Re: Site Plan

Bennett Jones

Ms. Bengtson,
The LC model community was not developed for Mirador, it is however Mirador compatible. The model goal was to develop the minimal "complete" community, one that actually has a defined mission.

After spending time working/living in my mother's restaurant I have been disappointed with home Kitchens. You are describing the community "Visiting Chef Program". I hope to have many participants and to integrate that with our "Community Educational Programs". See the Programs Manual. Cross reference with "Health and Wellness Programs".

The "Greenhouse" is the simple label for a complete range of environmentally moderated "indoor" growing spaces. This would be everything from simple a shade cloth/netting structure, to a "solar greenhouse", to a completely contained and controlled environment (as would be found in a basement grow room).
There are many reasons for greenhouses in the desert, too many list for this short post.
See our neighbors here:

Many years ago, my young daughter's dance teacher impressed upon me the need for a sprung wooden floor. The plan for several phases of construction does include dance space from Day 1, even if that first space is a floor of dirt around the camp fire. There is a "common house" at the first phase of construction. The Dinning Rooms are to be multi-use spaces that can double as indoor activity areas. I imagine the sprung wooden floor might go best in one of the more advanced phases when the "town" is built. Think - "Saloon" by day / proper "Dance Hall"/"Theater" by night.

There needs to be one indoor space that can shelter the entire community (plus visitors) for special occasions. Ideally that would be a flex space that could function as a Community Rec Center. That may initially be a great tent with a portable dance floor.

Initially the morning "Tai Chi Program" would be held outdoors, as would the mid-day "Yoga Program" and evening "Aikido Program" (weather permitting). See the Programs Manual. The common house Dinning Room would be the initial alternate location.

I like the way you are thinking. :)


On Thursday, May 28, 2020, 12:37:48 PM CDT, Lissa Bengtson <lissabengtson@...> wrote:

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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