Great Allegheny Passage

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edmonds59
Participant
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Ej, I’m going to download the Twin Peaks tune sometime soon. I can play that and the Portlandia theme back to back on the next ride, and ride off into a hazy PNW mist.


ejwme
Participant
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the dream of the 90’s is alive in Portland, Portland, Portland…

*SIGH*


edward m
Participant
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I got caught in the thunderstorm last night. Had no headlight or fenders. My bike and clothes are coated in mud. Mckees Cafe will let me or any customer use there shower.I was to late to use there shower last night. Great Allegheny Passage was muddy last night. Got pictures but I do not know how to post them. ABCEZ was mad it took him a hour and a half to drive to Smithdale. And I am not Amish or Mennonite Or Brethren. Mick bossanova I will repost volunteers wanted free rum and pop. So far I got 0 volunteers.


mark
Participant
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free rum and pop… hope its gingerale… i guess we would have to get out there though which is a hell of a ride for us old folks


edmonds59
Participant
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This line of thinking leads me to believe that I need to download some Portishead, too.


Pseudacris
Participant
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Hi @edward m,

I see from your first post on this thread that you have a gmail account. If you click the “photos” link at the top of the window while you are logged on to your gmail account, there should be easy instructions for uploading photos. Then you could post a link to the online photo album here.

Another way is to put photos right into your post, but that requires typing a little bit of HTML (web code) into your post. If you want to try that, I can put instructions here, but it might be easier to just put a link to a Picasa album. Picasa is the free photo sharing site that comes with your gmail.

I think it is neat that you want to build triple low cost cabins along the gap trail.

It might be hard to get volunteers until people get to know you and the project a little bit, or know that they’d be trading a lot of hard work for access to the cabins or something.

There are probably a lot of people who might be interested in renting the cabins once they’re done.


edward m
Participant
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It may be impossible to get permit for any new construction. Land is 10 feet beneath flood zone. This building damaged by floods and fire. Am still gutting the building. I heard building codes are for people who want utilities. And this double lot is flat and cleared the grass mowed by Smithdale.


ejwme
Participant
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edward m – here’s a tip: look for the smallest footprint you’d need a permit for, then cut an inch off all dimensions. Fit cabins/shelters to those new dimensions (there may be a quantity limit too). Most municipalities are ~10′ square, WAY more than necessary for a little trail cabin. If people can live full time in tiny spaces, they can spend a nigh in one: http://tinyhouseblog.com/ or http://www.thetinylife.com/what-is-the-tiny-house-movement/

No plumbing/no electricity is “rustic” and “green”. Might be able to swing some small solar panels to provide lighting, though. If you fit them up nicely, they could double as “tiny house” themed novelty place to stay. There’s a guy in Texas who builds them cheap with 99% recycled materials (new nails/screws/glue, everything else is scrounged, spiffed up, repurposed, reused).

You have an awesome opportunity to do something very very cool here.


dwillen
Participant
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There was a guy in Davis that lived in his BIKE.


Greasefoot
Participant
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Edward I think you are referring to the UCC building code for Recreational Cabin’s:

Recreational Cabin — A structure where all of the following apply:

i. The cabin is utilized principally for recreational activity.

ii. The cabin is not utilized as a domicile or residence for any individual for any time period.

iii. The cabin is not utilized for commercial purposes.

iv. The cabin is not greater than two stories in height, excluding basement.

v. The cabin is not utilized by the owner or any other person as a place of employment.

vi. The cabin is not a mailing address for bills and correspondence.

vii. The cabin is not listed as an individual’s place of residence on a tax return, driver’s license, car registration or voter registration.

If you are planning to rent the cabins for a commercial purpose then you probably need a building permit and building inspections.

White Devil should probably do some more research…


dwillen
Participant
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White Devil, ABCEZ, and Junk Man Paul sound like prime characters for a webcomic or flash animation. They can be smashing and removing random parts of bathrooms, drinking rum and pop and watching their hard work get washed into the Youghiogheny River.


edmonds59
Participant
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And I don’t mean to throw more problems in your path, but if you are going to run this as a business, you will need some kind of insurance coverage. You may not be able to get an insurance carrier to insure any structure in a 100 yr flood zone, and they would certainly require full permits. You would want to incorporate, for your own protection, and you sure don’t want to be carried on your personal insurance and have anyone to come after your personal assets. Yikes.


dbacklover
Participant
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Lets not forget http://tinyhouseblog.com/

home of the tiny yellow house


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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@edwardm – Have you checked with your municipality? Regardless of the need (or not) of a Building Permit, you will still need an Occupancy Permit. Especially for a commercial venture, which it appears this is.


