Date   

File /AZ-NM-TX 2019 Light Pollution Map.jpg uploaded #file-notice

main@Dark-Sky-Communities.groups.io Notification <main@...>
 

The following files have been uploaded to the Files area of the main@Dark-Sky-Communities.groups.io group.

By: David Oesper

Description:
2019 light pollution map of Arizona, New Mexico, and West Texas from https://blue-marble.de/nightlights/2019 . As you can see, the area south of Lordsburg in the bootheel of New Mexico where Rancho Hidalgo is located would be an excellent location for Mirador Astronomy Village (or parts thereof). The Big Bend region of West Texas south of Alpine and Marfa is also excellent (and further south than all of NM and AZ), but the oil and gas development north of I-10 is significantly affecting the darkness of the sky at McDonald Observatory north of Alpine and Marfa (north of Fort Davis). At any potential site for Mirador we need to be mindful of the likelihood of extractive industry activity in the future, which could quickly destroy our dark skies, as we would have little or no ability to regulate the lighting of those activities.


Tiny Home Community

David Oesper
 

Here's some information about a tiny home community in Bend, Oregon, and the website for the developer/builder, Hiatus Homes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AUJyAZIV5c

https://hiatushomes.com/

Thank you, Nancy Wunderlin, for letting us know about this!

Something like this might work well as one housing type available in a dark-sky community. These appear to be very well designed and constructed units. I was shocked at the cost, but the current median home price in Bend, OR is $529K.

Dave


Re: Rancho Hidalgo and Amtrak

Steve Taylor
 

The railroad report was interesting. Its a great shame there isn't a proper grown up system in the USA anymore. It would take 58 hours to go from where we are in Central PA to ABQ, let alone Lordsburg

Steve

On Mon, 31 Aug 2020 at 20:05, David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

As a frequent Amtrak traveler and passenger rail enthusiast, I started looking into whether there is a car rental business in Lordsburg, the nearest Amtrak stop to Rancho Hidalgo.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MR65-phP981Us-EYq8J6h90Rw79lnCTx/view?usp=sharing

The new Lordsburg-Hidalgo Chamber of Commerce director told me that there isn't.

I next contacted the Deming-Luna Chamber of Commerce director, and he shared the following:

Good Morning David,

I received your email requesting information on a rental vehicle. The only information I have is that Desert Aviation has had some rental vehicles in the past at our airport. You can give them a call at 575-544-3660 to see if they are able to assist you with your request.

As a big fan of intermodal transportation connectivity, I can see there is an unmet need/opportunity here. I like what Alpine Auto Rental in Alpine, TX has done. They meet you at the Amtrak station with your car when the train arrives, and you can drop it back off at the Amtrak station right before you board the train when you leave. I've done this many times and it is really convenient.

I attended a Sunset Limited briefing a couple of weeks ago sponsored by the Rail Passengers Association, of which I am a member. They are making a concerted effort to expand Sunset Limited service from three days per week to daily, but the biggest challenge is Union Pacific owns the rail and they have no incentive to do anything to help passenger rail without legislative support and funding.

Here's the presentation if you're interested:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Y0t8d29NHObyWMFVkRGsBKD5bw6vSrA5/view?usp=sharing

Dave



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Rancho Hidalgo and Amtrak

David Oesper
 

As a frequent Amtrak traveler and passenger rail enthusiast, I started looking into whether there is a car rental business in Lordsburg, the nearest Amtrak stop to Rancho Hidalgo.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MR65-phP981Us-EYq8J6h90Rw79lnCTx/view?usp=sharing

The new Lordsburg-Hidalgo Chamber of Commerce director told me that there isn't.

I next contacted the Deming-Luna Chamber of Commerce director, and he shared the following:

Good Morning David,

I received your email requesting information on a rental vehicle. The only information I have is that Desert Aviation has had some rental vehicles in the past at our airport. You can give them a call at 575-544-3660 to see if they are able to assist you with your request.

As a big fan of intermodal transportation connectivity, I can see there is an unmet need/opportunity here. I like what Alpine Auto Rental in Alpine, TX has done. They meet you at the Amtrak station with your car when the train arrives, and you can drop it back off at the Amtrak station right before you board the train when you leave. I've done this many times and it is really convenient.

I attended a Sunset Limited briefing a couple of weeks ago sponsored by the Rail Passengers Association, of which I am a member. They are making a concerted effort to expand Sunset Limited service from three days per week to daily, but the biggest challenge is Union Pacific owns the rail and they have no incentive to do anything to help passenger rail without legislative support and funding.

Here's the presentation if you're interested:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Y0t8d29NHObyWMFVkRGsBKD5bw6vSrA5/view?usp=sharing

Dave


Film: The Best of Both Worlds: Cohousing's Promise

David Oesper
 

The Trailer to the Movie:

https://youtu.be/IkdDUi4Pl_c

The Movie:

https://www.pbssocal.org/programs/viewfinder/co-housing-best-of-both-worlds-6fkfq9/

Worth watching. Obviously, things are going to look a bit different in a desert environment, and we will make it our own. "Cohousing" encompasses a whole spectrum of possibilities, but the key features are clustered residences, a common house, common areas, and a lot of land left undeveloped when the cohousing project is rural as it will be for any dark-sky community.

