Date   

Re: Notes on Magdalena, New Mexico, and the Route 60 Corridor

maxeem
 

Then this may be another argument for why it may be better not to establish in Southwest NM. I watch the dust column index (personal health reasons) and SW New Mexico all the way up to Silver City gets hit when the winds blow it North. The forested area might be a breaker, leading to less obfuscation if you can get above the tree lines.

According to the measurements given anyway, dust will also get up to Albuquerque or further at times, but not as thick or as often? Haven't paid much attention to Texas but the times I've seen it it's largely in West TX blowing West-Southwest.

Just a fun and useful tool for gathering data from weather.gov

Maxeem


On 6/1/20 4:15 PM, David Oesper via groups.io wrote:

John,

I'm so glad you mentioned the importance of astronomical seeing in choosing a site. It certainly must be a key consideration. Is there a DIMM that is commercially available? If not, we may need to borrow one of yours (or make one ourselves) when we are ready to evaluate a site.

Thanks for the link to your poster paper!

To the group, here's some more information about astronomical seeing. Perhaps an oversimplification (John?), but it does give you a good introduction. For starters, you want to be on the prevailing-wind side of any mountains or hills to avoid being on the receiving end of any topography-induced turbulence.

http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/~meech/a281/handouts/seeing.pdf

Dave


Re: Notes on Magdalena, New Mexico, and the Route 60 Corridor

Steve Taylor
 

Hi John,
That would be very nice. I've only ever stopped in Magdalena once, and that was by a cop.....
Ironically, the only place my son has ever been stopped....is also in Magdalena.....
Steve


On Mon, 1 Jun 2020 at 18:49, John W Briggs <john.w.briggs@...> wrote:
Steve, if during your visit to Socorro you can swing up to Magdalena to see some of the stuff here, that will be wonderful, and we'll look forward to it.  Just let me know as the time approaches!   --John. 

On Mon, Jun 1, 2020 at 4:02 PM Steve Taylor <steveastrouk@...> wrote:
My younger offspring is/will be a final year civil engineer at NMT next semester. We are hoping to go out in late September/October to see him and steal his car, before we head down to Animas to our property on the abandoned Rancho Hidalgo development.

On Mon, 1 Jun 2020 at 17:51, David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

Thanks for your note, John. I think we met at Yerkes many years ago, and I am looking forward to visiting you there in Magdalena as soon as the pandemic subsides.

I’ve visited Socorro, Magdalena, the VLA, and Pie Town, and I love the area. It is also a big plus that Socorro is home to New Mexico Tech and Socorro General Hospital.

I think we should definitely consider locating Mirador Astronomy Village along the Route 60 corridor. It makes good sense to locate Mirador in an area where there is already a significant infrastructure and interest in astronomy. Two other areas we are currently looking at are the Big Bend region of West Texas (home of the McDonald Observatory), and the Hwy 9 corridor in SW New Mexico.

Another, much less expensive, way to create Mirador or something similar to it that I’ve been considering would be to “adopt” an existing small town if they would be willing to adopt us. This could really help the local economy, but the existing residents would have to be on board with the idea and be willing to make some changes such as enacting a lighting ordinance. And we would need to be truly engaged with the existing community and their needs and desires so that it is a win-win situation. It looks like you have already made a lot of progress towards this in Magdalena, so I'm really looking forward to my visit there soon.

You bring up an excellent point about observatory communities at all the remote professional observatories. We could learn a great deal from them. I am somewhat familiar with the McDonald Observatory community. I thoroughly enjoyed helping with star parties (volunteer) and conducting special viewing nights (for pay) on the 36” and the 82” Struve telescopes. Oh, do I miss that!

Wow, there aren’t very many people on this planet that can say that they’ve spent a winter at the South Pole! I’d love to hear about your experience and what you learned about remote living in an inhospitable environment sometime! Though the desert southwest is far more hospitable (even in mid-summer) than Antarctica was, I’m sure much of what you learned would apply to Mirador or any other remote community.

Thanks for mentioning Stellafane and the Springfield Telescope Makers. We should probably contact them to get their insights about Mirador.

Thanks for including the photo of the FOAH Observatory and environs. To those of you who are interested in learning more about this observatory and are curious about what FOAH stands for (as I was), see here:

https://stellafane.org/misc/activities/publications/Magdalena-Briggs.pdf

You’ll also learn a little more about John and his interesting pursuits!

