a bit OT: zoning laws - outside storage


I know zoning laws vary by county and state but I think most are basically the same. I've tried asking local zoning inspectors these questions but they all say different things. So I'd like to get an idea of how things work in other places.
The local zoning laws say that outside storage is prohibited but they don't really explain any further. Are there items that are normally allowed to stay outside, and if so, what are these items (hose, lawn furniture, lawn mower)? I would assume that things such as tires, tools, and auto parts are not allowed, is that usually true?
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in buffalo ny: this will vary widely based on your climate, layer of government levels, population density, and health regulations. prohibited here: water puddles and tires, both are breeding ground for mosquitoes and their west nile virus; and outdoor upholstered furniture is prohibited as rat harborage. you will be surprised how many cities have free online ordinances. you might sift thru these online or at the local government offices for easy answers or all the way thru the expert level. if you feel confined by too many laws in the city, it may be a surprisingly long drive these days to escape similar ordinances in other developed areas. many delelopments and homeowners groups have set quality of life levels for their common health. see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoning_laws
Mike S. wrote:

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Never heard of it in my area. Are you sure it is a zoning law or a HOA requirement? Some HOA's won't let you fart outside.
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Mike S. wrote:

be operable. Our code is pretty specific and extends to prohibiting construction material unless there is an active building permit in force.
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Mike S. wrote:

they insure "appurtenant structures" for 10% of your home value even if you don't have any. After building a shed, you will have and appurtenance so will it be insured?
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Mike S. wrote:

Or, you could say "Screw the Nazis" and move to Houston. We have no zoning.
Several years ago, Shell oil bought a corner lot in a VERY upscale neighborhood and announced plans to build a gas station on the property. Several of the neighbors, John Connaly, Hugh Liedke (CEO of Pennzoil), Michael DeBakey, and others returned their Shell credit cards along with impassioned letters containing words such as "disembowel" and "cut off your lips."
Shell donated the corner lot to the city as a "pocket park."
All was well.
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Use your own judgement. If it's out-of-site (mainly from the street, but preferably from the neighbors perspective as well) nobody will care. Things that typically stay outside (hoses, outdoor furniture, etc) nobody's going to complain about unless it's an eyesore. Lawn mowers, a bit of a gray area. Probably depends on where you keep it (if it's parked in the front yard all the time, I'd be annoyed as your neighbor).
Firewood, neatly stacked, is also typically stored outdoors.

Again, since these things aren't typicaly "outdoor items" that is probably a problem, if your community enforces such things.
-Tim
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Mike S. wrote:

The zoning laws within fifteen miles of my area vary so widely you wouldn't know they're in the same country, much less same state and county.

If there's wiggle room in the interpretation of zoning laws it's either put their on purpose or due to incompetence. Your local zoning official is the only one that can give you a meaningful specific answer.
R
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