• Ongoing coronavirus / COVID-19 discussion: how is the pandemic affecting your community, workplace, and wellness? 🦠

    Working from home? So are we. Come join us! Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no social distancing.

Oildale Zoning -- a legendary pre-LOOT alt.planning.urban posting


Dear Leader
Staff member
From: towering.inferno@mustang.com (Towering Inferno)
Newsgroups: alt.planning.urban
Subject: Zoning Regulations
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 1994 19:38:20 GMT
Message-ID: <941219202556419@mustang.com>
Organization: Mustang Software, Inc. (805) 873-2500
Distribution: world
Lines: 282

Principality of Oildale
Official Notice

Officials from the Oildale Planning Department have recently inspected residences in your area, and have determined that your residence does not comply with local zoning regulations.

You are hereby given 15 days notice to take whatever action is necessary to ensure that your residence is in compliance with these regulations. If after 15 days the zoning department determines that your residence is not in compliance with these regulations, officials of the Principality of Oildale will perform the necessary work and bill the occupant(s) of the residence for all costs incurred.

The relevant sections of the zoning regulations are quoted

SCHEDULE 87-13121b, Chapter 12, Section C, Subsections 1-6

1.All residences, whether single family homes or multiple dwelling units, shall have no less than three of the following items, situated on a front or rear porch, outside staircase, fire escape, patio, deck, roof or balcony, plainly visible from outside the residence. For full compliance a minimum of one item from each list is required; however if two or more items from one list are present, items from two of the three lists will be considered to meet the regulations if the deficit is rectified no more than six months after beginning residence in Oildale:

a) A major appliance in non-working condition, including
but not limited to refrigerator, television set, console
stereo, gas or electric range, dishwasher, washing machine,
clothes dryer, water closet, lavatory, sink or hot water

b) A large article of furniture, or pieces thereof
sufficient to comprise a large article of furniture if such
were to be assembled whether or not owing to the condition
of the article such assembly is reasonably possible.
Permissible articles include but are not limited to a couch,
sofa, bed, mattress, table, bureau, shelving, desk or other
article capable of accommodating a minimum of two adults in
a standing, seated or reclining position.

Preference shall be given to items damaged by fire,
machinery, humans, animals, or insects (including the
discharge of bodily or other fluids thereon), or in any
otherwise filthy or ragged condition, or those with visible
damage of the kind customarily caused by dropping the item
from a staircase, porch, roof, balcony or window no lower
than the second story of the residence.

c) Any collection of refuse, including but not limited to
trash cans, paper, carpets, cardboard cartons, packing
crates, pallets, automotive parts, construction debris,
newspapers (including householder mail), animal carcasses or
portions thereof, or any other items ordinary considered
unsuitable for outside storage.

d) Laundry. When it becomes necessary through
circumstances beyond the control of the householder to
launder articles of clothing or household articles, these
articles shall be displayed prominently on the outside of
the premises. The use of clotheslines is discouraged where
fences, shrubbery, outdoor furnishings, vehicles or animals
are available for the purpose of drying or airing laundry.

2. The grounds surrounding each residence shall contain at
least one item in deteriorated or dilapidated condition,
from each of the following lists:

a) Outbuildings, including but not limited to garden shed,
doghouse, cowshed, stable, chicken house, greenhouse,
garage, tree house, playhouse, or other structure or vehicle
ordinarily used to shelter or conceal humans, livestock,
vehicles, machinery, vegetation, or refuse; House trailer or
other temporary or permanent dwelling, whether habitable or
not; outdoor toilet; or any assemblage of materials which
may be used, whether by design or circumstance, to house,
shelter, or conceal any item or activity whatsoever.

b) Fencing: The property need not be fenced, particularly
in cases where fencing would impede the free movement of
livestock or vermin. Permissible fencing materials include
but are not limited all items listed in paragraphs 1 and 2
of this schedule. Additional permissible fencing materials
shall include without limitation sheet metal, cardboard,
packing crates and pallets, machinery parts, masonry, wire
either woven or in strands, pieces of plywood or composition
paneling boards, plastic sheeting, precast concrete sewer
pipes, signage materials, vegetation, or any other article
or material whatsoever.

c) Vegetation: No less than 70 per cent of the grounds
surrounding the residence shall be in an untended condition.
Trees and tree limbs shall be allowed to grow in such a way
as to encroach upon overhead utility lines, residence
structures and other structures, and shall not be removed or
trimmed. No person shall interfere with the growth of
grasses or weeds on the grounds surrounding the residence.

d) Vehicles: No fewer than three vehicles shall be visible
from the exterior of the property at all times. A vehicle is
defined as any device capable of transporting humans over
land, air or water, and ordinarily powered by internal or
external combustion engine, wind, electricity, or draft
animal, or designed to be affixed to, carried upon or towed
by another vehicle so powered. Human powered vehicles with
the exception of rowboats are specifically excluded from
this category. Any collection of parts from dismantled
vehicles totaling in mass no less than the mass of one non-
dismantled vehicle, whether or not those components could
reasonably be re-assembled into a single vehicle, shall be
considered a single vehicle. One unlicensed vehicle in non-
running condition shall be considered the equivalent of two
licensed vehicles in running condition.

