Off the grid living was just deemed illegal in a Cape Coral, Florida home. Special Magistrate Harold S. Eskin ruled that local codes do allow homeowner Robin Speronis to have a home without utility power, but do mandate that she hook into the city’s water system. Any alternative source of power for the home must also be approved by the city, Eskin also noted in his ruling.
Robin Speronis had been fighting the city of Cape Coral for right to live off the grid since last November. A code enforcement officer had attempted to evict her from her home because she was living off the grid and had no connection at all to utilities offered by the Florida city.
Cape Coral code enforcement officials maintain that Speronis was in violation of the International Property Maintenance Code by utilizing only rain water and solar panels instead of the municipal water system and the power grid. Todd Allen, the attorney for the Florida homeowner said, “It was a mental fistfight. There’s an inherent conflict in the code.”
According to court documents pertaining to the Cape Coral code cited in the case, Robin Speronis must hook up to the municipal water system, but is not legally required to actually use it. During an interview with Off The Grid News earlier this month, Speronis said that she hopes to ultimately prevail in the off the grid case to set a precedent for other seeking to live a more self-reliant lifestyle and find themselves hampered by the same type of city code dictates. Speronis did win two of the three counts levied against her, and maintains that the battle with the Cape Coral Code Enforcement Office is far from over.
The off the grid living proponent had this to say about the legal battle still brewing in the Florida Gulf Coast town:
“But what happens in the courtroom is much less important than touching people’s hearts and minds. I think that we are continuing to be successful in doing just that and I am so pleased — there is hope! [Friday] morning, as I took my two hour walk, there was a young man, unknown to me, who drove by me, tooted his horn and said, ‘Robin, congratulations on your victory yesterday, keep up the fight and God bless you.’ That is beautiful.”
Magistrate Elkins spend several hours reviewing the facts in the case and did finally admit that the Cape Coral code “might be obsolete.” Elkis had this to say to local media about the Robin Speronis off the grid living case, “Reasonableness and code requirements don’t always go hand-in-hand. Given societal and technical changes that requires review of code ordinances.”
What do you think about the Cape Coral off the grid living court case?
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