Dave



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Re: Land Auction email

David Oesper
 

And here is another land site that may be useful:

https://www.landsofamerica.com/


Re: Notes on Magdalena, New Mexico, and the Route 60 Corridor

David Oesper
 

John,

I'm so glad you mentioned the importance of astronomical seeing in choosing a site. It certainly must be a key consideration. Is there a DIMM that is commercially available? If not, we may need to borrow one of yours (or make one ourselves) when we are ready to evaluate a site.

Thanks for the link to your poster paper!

To the group, here's some more information about astronomical seeing. Perhaps an oversimplification (John?), but it does give you a good introduction. For starters, you want to be on the prevailing-wind side of any mountains or hills to avoid being on the receiving end of any topography-induced turbulence.

http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/~meech/a281/handouts/seeing.pdf

Dave


Best Rural Hospitals in the Desert SW

David Oesper
 

The Chartis Center for Rural Health annually publishes a list of the top 100 Critical Access Hospitals and top 100 Rural & Community Hospitals.

https://www.ivantageindex.com/top-performing-hospitals/

In the dark-sky areas of the desert southwest region we’re looking at for Mirador Astronomy Village (including an expanded look at rural Texas), these are the hospitals that make the grade:

Miners Colfax Medical Center
Raton, NM
http://www.minershosp.com/
Critical Access Top Hospital

Collingsworth General Hospital
Wellington, TX
https://www.collingsworthgeneral.net/
Critical Access Top Hospital

Mitchell County Hospital District
Colorado City, TX
https://www.mitchellcountyhospital.com/
Critical Access Top Hospital
NOTE: Probably too close to oil & gas development; we need to be very careful to choose a dark-sky community site with no potential for future oil and gas extraction.

Guadalupe County Hospital
Santa Rosa, NM
https://www.gchnm.org/
Rural & Community Top Hospital

Childress Regional Medical Center
Childress, TX
https://www.childresshospital.com/
Rural & Community Top Hospital

Knox County Hospital
Knox City, TX
https://knoxhospital.org/
Rural & Community Top Hospital

No hospitals in Arizona made the grade.


Re: Notes on Magdalena, New Mexico, and the Route 60 Corridor

John W Briggs
 

Steve, if during your visit to Socorro you can swing up to Magdalena to see some of the stuff here, that will be wonderful, and we'll look forward to it.  Just let me know as the time approaches!   --John. 

On Mon, Jun 1, 2020 at 4:02 PM Steve Taylor <steveastrouk@...> wrote:
My younger offspring is/will be a final year civil engineer at NMT next semester. We are hoping to go out in late September/October to see him and steal his car, before we head down to Animas to our property on the abandoned Rancho Hidalgo development.

On Mon, 1 Jun 2020 at 17:51, David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

Thanks for your note, John. I think we met at Yerkes many years ago, and I am looking forward to visiting you there in Magdalena as soon as the pandemic subsides.

I’ve visited Socorro, Magdalena, the VLA, and Pie Town, and I love the area. It is also a big plus that Socorro is home to New Mexico Tech and Socorro General Hospital.

I think we should definitely consider locating Mirador Astronomy Village along the Route 60 corridor. It makes good sense to locate Mirador in an area where there is already a significant infrastructure and interest in astronomy. Two other areas we are currently looking at are the Big Bend region of West Texas (home of the McDonald Observatory), and the Hwy 9 corridor in SW New Mexico.

Another, much less expensive, way to create Mirador or something similar to it that I’ve been considering would be to “adopt” an existing small town if they would be willing to adopt us. This could really help the local economy, but the existing residents would have to be on board with the idea and be willing to make some changes such as enacting a lighting ordinance. And we would need to be truly engaged with the existing community and their needs and desires so that it is a win-win situation. It looks like you have already made a lot of progress towards this in Magdalena, so I'm really looking forward to my visit there soon.

You bring up an excellent point about observatory communities at all the remote professional observatories. We could learn a great deal from them. I am somewhat familiar with the McDonald Observatory community. I thoroughly enjoyed helping with star parties (volunteer) and conducting special viewing nights (for pay) on the 36” and the 82” Struve telescopes. Oh, do I miss that!

