Huntsville, AL military veteran Tyler Truitt answered the call to defend the rights of all Americans during his service to his country but is now being forced to defend his own right to live a self-sustaining lifestyle on his property. According to WAFF-TV, Truitt and his girlfriend Soraya Hamar currently reside on their own land in Huntsville, where they have lived off-the-grid successfully through the winter, using rainwater, composting, and solar energy as an alternative to city utilities. However, the City of Huntsville is suing Truitt in an effort to condemn the property, citing city codes requiring potable drinking water and a sewage connection and banning trailers without a permit.
“They came and they condemned our house and told us if we stayed here we’d be arrested for trespassing on our own property, and the reason why is, they said, it was unsafe living conditions because we don’t have city utilities hooked up,” said Truitt. “I took an oath that I would support and defend the Constitution and the freedoms that entails, and I really feel like those are being trampled upon.”
Truitt and Hamar intend to fight the condemnation of their property at an upcoming July 29 court appearance and have indicated that they are willing to face arrest if authorities attempt to force them off of their land. “You have to stand up for what you believe in. They could come out here today if they wanted to and take us to jail for trespassing if that’s what they want to call it and, you know, that’d be fine with me. I’ll still come back the next day and the next day and the next day because it’s my home and because I live here. Where else am I supposed to go really?” said Truitt.
Truitt pointed out the facts that the trailer on the property is not visible from the street and that they have access to all of the normal features of a typical home. “We’ve got things normal people have, we have a TV, a fridge, a microwave, stuff like that.”
Kelly Schrimsher, spokesperson for Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, said, according to WAFF-TV, “Apparently he has chosen to live an alternative lifestyle and that’s great, people can choose to live different ways but if you live in the city of Huntsville you do have to abide by our laws and ordinance. It’s about the health and public safety of our citizens, so you must have a sanitary sewer, you must have potable running water. There are certain requirements that are there to protect our citizens through the winter.”
Schrimsher added, “I’m sure there are other areas and properties in the country that if you wanted to choose a different lifestyle you could do so.”
Truitt has called on supporters of property rights and off-the-grid living to contact city officials and urge a change in policy.