Greasefoot
Participant
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The State of PA has a uniform set of UCC building codes that were passed in 2004(?) Over 80% of local municipalities in the State opted in to reform with the new UCC building codes. The local municipalities that opted in can have additional requirements and regulations but the state UCC codes are a good point of reference to start with.

It took me about 5 minutes to find this information on google and the state of PA web page.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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And those codes are enforced by a local Building Inspector, who also issues Occupancy Permits. Also, I’m pretty sure the UCC was updated in 2009 or 2010.


Greasefoot
Participant
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@ALMKLM – Yep, that’s what it says on the State web page, the local muni enforces the codes and issues permits. I think the last time they amended the building codes it had something to do with requiring building contactors be register with the state.

OT but after the tornado last week several roofing contactors came in from out of state to try and “help” with the recovery. They found out that since they were not register with the State they could not do any of the insurance work.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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@edward, greasefoot – just to be clear, Building Permits and Occupancy Permits are two different things. Even if edward skirts the issue and just builds the cottages, the municipality may not issue an occupancy permit for the use of the structures (forgive if i’m beating the dead horse here).


Greasefoot
Participant
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ALMKLM, Rest assured I’m reading your messages and comprehend what you are saying.

Do you know if they need a permit for a Hobbit Dwelling?


Marko82
Participant
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How about yurts instead of cabins?

http://www.coloradoyurt.com/yurts


Pseudacris
Participant
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Yurts are a great idea! If they were on platforms, there might be better ways of dealing with humanure & flooding.


reddan
Keymaster
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Yurts are pretty sweet. I’ve not stayed in a semi-permanent one, but the portable models are awesome for long-term camping.

(NOT light or easy to pack in via bicycle, however.)


Greasefoot
Participant
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And the name Yerts already sounds Pittsburghese…


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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Business Opportunity: Yurts n’@!

(greasefoot – but is edward gettin’ it?)


Pseudacris
Participant
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{{{slight threadjack}}} I like @dwillen‘s link to the guy who lives in his bike. Reminds me of a project by the artist Machel Rakowitz: inflatable heated tents for the homeless that are paraSITES on the HVAC systems of city buildings & made out of cheap bags & tape.


edward m
Participant
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Are there yurts for rent in Ohiopyle State Park? Anyone have a picture of the cabin at Rivers Edge? The Elisabeth Township building inspector told me I cant have a porta potty or build any size shed. He also said I can park a recreational vehicle on lot but can not live in it. And it is Allegheny County Health Department that handles septic permits, recertifications.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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So if you can’t have a porta-potty, and you can’t even erect a shed, how do you expect to be able to (lawfully) build cottages, yurts, lean-to’s or anything else that you would rent out to people?

Any structure built without a building permit is not likely to be given an occupancy permit.

(All of my comments presume you intend to operate a legitimate business and provide a responsible service to trail travelers – ie: safe lodging in a structure build to accepted standards as defined by applicable codes.)


ejwme
Participant
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edward m – not sure if this will help, but it might give you some ideas.

there’s a guy in Kentucky who owns a pizza shop with a shower and bathrooms. He charges a dollar a shower token, potty is free (he’s got sewage, but you might be able to figure something out a la humanure or something). he doesn’t charge people who just drive up and set up a tent on his property.

I also know a guy in West Virginia who owns a mess of land in a convenient spot. He asks $4 to park a car on his property, beside which you can set up a tent/have a camp fire unharassed (charge is per vehicle, not person or tent). He’s got bathrooms (attached to his little convenience store), no shower.

Not sure what details you’d have to settle, but until you sort out the building stuff, you may be able to scrounge a few dollars from people looking for a quiet place to camp on the trail. Depending on the amount of land, you could even retain this option and add on the plusher building option once you figure that out.