Wow, there aren’t very many people on this planet that can say that they’ve spent a winter at the South Pole! I’d love to hear about your experience and what you learned about remote living in an inhospitable environment sometime! Though the desert southwest is far more hospitable (even in mid-summer) than Antarctica was, I’m sure much of what you learned would apply to Mirador or any other remote community.

Thanks for mentioning Stellafane and the Springfield Telescope Makers. We should probably contact them to get their insights about Mirador.

Thanks for including the photo of the FOAH Observatory and environs. To those of you who are interested in learning more about this observatory and are curious about what FOAH stands for (as I was), see here:

https://stellafane.org/misc/activities/publications/Magdalena-Briggs.pdf

You’ll also learn a little more about John and his interesting pursuits!

Dave



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Re: Notes on Magdalena, New Mexico, and the Route 60 Corridor

John W Briggs
 

Dear Dave and Group--

A potential advantage of Rt 60 over Rt 9 here in New Mexico is altitude.  Near Magdalena we're around 6,500 feet, and it gets higher as one drives west.  An effect of this is that we're typically almost ten degrees cooler than Socorro, about 30 miles east of us and 2,000 feet lower.  Of course that means we have colder winters, too!  I don't know Rt 9 well, but I suspect it's lower than Rt 60.

Ranch land around here is often sold in 40-acre parcels.  When my family and I bought two of these about 17 years ago, land was about $1,000/acre or a bit less.  It hasn't necessarily gone up too much since then, although often sellers ask two or three times more.

There's a lot of open land southwest of Magdalena off road 107.  This area is west of the Magdalena mountains and the seeing should be pretty good.  The lights of the Village there are very well blocked by local hills and mountains, as would also much of the modest Albuquerque light dome.  The area I'm thinking of starts about seven miles outside of Magdalena.  Two of our local club members already have homes and observatories out there. 

At my place, FOAH Observatory, the Village is only about three miles south of me.  But the direct lights are blocked by intervening hills.  I still get a small sky glow from the Village -- obnoxiously to my precious south -- especially when there's blowing dust.  But I chose my site to get a hilltop and the best chance for good seeing.  Looking back on it, I would say that I was much more specifically concerned about seeing than some others I know who have chosen observatory developments.  But one thing is sure true -- no site is perfect, and it's always a matter of compromise.  So you just do the best you can in given circumstances.  And there will always be some pros & cons!

I have several differential image motion monitors (DIMMs) all copied exactly after a system we developed at Apache Point Observatory and still used at some sites like McDonald.  We can use these to quantify, for example, if siting on top of a hill actually makes a difference in the seeing.

Cheers!   --John.
Copy:  Old poster paper about the DIMM seeing monitors.


Re: Notes on Magdalena, New Mexico, and the Route 60 Corridor

Steve Taylor
 

My younger offspring is/will be a final year civil engineer at NMT next semester. We are hoping to go out in late September/October to see him and steal his car, before we head down to Animas to our property on the abandoned Rancho Hidalgo development.

On Mon, 1 Jun 2020 at 17:51, David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

Thanks for your note, John. I think we met at Yerkes many years ago, and I am looking forward to visiting you there in Magdalena as soon as the pandemic subsides.

I’ve visited Socorro, Magdalena, the VLA, and Pie Town, and I love the area. It is also a big plus that Socorro is home to New Mexico Tech and Socorro General Hospital.

I think we should definitely consider locating Mirador Astronomy Village along the Route 60 corridor. It makes good sense to locate Mirador in an area where there is already a significant infrastructure and interest in astronomy. Two other areas we are currently looking at are the Big Bend region of West Texas (home of the McDonald Observatory), and the Hwy 9 corridor in SW New Mexico.

Another, much less expensive, way to create Mirador or something similar to it that I’ve been considering would be to “adopt” an existing small town if they would be willing to adopt us. This could really help the local economy, but the existing residents would have to be on board with the idea and be willing to make some changes such as enacting a lighting ordinance. And we would need to be truly engaged with the existing community and their needs and desires so that it is a win-win situation. It looks like you have already made a lot of progress towards this in Magdalena, so I'm really looking forward to my visit there soon.

You bring up an excellent point about observatory communities at all the remote professional observatories. We could learn a great deal from them. I am somewhat familiar with the McDonald Observatory community. I thoroughly enjoyed helping with star parties (volunteer) and conducting special viewing nights (for pay) on the 36” and the 82” Struve telescopes. Oh, do I miss that!

