A Florida woman in a pitched battle with the city of Cape Coral, Fla., because she wants to live off the grid and not connect to city utilities is reaching a new level.
The pre-Revolutionary War level, according to an attorney representing Robin Speronis.
“Cases such as Robin’s are becoming increasingly common as overzealous government officials routinely enforce laws that penalize Americans for living off the grid, hosting a Bible study in one’s backyard, growing organic vegetables in one’s front yard, feeding wild animals and collecting rainwater, to name just a few,” said John W. Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute.
Whitehead said the “disregard for private property by government officials brings us full circle, back to that pre-Revolutionary era when colonists had few to no rights whatsoever within their homes.”
WND reported last year on the developing conflict.
Speronis said at the time that she didn’t have a refrigerator, oven, running water or electricity at her modest home. Most of what she owned was free, donated or bought for next to nothing. She cooks on a propane camping stove, and her electronics run on solar-charged batteries.
When she needs water, she collects it in rain barrels and uses a colloidal-silver generator to disinfect it.
When she talked to a local television station about her lifestyle, city officials in Cape Coral immediately took notice.
They tacked a notice on her door ordering her to vacate the property, despite the fact she owns her home free and clear and is up-to-date on her taxes.
Then the city went to court and obtained an order with a deadline for her to comply.
The deadline, Tuesday, came and went, because Whitehead said his group filed a notice of appeal on behalf of the homeowner.
Whitehead said a hearing date on the order from the magistrate for Speronis to hook up to city water services is scheduled for April 17. The city also is demanding she hook up to city electrical and sewer services.
“What happened to Robin Speronis should never have happened, and yet it is happening every day to more and more Americans,” Whitehead said.
He noted the city’s conclusion that her home was “unsafe/unfit for human habitation and occupancy” was reached without city officials ever having been inside her home or completing any type of inspection.
Hear Speronis describe her plight:
Magistrate Harold S. Eskin said Speronis was not guilty of violating any codes by not using electrical or sewer systems. He ruled, however, she “was required under the codes to hook up to the city’s water system.”
His ruling came even though he admitted the code “might be obsolete” and that “reasonableness and code requirements don’t always go hand-in-hand.”
He even suggested it might be time for a review of the code.