Our Mustang Rescue Project : Run In With “The Law”

our loft 3

Everything was going well until “The Man” sashayed into our back yard, clipboard in hand, taking us by surprise.  I knew immediately he was some kind of “inspector” coming to check on some neighbor’s complaint.

“Is this thing under 200 square feet?” He bellowed.

“It’s 12 x 24 feet,” my sister Cheryl answered defensively.

“You know you gotta have a permit for that,” he said, authoritatively.

“No I don’t,” Cheryl told him, impudently.  “I checked with the state laws and it says if we are building a barn or an out building for animals, we can make it any size we want without a permit.”

“Not in Marion county,” he further insisted.

“It’s a state wide law for Oregon,” Cheryl insisted back.  “I checked in two places, in the Portland city planning office in the permits division, and with the lawyer who came to our architecture class to explain the building laws.”

“Well, here in Marion county, you have to file for an exemption to not have to get a permit,” he back-peddled.  “It’s a new ordinance.”

His brusk demeanor shifted to a friendlier one when he saw our little mustang filly.  He was impressed that she was from the real wild mustang herd on Beady Butte.  He complimented us on the quality of our structure, and began reminiscing about his burros and how great they were.  We had a nice jovial visit after that, but he said we needed to go the Marion County permits office and see what they could do to help us work out a plan to bring our structure into compliance with the county rules.

Cheryl researched online about the rules here in MARION county, printed out our site plan, and we went to talk to the folks at the permit building.

Sadly, from what they said, it was true, we would have to get an exemption to build a barn because we are on AR (acreage residential) and not on exclusive farm use land.  We would have to apply to get tax exemptions to have an official farming business to be able to build whatever we wanted on our property.

On the other hand, they said, we could just cut our lean to in half, making sure each side structurally independent from the other, each side being easily under 200 square feet, and we would be in compliance.

That would be the easiest option, we decided.  “How much distance do we need between buildings?” Cheryl asked.

The man held up a piece of paper and said, “If I can slip this paper between the buildings, that would  be far enough.  If we could tear down one structure without pulling the other down, that would be enough separation.”  He grinned and we smiled.

“We can do that,” we said.

We have 20 days to comply.

We left, thinking how silly some rules are.  I suppose they serve a purpose, but for people like us, who tend to fly by the seat of our pants, it just gums up the works.  We are smart enough to make good solid structures, in fact, we tend to over due the structural integrity of the buildings we make, but maybe some people have built things that have collapsed and hurt people.  Whatever.  We will cut it in two.  Then we will build the big, fabulous barn we are planning . . . in little sections, each independent from the others.  So there.

Our Mustang Rescue Project : Run In With "The Law"

our loft 3

Everything was going well until “The Man” sashayed into our back yard, clipboard in hand, taking us by surprise.  I knew immediately he was some kind of “inspector” coming to check on some neighbor’s complaint.

“Is this thing under 200 square feet?” He bellowed.

“It’s 12 x 24 feet,” my sister Cheryl answered defensively.

“You know you gotta have a permit for that,” he said, authoritatively.

“No I don’t,” Cheryl told him, impudently.  “I checked with the state laws and it says if we are building a barn or an out building for animals, we can make it any size we want without a permit.”

“Not in Marion county,” he further insisted.

“It’s a state wide law for Oregon,” Cheryl insisted back.  “I checked in two places, in the Portland city planning office in the permits division, and with the lawyer who came to our architecture class to explain the building laws.”

“Well, here in Marion county, you have to file for an exemption to not have to get a permit,” he back-peddled.  “It’s a new ordinance.”

His brusk demeanor shifted to a friendlier one when he saw our little mustang filly.  He was impressed that she was from the real wild mustang herd on Beady Butte.  He complimented us on the quality of our structure, and began reminiscing about his burros and how great they were.  We had a nice jovial visit after that, but he said we needed to go the Marion County permits office and see what they could do to help us work out a plan to bring our structure into compliance with the county rules.

Cheryl researched online about the rules here in MARION county, printed out our site plan, and we went to talk to the folks at the permit building.

Sadly, from what they said, it was true, we would have to get an exemption to build a barn because we are on AR (acreage residential) and not on exclusive farm use land.  We would have to apply to get tax exemptions to have an official farming business to be able to build whatever we wanted on our property.

On the other hand, they said, we could just cut our lean to in half, making sure each side structurally independent from the other, each side being easily under 200 square feet, and we would be in compliance.

