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'Off-the-grid' Huntsville man to keep fighting city ordinances

Published: May. 4, 2016 at 2:13 AM CDT|Updated: May. 4, 2016 at 4:26 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A Huntsville man wanting to live "off-the-grid," providing his own power and sanitation within the city of Huntsville, has been fighting for over a year to keep his home. Just last week, an appellate court upheld a judge's ruling that Tyler Truitt has 14 days to remove his trailer from his property. Huntsville has an ordinance that trailers must be located within a mobile home park which his is not.

But Truitt said he's standing his ground and will not be removed from living on property he owns.

"How much this fight is worth to them? I know what it means to me. It's my home, it's everything and I'm not moving the house," said Truitt.

His house is unlike any other in Huntsville. He uses solar panels for electricity, filters rainwater for household use and composts his waste. The city says that's a code violation because he does not have proper permits.

Truitt's home was condemned last year by the city, saying he was violating a zoning ordinance and that his sanitation systems were in violation of a state health code.

"They say it's about public safety and welfare, but how?" said Truitt.

Truitt said he went to city zoning offices last year but was denied the chance to even fill out applications because his home is classified as a trailer.

"They won't even give us the permits because they say our house is a manufactured home," said Truitt.

The city cites a zoning ordinance that trailers are not allowed in the city limits unless they are located in a trailer park.

The city's zoning department cited a letter from the mayor's office explaining their decision.

MORE: Letter from Huntsville mayor on Tyler Truitt

Truitt said he's unable to get clear answers from the city, even on a date when he'll actually be forced to leave his property, which is why he's filing a lawsuit against the city. He said his trailer is no danger to anyone else and that the building codes he's accused of violating are unjust.

"We've yet to have any of those arguments be heard in court, so that's what we're trying to do with the civil suit, to fight directly against the city's ordinances and the way they're enforcing them," said Truitt.

Truitt plans to keep fighting this in court.

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