Dave


File /Rancho Hidalgo/Summary of Disclosure Statement for Rancho Hidalgo Subdivision, April 10, 2010.pdf uploaded #file-notice

main@Dark-Sky-Communities.groups.io Notification <main@...>
 

The following files have been uploaded to the Files area of the main@Dark-Sky-Communities.groups.io group.

By: David Oesper

Description:
This is a summary of important information about the Rancho Hidalgo subdivision. All parcels are currently owned, but some landowners have indicated an interest in selling. The original developer did not complete the promised work, but we may have an opportunity, with an attorney's help, to move forward with the original intent of creating a vibrant astronomy-friendly residential community that could perhaps include at least some elements of the Mirador Astronomy Village proposal. Your thoughts and ideas would be greatly appreciated. - David Oesper


Re: Rancho Hidalgo

Lonnie Dittrick
 

Hi Dave, as Steve can attest, getting cooperation/participation among the landowners is quite a challenge, but perhaps some headway can be made.  I am not sure of the best way to motivate individuals, especially when they were hit hard on their investment(s).  You would have to replace the original concept we all bought into with a new one, obviously on a smaller scale.  


Goldendale Sky Village

David Oesper
 

Check out the Focal Point on p. 84 in the October 2020 issue of Sky & Telescope, "It Takes a Village". This is not a residential astronomy community, per se, but they do plan to accommodate RVs. Always a happy occasion when something like this gets established.

Incidentally, the Focal Point article I wrote about Mirador Astronomy Village was rejected because this article was in the hopper first, and is quite obviously further along than our project.

Dave


Re: Rancho Hidalgo

David Oesper
 

Thanks, Sharon, this is very helpful information (both of your notes) and gives us some good options. Will be reporting back after I have done a bit more research about the current zoning and deed restrictions.

And Lonnie, thanks for posting the beautiful photo looking east from your property at Rancho Hidalgo!

Steve, I think you're right, the HOA never was put into place, and I don't think the county has much in the way of zoning beyond the original deed restrictions outlined in the 2010 disclosure document I received a copy of from the county assessor, so we have some flexibility...I think. Of course, the other landowners would have to go along with anything we propose.

Dave


Re: Rancho Hidalgo

Lonnie Dittrick
 

Here is a shot I took from our lot (14) looking east toward the Peloncillo Mountains.  It was especially nice as it was taken after some heavy rains the week before. 

On Wed, Aug 5, 2020 at 9:52 PM Lissa Bengtson <lissabengtson@...> wrote:
I don't know how to find this on a map.  I googled it and can't seem to make it work anywhere.

Lissa

On Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 8:48 AM Lonnie Dittrick <Ldittrick1955@...> wrote:
Here is the original plat map

On Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 12:43 AM David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

All,

If anyone is interested in seeing where Rancho Hidalgo is, here are the coordinates of one of the entrances (if memory serves me correctly)—I haven't been there in a while.

31 56 38 N, 108 53 56 W Elevation: 4426 ft.

--
“The Universe declares Your Majesty.”
www.londittrickphotography.com

--
“The Universe declares Your Majesty.”
www.londittrickphotography.com


Re: Rancho Hidalgo

Steve Taylor
 

The Rancho Hidalgo scheme all collapsed, with jail sentences for the principals, barely any of the expected infrastructure was ever introduced, and the intended HOA was as far as I can tell never put in place.
So its still the Wild West ;-)


On Thu, 6 Aug 2020 at 14:27, Sharon Villines via groups.io <sharon=sharonvillines.com@groups.io> wrote:
> On Aug 3, 2020, at 11:42 PM, David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

> Just curious, if I wanted to build a small cohousing community on the 4 acres I own at Rancho Hidalgo, would I be allowed to do that?

This depends almost entirely on local zoning, but it has also been possible in many areas to get variances. Have the property rezoned a multi-family. If a lot size is required for each house, get permission to cluster the houses to leave open space on the  rest of the land.

The other restrictions would be related to infrastructure — sewer, electricity, water, etc. Even if you plan to do all of those yourself, there may be restrictions on how you do that. The reasoning is that towns want all housing to meet minimum safety standards.

One community got permission to build at the junction of several plots by clustering the houses that otherwise required several acres each. Overall there was still the minimum acreage for each house just not around and between each house.

Some have advised building up instead of out. It is less expensive (I’ve been told) to build up and leaves the land bare. This will have other zoning restrictions. In DC at Takoma Village we have 43 apts and townhouses on a little more than 1 acre. I don’t think Eastern Village in Bethesda MD has any land around the building. Maybe a few feet of grass in the front. They rehabbed an old office building into 50+ units.

But Hidalgo may have few restrictions if it is remote. However, conforming to national or local building codes will probably be necessary for insurance and financing.

Sharon
———
Sharon Villines
http://sustainablecohousing.org
sustainablecohousing@groups.io
To subscribe:
sustainablecohousing+subscribe@groups.io








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Re: Rancho Hidalgo

Sharon Villines
 

In many states now all the documents about ownership and residency are public and online. For a modest fee you can download PDFs. That may be faster than a clerk getting them for you — and asking questions about what you want. There may be things in the records that you might not have known to ask for.