That would be the easiest option, we decided.  “How much distance do we need between buildings?” Cheryl asked.

The man held up a piece of paper and said, “If I can slip this paper between the buildings, that would  be far enough.  If we could tear down one structure without pulling the other down, that would be enough separation.”  He grinned and we smiled.

“We can do that,” we said.

We have 20 days to comply.

We left, thinking how silly some rules are.  I suppose they serve a purpose, but for people like us, who tend to fly by the seat of our pants, it just gums up the works.  We are smart enough to make good solid structures, in fact, we tend to over due the structural integrity of the buildings we make, but maybe some people have built things that have collapsed and hurt people.  Whatever.  We will cut it in two.  Then we will build the big, fabulous barn we are planning . . . in little sections, each independent from the others.  So there.

Our Mustang Rescue Project : Part 6 – The Roof

Cheryl and I put the corrugated galvanized metal roof on today, with the very wonderful help of my husband John, and son Matthew. It was fun being up high and getting so much accomplished! We decided we enjoyed putting the roof on more than building the fence.

The galvanized screws came with neoprene washers that squished underneath the hex heads when tightened. This is supposed to stop any leaking. Let’s hope it works!

After the halfway mark, Cheryl and I had to have an ice cream break. 🙂

It’s important to keep our strength up!

We were supposed to bring the Mustang filly here this evening, to her new home, but rain set us back a day, so she will be coming home tomorrow instead.

At first we were discouraged by the overcast and misty sky, but at one point today, the sun peeked out and we were practically blinded, and instantly overheated from the reflection off the silver roofing.  Then we realized what a blessing the overcast sky was.  Boy did we misunderstand!  I thanked God, and the gracious weather, for those perfectly timed clouds!

our loft cropped

 

Could we be any happier?  I think not!

As young girls, sharing a room, we used to dream about living together and building our own houses.  We would draw our dream designs and imagine living in them.  Between the spiral houses we each built on Spirit Dreamer Mountain (our place in the hills near Cottage Grove), the art studio in Orlando, and this lean to . . . and the glorious barn we are planning, we are living our girl hood dreams!

Our Mustang Rescue Project : Part 5 – Stringers, Flashing, and Gates

We learned we had to put up 1×4 stringers, horizontally, to attach the corrugated metal roof to.  Also we put up flat sheet metal for the flashing all around the edges.

flashers and screwers

Gates with their hinges and latches had to be put in.  I learned a lot about setting gates, like set them up to be a little higher when shut because when the hinges take over the job of holding up the weight of the gate, there is a little slumping.

IMG_6066

We were forced to take a break yesterday, due to rain, then we got busy again as the day waned away, and while working up high, we got a little silly and did a little harmless flashing.  After all, we were the flashers.

flashers

John politely averted his eyes.

Our Mustang Rescue Project : Part 3 – My Sister, the Catalyst . . . And Meeting Mairsiedotes the Mustang!

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Like da princess, like da boss!

Cheryl Leontina, my kooky, creative, funny, loving, architect sister, likes to joke, “I’m like da princess, like da boss!”  But it’s no joke!

She often tells people, “You may be an immovable object, but I’m an irresistible force of nature!”  It’s true. She is an irresistible force of nature. She also claims, “I’m a catalyst.” This is also true.  She knew that I wanted a horse, and that it would be good for my healing, so she put it out there on Craigslist and Freecycle that we were going to rescue a Mustang and give it a home, and asked for donations of building materials for the barn project.

The response has been enormous. People love to help and especially for a good cause. We now have the mustang picked out and are finishing up part of the lean to shelter area. We will build the barn proper next. We have applied to BLM to adopt her.

Our Mustang is a yearling filly and a very sweet girl.  It was important for us to find a mustang that was not too used to being wild so she could be gentled easily.  Cheryl has named her Mairsiedotes.

The trainer receives payment from BLM to gentle the Mustangs enough to be taken home by regular people. Then we pay a fee to BLM to adopt her.  We must sign a contract to not sell her for a certain period of time and also to have her checked by a veterinarian after one year, to make sure we are taking good care of her.

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Cheryl with Mairsiedotes.
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Juliana, Mairsiedotes, and Cheryl
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Juliana gets a lesson in handling Mairsiedotes.
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Me making friends.
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Juliana, Mairsiedotes, Me, and Ryan.

We are all very excited to be bringing her home soon!