A Home in Need of Legal Status

yurt

“My argument is, what’s to stop a guy from saying, ‘I want to build a one-family house’ in his yard?… I’m against this, because I don’t see any way to enforce it.” Covert councilman Chuck Bosman was talking about allowing yurts in the town of Covert, an issue that will come up for public discussion at the July 13 meeting. Because yurts don’t comply with building code, the town has been reluctant to allow them.

But yurts are not only an issue for Covert. Although the town has resisted, so far, allowing the structures- or allowing variances for them, since yurts are not in most code enforcement officers’ playbooks- the modern-day version of Mongolian nomads’ tents are in the forefront of the tiny home movement. Proponents of yurts point out that yurts have less environmental impact than traditional homes, they can be moved, and they’re affordable. Leaving behind the wool felting that covered the traditional ger for materials like vinyl, Tyvek, and insulation, modern yurts rely on their forebears mostly for structural elements.

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