e) In addition to the requirement to store refuse on the
outside portion of any residence structures on the property,
additional refuse shall be distributed on the grounds
surrounding the residence at a density of not less than one
item per square foot. Refuse shall consist of any article or
substance whatsoever, whether serviceable or not, which has
been discarded temporarily or permanently by the occupant(s)
of the residence, or by passers-by on the grounds of the
residence. Items which could reasonably be expected to cause
hazards to persons, animals, vehicles or machinery are
included in this classification, as are any substances or
items deemed noxious, poisonous, offensive, putrid or

f) Articles not otherwise classified by type, including
but not limited to television or mobile radio antennas,
aerials or masts; nests or colonies of vermin including but
not limited to mice, rats, gophers, moles, raccoons,
opossums, badgers, skunks, crows, seagulls, starlings,
lizards, snakes, dogs, cats, wasps, hornets, ants, termites,
spiders, flies and cockroaches; garden ornaments including
but not limited to concrete, wood or plastic representations
of structures, humans, animals, birds or devices, whether
actual or mythical; patriotic symbols including but not
limited to Confederate, Nazi, Iraqi or Imperial Japanese
flags; seasonal displays including but not limited to
fireworks stands, nativity scenes, depictions of Santa
Claus, or Elvis Presley; or any other article manufactured,
designed or converted from its original purpose to the
specific purpose of embellishment of the residence or the
grounds surrounding the residence.

3.The residence itself must be finished in one or more of
the materials listed in Section 1, paragraphs a through
c, and Section 2, paragraphs b through f above. Exterior
window coverings shall consist of plastic sheeting,
cardboard, rags or any other material in addition to or
instead of glass. Outside stairways, particularly in the
front of the residence, may be removed at the
householder's discretion, so long as the doorway at the
top of the steps remains in place and operational.
Awnings or screens may be made of any material
whatsoever, and may be secured by any temporary or
permanent means desired.

4.Any person, animal, device or equipment capable of
generating sounds must operate in such a manner as to be
plainly audible to a person of normal hearing at a
distance no less than 100 feet from any property line of
the residence, for no less than 12 hours per day. Such
equipment includes but shall not be limited to
stereophonic equipment, radios, televisions, amplified or
unamplified musical instruments, public address systems,
car alarms, firearms, ordnance, explosives, machinery,
vehicle engines (see above for definition of vehicle),
hand or power tools, or any other device whatsoever. The
voluntary or involuntary vocalizations of animals
residing in or around the residence shall be considered
to fulfill a portion of the sound requirements and may be
counted towards the total 12-hour daily allotment.

5.Any person, animal, device or equipment capable of
generating odors must be operated in such a manner as to
be plainly detectable to a person of normal olfactory
perception at a distance no less than 100 feet from any
property line of the residence. Such odors include but
shall not be limited to smoke, chemical waste,
recreational substances, human and animal bodily
secretions and excretions, trash, sewage, and any
substance normally subject to odiferous decomposition
either with or without intervention.

6.A special permit is required for the deposition of refuse
on adjoining vacant properties in lieu of defacement of
one's own property. Such permits shall be granted only in
circumstances where it can be shown that compliance with
these regulations will cause the resident to undergo
undue hardship, and only upon payment of all appropriate
fees and assessments.

SCHEDULE 87-13121c, Chapter 1, Section A: PROVISION FOR

A resolution adopted by the Principality of Oildale in 1974
requires that all residents periodically undertake to
redistribute refuse equitably throughout the Principality.
The following formal redistribution procedures are mandated:

1.Yard Sales, herein defined as the regular, periodic
display of household articles, refuse, vehicles and any
other article or substance offered for sale to the
general public, whether or not such items are actually
sold, traded, bartered, or otherwise removed from the
premises in exchange for valuable consideration or
otherwise, shall be required of all Oildale residents no
fewer than 6 times per year.

Preference shall be given to the following general
categories of items offered for sale or barter:

a) Non-functional or obsolete articles.

b) Articles whose function or purpose is impossible to
determine through usual means of examination.

c) Articles for which the means to establish legal
ownership have been accidentally or deliberately obscured,
including but not limited to removal or mutilation of serial
numbers or other distinguishing marks.

d) Articles for which rightful possession not been legally
established, including but not limited to vehicles, chattels and
other property covered by liens, deeds of trust, chattel or real
mortgages, promissory notes, conditional sales agreements or any
other loan whether by agreement between private individuals, or
between private individuals and any recognized or unrecognized
financial institution whatsoever.

e) Any quantity of articles greater than two, commonly offered for
resale through formal or informal retail merchandising practices,
including but not limited to miracle herbal cures, treatments for
bodily afflictions, fortune-telling and prognostication devices.

f) Any device, substance or service the sale or proffering of which
is ordinarily prohibited or restricted by federal, state, county or
regional jurisdictions.

2.Littering, herein defined as the spontaneous ejection or
discharge of any of the substances listed in previous
sections of this regulation, wherein the substance
discharge falls upon public thoroughfares, private land
holdings, and common rights-of-way, shall be required of
all Oildale residents during any period of volitional or
nonvolitional mobility.

The Principality of Oildale (hereinafter referred to as "the
Principality") has adopted a resolution discouraging
burglary and housebreaking within the jurisdiction of the
Principality as a means of redistribution of refuse,
although no penalty shall be assessed for items thus gained
through such pursuits lawfully or unlawfully undertaken
outside the jurisdiction of the Principality.

SCHEDULE 88-64121, Chapter 1, Section B, Subsections 2-5:

The Statues of the Principality of Oildale provide for
enforcement of the regulations contained herein, such
enforcement to include without restriction or limitation the
forcible defacement of the householder's property by
Principality employees, assignees, contractors or any other
person, device or substance whatsoever.

Additional extraordinary penalties may be assessed by
resolution of any body representing the Principality of
Oildale, whether lawful or not, upon repeated non compliance
with these regulations.

Adopted by resolution of the Principality of Oildale this
13th day of September 1994
Do I dare admit to writing this?

Yup, guilty. I still own the house across the street from the one that inspired this rant. That blighted disaster is long gone -- burned down by a disgruntled tenant/relative of the landlord.

Sadly, I neglected to discuss arson as an approved option in the mitigation section.