oh, and there are many house trailers here….

      • Being a good sheeple is what the city is looking for, people like Don do as they are told and will never rebel against the system. The Marine should be asking what in the hell he risked his life for, as he has no freedoms left. Don it sounds like you are a government employee and have never held a real job in the private sector.

      • Hey Don, did you not read the article? They did not dig a cistern or have a septic tank… they wee using a COMPOSTING Toilet. so no problems there.

        NNo, this issue is ALL about the requirement to be connected to utlities. Usually that means water and electricity sometimes natural gas. These types of regulations are put in place most often in areas that either own the utilities, or that have a monopolistic contract with utility companies.

        Most such city codes require a home to be connected and pay a monthly minimum hook-up fee, even if there is no usage.

  3. Having Water and Electricity hooked up to your house DOES NOT mean that you have to use them. If that is the only reason that he had his land Condemned, than have them hooked up at no cost and just not use them.

    • You are correct, although I think he is probably taking a principled stand!

      • I don’t know how things are there, but every place I’ve ever had utilities there is a minimum charge. You pay whether you use it or not, and in my opinion, that’s the real issue here. The government is either the provider of the services (and profiting directly) or is collecting franchise taxes from the utility suppliers. As always, it’s all about the money!

        • Living in city/town limits you get hit with all manner if costs. You can be required to mow your lawn, paint your house, replace batteries in your fire alarm, hook up to town septic etc.

          We can look to reducing the size of government, but in some more populated places it will be involved in daily life in a way that one cannot escape. And honestly, no man is an island. For example, were he to not empty a container with standing water, he could be fined for the health hazard posed by resulting mosquitoes.

          Believe my I am entirely sympathetic to people looking to get away from it all, but it’s just not as simple as a log cabin.

    • True you don’t have to use them, but you still have to pay to have them hooked up, which requires permits and inspection and if you pass all that you will still be paying the minimum monthly fee and that is soon going to skyrocket under Obama’s new agreement to eliminate global warming (excuse me, “climate change”). You know, kinda like banning sunshine… The agreement will kill the entire coal industry where we get most of our electricity. Only the rich will be able to afford it!

    • there are still “fees” for having the hookup even if you don’t use them. Look at your utility bills those fees are there. If you don’t pay the fees, they will come out and unhook you. A.K.A. you must pay the corporations/gooberment to live on you own land!!

    • Where I live you can’t just get “hooked up at no cost”. It would have cost me over $12,000 to hook up to electricity. Nothing to done for free anymore

    • It wouldn’t be no cost. All utilities have mandatory minimum charges. Where I live that would be about 100 dollars each month.

    • There’s definitely a cost to install them and sometimes it’s thousands of dollars

    • KatharynCormier

      It costs Thousands of dollars to do that. The reason they want you connected to the grid is because you can still be charged for water, sewer and power even if you don’t use it. As a member of the taxpaying population of that city or county, you are still expected to support the schools and infrastructure even if you don’t use them!

    • Jerry Dickinson

      Most utilities charge a certain amount for initial hook up, and they also charge a minimum monthly fee for service even if you use none of the utilities water or electric. I live in rural southeast Kansas and pay $35 per month service fee for electric whether I use any electricity or not.

  4. We have Amish families living in the same way, and they do just fine, nice hard working, God fearing people.

    • I bet they live outside city limits.

  5. right right the Amish lol wtf are they not kicked off there lands, if i was thew guy id grow a bigger beard and get me one those funny hats 😀 just sayn. tranny is comming be prepared

  6. This is the problem in America. Even when you are spending your own money after paying your taxes, and being a responsible citizen – is not tolerated if you are not giving your business to these government people.
    Just WOW…..

    • This guy is not following the laws that were likely set in place BEFORE he bought his land and parked his trailer. He then set everything up likely with no permits or city inspections. We have laws like this to protect the surrounding people and properties. It’s not about simply making things difficult. He could have avoided these issues by buying a piece of property just outside city limits.

      • You are assuming facts not in evidence. Maybe he bought the property outside city limits and the city incorporated more land into the city limits to increase property values and increase taxes. They condemned the property saying unsafe living conditions. Not permit or city inspection issues. Not being hooked up to city utilities is considered unsafe living conditions. Some people think you can hook up to these utilities for free but in fact there are fees and monthly charges whether you use the utilities or not. Cities constantly change their laws and zoning regulations and most times without notifying the property owners. To the people who say buy just outside the city limits, no, you’d better buy way out in the country.

  7. No victim, no crime = no one’s business.
    No harm done = no one’s business.

    Revolution is the only way governments ever relinquish power back to the people.

    -flek

  8. Not in California! Here you are required a building permit just to buy a sea cargo container, when the supplier and buyer are not in an incorporated area. Now this is to purchase one. A lot of residences were using these containers for storage and some used for shops. It had been an area and item that was exempt from permitting. I do not know why El Dorado County changed their policy, I see no issue of life and safety with a purchase or for using such a structure. Maybe aesthetics was an issue. Or just maybe to justify their job! The minimum charge for any permit is $300.00.

  9. Why do they need 10k if they are living off the grid?

    They need to do this in the country, not the city. If they aren’t using sewer, where are they going to the restroom?

    • Johnathan Wayne Yother

      The article plainly states they had a compost toilet.

  10. Most cities have restrictions on mobile homes locations, because neighbors fear they affect the value of their regular constructed homes. So I think this article is misleading by stating the problem is because the residents are living off the greed, when the actual problem is the resident insists in living in a mobile home in an area forbidden for this purpose.
    It is the loss of value of the neighbors residences why he’s asked to refrain from living there, not the fact he’s disconnected from city utilities.

    • And how is the neighbors home values of any relevancy? IF their home value drops that is the markets fault, not an individual across the street doing no harm to any of the properties. If they want more value then they should put money into it, nobody’s problem but their own narcissistic and egotistical selves who cannot stand to look at anyone who looks or lives differently than they do. Its called institutional racism. To the system and the policy makers who benefit from the racket, this man is nothing but a nigger not worthy to live amongst them. Why a “nigger” ? Because to these elitists anyone who is not like them, is beneath them. And race is a social construct developed to divide a society into a caste system. Race is not the color of one’s skin.

  11. The city might have enlarged there area and caused his land now to be in the city limits. So now he is required to follow city regs and they would not grandfather him in. Or they need his land to developer a larger tract of land around him and they want it for free.

  12. This is a money deal he is not paying for utilities so the local government isn’t getting tax money. He did not apply for a permit so the local government again didn’t get any money. When the Government don’t get there unfair share of the pie you will go to court and jail even.

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