Sharon
———
Sharon Villines
http://sustainablecohousing.org
sustainablecohousing@groups.io
To subscribe:
sustainablecohousing+subscribe@groups.io


Re: Rancho Hidalgo

Sharon Villines
 

On Aug 3, 2020, at 11:42 PM, David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:
Just curious, if I wanted to build a small cohousing community on the 4 acres I own at Rancho Hidalgo, would I be allowed to do that?
This depends almost entirely on local zoning, but it has also been possible in many areas to get variances. Have the property rezoned a multi-family. If a lot size is required for each house, get permission to cluster the houses to leave open space on the rest of the land.

The other restrictions would be related to infrastructure — sewer, electricity, water, etc. Even if you plan to do all of those yourself, there may be restrictions on how you do that. The reasoning is that towns want all housing to meet minimum safety standards.

One community got permission to build at the junction of several plots by clustering the houses that otherwise required several acres each. Overall there was still the minimum acreage for each house just not around and between each house.

Some have advised building up instead of out. It is less expensive (I’ve been told) to build up and leaves the land bare. This will have other zoning restrictions. In DC at Takoma Village we have 43 apts and townhouses on a little more than 1 acre. I don’t think Eastern Village in Bethesda MD has any land around the building. Maybe a few feet of grass in the front. They rehabbed an old office building into 50+ units.

But Hidalgo may have few restrictions if it is remote. However, conforming to national or local building codes will probably be necessary for insurance and financing.

Sharon
———
Sharon Villines
http://sustainablecohousing.org
sustainablecohousing@groups.io
To subscribe:
sustainablecohousing+subscribe@groups.io


Re: Rancho Hidalgo

David Oesper
 

Hi Lissa,

Try this:

https://goo.gl/maps/VPpUBdaMqkwzjnWUA

Thanks,

Dave


Re: Rancho Hidalgo

Lissa Bengtson
 

I don't know how to find this on a map.  I googled it and can't seem to make it work anywhere.

Lissa

On Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 8:48 AM Lonnie Dittrick <Ldittrick1955@...> wrote:
Here is the original plat map

On Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 12:43 AM David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

All,

If anyone is interested in seeing where Rancho Hidalgo is, here are the coordinates of one of the entrances (if memory serves me correctly)—I haven't been there in a while.

31 56 38 N, 108 53 56 W Elevation: 4426 ft.

--
“The Universe declares Your Majesty.”
www.londittrickphotography.com


Re: Rancho Hidalgo

David Oesper
 

Thanks, Lonnie! I may have had this once upon a time, but the 2015 Memorial Day weekend flood in Houston destroyed it along with most of my belongings.

I'd love to get the annotated version via private email to look at, if I may. I won't post that one publicly anywhere.

Thanks,

Dave


Re: Rancho Hidalgo

David Oesper
 

I'd be interested in staying at the airbnb when I visit. Could you share the details either here or in a private email?

Thanks,

Dave


Re: Rancho Hidalgo

Steve Taylor
 

I know a very nice little airbnb, about 5 miles away I can recommend wholeheartedly....if they're open....



On Tue, 4 Aug 2020 at 00:40, David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

Thanks, Lonnie, I guess I'll need to contact Hidalgo County about what enforceable restrictions remain. I'm planning to visit Rancho Hidalgo later this year or early next year (as soon as the pandemic eases). Is anyone living there full time? Is there any on-site guest lodging?

Dave



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Re: Rancho Hidalgo

Steve Taylor
 

BTW I am planning on being there around Thanksgiving - Lizzy and I are hoping to camp in the house at least while we work on it.

Steve


On Tue, 4 Aug 2020 at 10:04, Steve Taylor <steveastrouk@...> wrote:
I got a version I annotated when Lonnie and I were getting the RH members we could find together, it has owner names on it.

On Tue, 4 Aug 2020 at 09:48, Lonnie Dittrick <Ldittrick1955@...> wrote:
Here is the original plat map

On Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 12:43 AM David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

All,

If anyone is interested in seeing where Rancho Hidalgo is, here are the coordinates of one of the entrances (if memory serves me correctly)—I haven't been there in a while.

31 56 38 N, 108 53 56 W Elevation: 4426 ft.

--
“The Universe declares Your Majesty.”
www.londittrickphotography.com



--
 


--
 


Re: Rancho Hidalgo

Steve Taylor
 

I got a version I annotated when Lonnie and I were getting the RH members we could find together, it has owner names on it.

On Tue, 4 Aug 2020 at 09:48, Lonnie Dittrick <Ldittrick1955@...> wrote:
Here is the original plat map

On Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 12:43 AM David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

All,

If anyone is interested in seeing where Rancho Hidalgo is, here are the coordinates of one of the entrances (if memory serves me correctly)—I haven't been there in a while.

31 56 38 N, 108 53 56 W Elevation: 4426 ft.

--
“The Universe declares Your Majesty.”
www.londittrickphotography.com



--