So I thought I was all ready to start teaching on our farm, educational programs to the public, focusing mostly on preschoolers through early elementary and families, had the promo video all set... the town code enforcer and department of health were fine with my plans. However, the county code officer, has a different agenda. Much of what he wrote in his letter, stated "in his opinion", so really, I think I need to find a loophole or 2, in order to file a variance so I can get families out here! His main concern is the conversion of a sugar shanty on our property to a greeting/nature center. He says that if it is changed in usage, from agricultural to anything else, it must go through a change of occupancy and follow stricter standards... He says, according to the state, that education, although a service, is still considered a commercial business! (He says it is also written in the state codes that education stops at Grade 12! So even if I did a program for preschoolers, if their parents were with them, it couldn't count as education! How backwards is that!!! anyway...) So I would HAVE to supply electricity, septic, potable water, fireproof stain on the inside... etc.... I was hoping to keep the shanty as rustic (albeit safe and secure) as possible. I have no need for power at this time, we will be using it as a gathering spot by the parking lot (possibly 10 minutes under the roof), and then the remainder of our time we will be in the woods, on the trails, in the fields, etc. I had asked because I wanted to offer a composting toilet, just for emergencies, because we all know how little ones can be, even for programs that are only an hour or so. And in his opinion, they aren't acceptable, a full plumbing is necessary... Please, please... if you are in NYS and have converted any barn structures or other buildings to educational use and have dealt with your code officers and have any suggestions, please, please, share your knowledge with me. I have been envisioning my "Shanty of Hope" for months now... would hate to scrap it and start over. Although, we could build a pavilion or something without walls along the trail, but this is by the road, makes sense to use a structure that is all ready in place, and it has character. Thanks so much for any advice.
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