Don’t forget that even the tallest mountain in the world has been climbed – just not all in one day.


edward m
Participant
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I am staying in Pittsburgh today. Had a terrible 16 mile bike ride in thunderstorm at night with no fenders or headlight on Monday. Mud got in my eyes. My hands and back were sore but I feel better now. Got lots of stuff done on Monday. I had 2 people help remove a heavy AC from a window and lift it into back of pickup. Am still gutting building, could not remove roof due to thunderstorm. Picnic tables wanted, delivery needed.


t
Participant
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I rode to Smithdale on Tuesday to have a look. Smithdale rd is a residential street. I certainley support the project. I just wonder how many trail users want to “camp” on a residential street between two houses. Good luck Edward maybe I’ll run into you next time.


brian j
Participant
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@ewjme: In ol’ Kentuck, I think you’re talking about Miquel’s in Slade. It’s a very popular climber’s campground. These days, it’s busy enough that he does charge a few bucks to pitch a tent, but the pizza is still darn good, and after my first (of many) visits, I’m now in the habit of putting ice cream in my coffee. And, of course, Miquel is good people.

There are several similar campgrounds around the New River Gorge in WV (most notably Roger’s Rocky Top Retreat and Chestnut Creek Campground, which is a bit more of a proper campground than Roger’s).

In my experience with climbers (a culture which shares many characteristics with cyclists), they are more than happy to have a bit of earth to pitch their tent (in the case of Roger’s, it doesn’t even have to be flat). Both Miquel’s and Roger’s have interesting communities that form, and my wife and I have lasting friendships with folks we’ve met there.

So, Edward, I say go for it.


edward m
Participant
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Smithdale is a very small town. Sorry I missed you Timito I was not feeling well. Will be in Smithdale around noon to 6 tomorrow.


ejwme
Participant
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bjasaszek – indeed it is Miquel’s that I was thinking of (his pizza toppings have inspired me – adzuki beans, who knew?!). The other was outside Seneca as I remember it about 7 years ago (forget the family name, they own the only store/pizza shop too). (haven’t been to Slade in about 5 years either, always went in winter too, not sure if that matters). Roger’s is awesome, though :D

Timito’s point about things like Rogers and Miguels not necessarily fitting in well in a residential area are a good point, though I’m sure edwardm will figure out something unique to his site too.


brian j
Participant
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Depends on the popularity. In the mid 90s, before the climbing boom really hit, on any given weekend there would be just a handful of us at Roger’s, so it was quiet and mellow. These days, it’s seen as _the_ climber’s campground, so it busy, and can certainly get noisy. So, I’m guessing such a thing _is_ possible in a residential neighbor, as long as things are kept under control. Roger, for example, doesn’t allow rafters to camp on his property, given their propensity for extra-loud-obnoxious partying.


ejwme
Participant
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wow, I didn’t think anybody had a worse reputation than climbers. Then again, I didn’t realize that rafters had a stereotype either :)

The Red you can still find some rock to yourself – if you go in the winter. Chilly, but I’ve climbed happily there on sheltered south facing cliffs even in the rain. Nothing beats having a wall to one’s self… similar to having the road to ones’ self on a Sunday morning.

Sorry to digress edwardm, you can have your thread back now ;)


edward m
Participant
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Got a lot of work done yesterday. Had a visit from the building inspector. I talked to volunteer trail patrol guy. RTC has my permission to clean up the trash at the Sutersville trailhead and put it in my dumpster. Yesterday was a great day for cycling. This post is about the Great Allegheny Passage and Im not reposting. 0 volunteers so far.


Mick
Participant
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What do the houses in the neighborhood do for water and sewage?

How is this posting on your real estate project about the Great Allegheny Passage? How is it you think we might volunteer for you when you won’t even give your thread an honest title for us?


ejwme
Participant
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(Mick, the property he has is on a residential portion of the GAP, he’s trying to turn it into some kind of accomidation for GAP cyclists and is looking for help, doesn’t seem so unreasonable to me, I just work too long hours to help out.)


t
Participant
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I’m not really motivated by the idea of voluntering my time and labor, I have enough projects of my own to finish, also camping on a residential street is unappealing to me especially considering there’s more then one free campground on that part of the trail. I ride it to get away from the city. That said, anything that improves facilities along the trail is in my opinion a bonus.


t
Participant
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Best of luck to you Edward.

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