If you want to live off-grid, increase self-sufficiency, replace your utilities with natural alternatives, and experience what nature has to offer, Colorado is the place to do it. With stunning mountains, ample water sources, four seasons, and plenty of off-grid property for sale, you shouldn’t have a problem stepping into self-sufficient off-grid living.
Before you start looking for your dream off-grid cabin in Colorado, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the state’s zoning laws, land covenants, and other factors that could affect your purchase decision. In this article, I’m giving you a crash course on everything you need to know about how to live off-grid.
Colorado Zoning Laws for Off-Grid Living
Local governments create zoning laws to dictate what people are allowed to do on their property. For example, you cannot build an apartment building on a lot zoned for agriculture. Here are some Colorado zoning considerations that could affect your off-grid living experience:
- Permitted Use describes what you can do on your land, like what kinds of livestock you can raise.
- Minimum Lot Size dictates how many acres you must own for agriculture-zoned land.
- Zoning laws may also state who can live on the property. You cannot have anyone living in accessory dwellings.
Land Covenants That Affect Living Off-Grid
Another consideration for living off-grid in Colorado is the land covenants, which take precedence over zoning restrictions. Covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) are written into the property deed. Colorado land and off-grid cabin properties often include environmental covenants to protect the surrounding natural environment.
Colorado 35 Acre Law
According to a 1972 law in Colorado, you must purchase at least 35 acres of land for an off-grid property. The law states that land on less than 35 acres must meet state requirements regarding sewage and infrastructure. Typically, an off-grid cabin will not satisfy.
Off-Grid Electricity in Colorado
With an average of 300 sunny days a year, solar power is the most suitable choice for off-grid electricity in Colorado. As long as your local building codes allow you to install a solar electricity system, you may even get rewarded with incentives, rebates, and tax advantages. In terms of electricity, living off-grid is the way to go!
Off-Grid Water in Colorado
As you explore how to live off-grid in Colorado, you’ll discover that Colorado is stringent about water rights. The rule of prior appropriation, or the Colorado Doctrine, states that all surface water and tributary groundwater is a public resource. Therefore, you must get a water use permit to use that water on your property.
Furthermore, you must have water on your property before you can build a dwelling. It pays to find a property with water rights from the get-go!
Off-Grid Sewage and Waste Removal in Colorado
Colorado laws permit off-grid waste disposal as long as you do not dispose of water on the ground or in the water. According to the National Sanitation Foundation, you need an approved system for treating the wastewater from your composting toilet, which means you will probably need to have a septic system.
Want An Off-Grid Cabin in Colorado?
If you can handle the considerations listed above, off-grid living in Colorado is a rewarding experience! Browse my listings or talk to me about finding Colorado land for sale that’s suitable for off-grid living.