Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Going rural to dodge government regulation

That is one of the messages of A.G. Sulzberger's story about the construction of a 72,000 square foot "castle" in the rural Ozarks. Sulzberger writes of the "behemoth vacation home" that Steven T. Huff, chairman of the board of TF Concrete Forming Systems, is building in Christian County, Missouri, between Springfield and Branson. The home, which has been under construction for two years already, is made primarily of concrete.

Sulzberger writes that many are speculating about the purpose of the structure--the largest single-family dwelling in the United States--but that Huff says "he wanted to demonstrate the viability of new concrete technology that he believes will lower energy consumption. The size of the building, which is significantly larger than the White House, partly reflects a desire to build at a commercial scale for testing purposes," Huff said.

Here's the part of the story that struck me as especially interesting in relation to the rural locale:
Mr. Huff, a longtime resident of Virginia, chose the site on Woods Fork Road because it is just hours from his boyhood home. Also, he said building in that part of the country would help him show how the technology handles both hot and cold weather and even tornadoes. Finally, there is another advantage — by locating in an area famous for a small government approach, he is not subject to building regulations or inspection, which he said would have complicated his efforts.
So, Huff suggests two characteristics associated with rural people and places: (1) attachment to place and (2) a relative absence of law and regulation. A Christian County planning and zoning official confirms the latter, stating, "We try not to be more intrusive than we have to."

No comments: