Re: Site Plan

Lissa Bengtson

There is a lot of thought here, and I appreciate it.  Bennett's bubble design was a bit of a surprise to me because I didn't think there would be that many buildings.  But I like the idea of a lot of different, interesting spaces.  I'm not sure about greenhouses--how they actually work in a desert environment, but I certainly hope we can grow some of our own food.

I'm in favor of a central commercial-quality kitchen, which will be necessary for retreat groups that may want to rent the facilities, but also for us as a community.  I have prepared meals for 60 before--with the right equipment I could double that.  Or perhaps we make a deal with a chef for a big discount on their rental if he or she cooks one meal for us for 5 of 7 days, etc.

A recreation hall (possibly next to the dining room or maybe not) is essential for me, for dancing, tai chi, yoga, etc and my strong preference is that it have a sprung wooden floor and a stage sufficiently big enough for a band or for performing plays.  It would also need sound-dampening qualities for the outside and acoustic considerations inside, window coverings, etc.   Of course, good, strong air conditioning would be essential.

I do think starting with the campground makes sense--there really aren't that many RV parks in West Texas.  Each RV needs electricity (30 amp or 50 amp, plus a regular household plug on the pedestal) and 2 faucets of fresh water, with good pressure.  A concrete pad to park on and an adjacent concrete pad (often with a picnic table) so you don't step down into mud.  A sewer connection, also--some are right by the RV, and others you have to drive to the central sewer dump.  Many RV parks offer showers/toilets, also, which is very handy, and necessary for the tent campers.  I recently did an inspection of a Fifth Wheel at the Texan RV Park in Athens, TX and it was pretty much perfect except the rec room didn't have a wooden floor!

For tourists in RV's the nightly rate can be $45 to $65.  RVs are going to be increasingly popular due to so many baby-boomers retiring and the self-contained aspect makes them a safe way to travel when considering Covid-19 or similar.  Private RV parks were able to stay open in Texas during the stay-at-home orders, while all the State Parks closed to camping.  

As I write this I realize I really don't want to live in a rustic fashion.  I don't want to do without clean water, nor a/c, nor electricity.  Our '88 RV doesn't have any bells and whistles like some of the expensive ones, but it's comfortable if we have electricity and water and a sewer connection.  Oh yeah, and our Verizon HotSpot.

Lissa Bengtson

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