Originally Posted by mgsmith4
I don't want to have to explain brewing (or beer) at all to the city.
Then you won't be making beer. I don't see at all how that would be possible if you want this to be legal.
Based on the previous posts it sounds like you want to ferment in the same location which means you will be producing beer. This means you would likely need the same sort of permitting/licenses required by BOP (Brew-on-premises) beer & wine shops.
If all you do is make wort (no yeast pitched) then you are making a non-alcoholic food substance and the permitting may be different.
The best suggestion I can make is to talk to your municipality/permitting office about exactly what you want to do and what is required to do it. They are there to help and can offer alternatives/suggestions.
Trying to do anything under the covers (not telling anyone) is never a good idea.