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That list of values in the Articles sounds really nice.
My sense of community has been installed "damaged?" from dominant
culture's definitions. And talking with a lot of folks, that seems
to be the case for more than myself. So lifestyle that feels
"familiar" but better could be a draw.
Not sure if this helps but when I visited Moora-Moora (a cohousing
community with several sub-villages, I guess sometimes called an
ecovillage?) they expressed some dissatisfaction with the amount of
turn-over. It seemed it was losing investors (i.e. residents) faster
than it was gaining them. Even as slowly as the time it takes for
younger generations to move out and not return.
One thing that maybe could have helped in such a case may be to
have one sharehouse, not necessarily among the single-family homes
but a part of the community. That is, a big place with people
sharing close quarters. It's my preferred community style and it's
sometimes not present in otherwise great communities that have a
very imposing entry price for hard working community members,
besides any additional HOA type agreements. This would have given
me a home, given potential new friend(s) an entry point, allow
some renters, and create a sub-culture that is exciting,
multicultural and hopefully blends naturally with a welcoming
invitation to any privileges made available for long-term stayers.
Some of the short-term folks ending up becoming long-term folks,
ideally, I guess.
It may not apply to what you're discussing, but just thought I
would toss in the idea about what replenishes my sense of
On 5/27/20 4:56 PM, Bennett Jones via
Hi Ms. Villines,
To be clear, the plan (as is) represents an example of the
process (not original to me)* I use and, while not developed
specifically for Mirador, is Mirador compatible. This was to
allow me to communicate more clearly with Dave some of the
ideas, issues, and processes that would need to be addressed
with the development of Mirador (or any Intentional Community).
I explained to him - the site plan "bubble drawing" is a
representation of a design technique I use when starting the
process with a client. The "bubbles" represent functions of
structures, and are not to scale, but merely represent relative
location at this stage. When applied to an actual site, this
allows for the establishment of the permanent roads and for
community level utilities (if any) to be fixed. From here the
details are worked out, then the priority order and stages of
construction (including potential future additional development)
can be sorted. (It also allows you to immediately set limits on
vehicle access - to limit areas of soil compaction - and to
plant trees as soon as possible.)
At this stage we are dealing with concepts, such as:
-the relative access and exposure of the structures to the Hwy
from more public to more private.
-the minimizing of expensive and land consuming paved private
roads needed for heavy vehicles.
-the relative positions of structures in order to optimize
-etc., etc. etc. (King and I :)
To your points:
Appearance - I'm glad to hear you think it looks like a
university. That is the "feel" I was going for with that
project. And, the education function of the community is a high
priority with me.
Funding - As with all my projects, I plan for a "staged" (tight
budget, pay as you go) approach unless it is specified in
advance the funding is available up-front for the entire project
(including a source for maintenance/repair/replacement funding).
Regardless, the total site plan is ideally the same. That is, I
design for best case, then build to reality.
Dark Sky - This project was conceived as a Dark Sky Community to
be built in a dark sky designated area. The difference is, this
community was to exceed all current standards in that regard.
There are too many details to list here, but three quick
examples: 1) All exterior lighting is ultimately under the
authority of the Astronomy Section Team Leader (within the
Science Department). 2) All exterior doorways are to be lighted
with minimally sufficient lumen, spectrum limited, full cutoff,
hands free motion sensor and photo cell controlled fixtures
which are fitted with switches to override the auto-on function
when needed. All exterior paths are to be surfaced with high
albedo material and where ever possible covered as much as
practical with a canopy of vegetation.
Visually (and otherwise) Impaired - Since spending some time
years ago in direct patient care, are my designs have
incorporated "Universal Design" features. This project was
conceived literally as a "Cradle to Grave" community. The
reality is - everyone, unless a victim of premature death, will
become visually impaired to some degree. (I want to live in a
Dark Sky Community... even when I'm blind, but then I've never
claimed to be "normal", and I have "vision" - even with my eyes
There are many things about this design and the associated
"Articles of Agreement" (including the "Policies and
Procedures") of a : pet-free, remote, non-violent,
family-friendly, self-sufficient, charity and service and heath
and wellness and stewardship and education oriented, vegan,
beyond organic restorative farm based, drug-free, Science
focused, alternative "schooling", multi-age learning,
non-political, off-grid, Dark Sky, etc., etc. etc....
birth/retirement community - that will discourage most folks,
But they are already living somewhere. This (like Mirador) is a
place designed to be built for a permanent core of 72-144
radical extremist owner/operators.
At this point in my life, am only interested in living in the
cohousing area, but I recommend starting any remote construction
project with the Campground.
I very much appreciated you sharing your feedback.
* Unfortunately I have long lost the identity of the originator
of the "bubble" design technique, so I can not relay the credit
On Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 12:46:30 PM CDT, Sharon
Villines via groups.io
I looked at the site plan — it looks like a
university! Do you have a plan for major funding or
a phased plan? With that many buildings and that
many things going on, how do you keep it dark?
One of my posts to the
Cohousing-L list was in response to a community
that wanted to reduce their “light footprint” by
eliminating lights along the sidewalks. I know
night vision is supposed to develop once you are
out of unnaturally lit environments, but it is
also widely variable. Some people just can’t see
very well and it isn’t obvious until they are
expected to see what other people see.
I once had an argument
with about whether the bathroom door sign should
be on the door or on the wall beside it. A team
member said it had to be on the wall because if
the door was open, no one would see it. "But they
wouldn’t need to see the sign because they could
see it was a bathroom.” She said, “No they
couldn’t.” I finally took her over to look. Even
with the light immediately in front of the door
off, I could see this was the bathroom. Toilet and
sink clearly visible. She could see neither one.
It was a dark room. One she wouldn’t have stepped
into without turning on the light. And unless she
knew it as the bathroom, she wouldn’t have turned
on the light.
Needless to say the sign
went on the wall beside the door.
One can trust that
someone with vision issues wouldn’t choose to be
located in a Dark Sky Community but it is also
quite likely that they don’t realize they have a
problem until they are actually moved in. This
woman is still unaware that she has vision
The other reason is
aging. One of the first signs of cataracts is
dimming vision. And oddly the cataracts are a dull
tan color. They block light from entering the
eye. At night this obvious before the person
notices something wrong during the day. One sees
something like a dense cobweb obscuring vision.
You probably know this
but others on the list may not. My point being
that the larger and more varied the complex the
more considerations you have adjust for in the
participants in order to build a diverse and
You know your audience
and I don’t, but I’m biased in favor of starting