Wow, there aren’t very many people on this planet that can say that they’ve spent a winter at the South Pole! I’d love to hear about your experience and what you learned about remote living in an inhospitable environment sometime! Though the desert southwest is far more hospitable (even in mid-summer) than Antarctica was, I’m sure much of what you learned would apply to Mirador or any other remote community.

Thanks for mentioning Stellafane and the Springfield Telescope Makers. We should probably contact them to get their insights about Mirador.

Thanks for including the photo of the FOAH Observatory and environs. To those of you who are interested in learning more about this observatory and are curious about what FOAH stands for (as I was), see here:

https://stellafane.org/misc/activities/publications/Magdalena-Briggs.pdf

You’ll also learn a little more about John and his interesting pursuits!

Dave



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Re: Notes on Magdalena, New Mexico, and the Route 60 Corridor

David Oesper
 

Thanks for your note, John. I think we met at Yerkes many years ago, and I am looking forward to visiting you there in Magdalena as soon as the pandemic subsides.

I’ve visited Socorro, Magdalena, the VLA, and Pie Town, and I love the area. It is also a big plus that Socorro is home to New Mexico Tech and Socorro General Hospital.

I think we should definitely consider locating Mirador Astronomy Village along the Route 60 corridor. It makes good sense to locate Mirador in an area where there is already a significant infrastructure and interest in astronomy. Two other areas we are currently looking at are the Big Bend region of West Texas (home of the McDonald Observatory), and the Hwy 9 corridor in SW New Mexico.

Another, much less expensive, way to create Mirador or something similar to it that I’ve been considering would be to “adopt” an existing small town if they would be willing to adopt us. This could really help the local economy, but the existing residents would have to be on board with the idea and be willing to make some changes such as enacting a lighting ordinance. And we would need to be truly engaged with the existing community and their needs and desires so that it is a win-win situation. It looks like you have already made a lot of progress towards this in Magdalena, so I'm really looking forward to my visit there soon.

You bring up an excellent point about observatory communities at all the remote professional observatories. We could learn a great deal from them. I am somewhat familiar with the McDonald Observatory community. I thoroughly enjoyed helping with star parties (volunteer) and conducting special viewing nights (for pay) on the 36” and the 82” Struve telescopes. Oh, do I miss that!

Wow, there aren’t very many people on this planet that can say that they’ve spent a winter at the South Pole! I’d love to hear about your experience and what you learned about remote living in an inhospitable environment sometime! Though the desert southwest is far more hospitable (even in mid-summer) than Antarctica was, I’m sure much of what you learned would apply to Mirador or any other remote community.

Thanks for mentioning Stellafane and the Springfield Telescope Makers. We should probably contact them to get their insights about Mirador.

Thanks for including the photo of the FOAH Observatory and environs. To those of you who are interested in learning more about this observatory and are curious about what FOAH stands for (as I was), see here:

https://stellafane.org/misc/activities/publications/Magdalena-Briggs.pdf

You’ll also learn a little more about John and his interesting pursuits!

Dave


Notes on Magdalena, New Mexico, and the Route 60 Corridor

John W Briggs
 

I saw early-on that this forum would welcome some discussion of dark-sky communities in general.  I guess I could say -- now that I think about it -- that I've actually lived at several.  Right now (and for the duration!) I live just outside Magdalena, New Mexico, a small, rural high-desert community of about 800 people.  We have a local Magdalena Astronomical Society; quite dark skies by many standards; and the advantage of a variety of interesting astronomical facilities nearby, like the Very Large Array radio telescope of NRAO. 

What I particularly want to share is how there's an increasing sense of astronomical community all along the "Route 60 corridor" from Socorro to the Arizona border, some 138 miles west.  The most extreme dark skies along this route are probably near where it crosses the continental divide just east of Pie Town.  Magdalena, some 30 miles west of Socorro (and 2,000 feet higher), allows easy access to the relative development of Socorro and New Mexico Tech, the local University.  And Albuquerque 70 road miles farther away to the northeast. 

I hope projects as ambitious as the Mirador plan being discussed here might consider both Magdalena area and the general Route 60 corridor as potential sites for a development.  The more astronomers we have in the region, the more easily, I believe, we can argue for and maintain sensible dark-sky preservation.

By many measures I believe things remain simple and possible in New Mexico, unlike in so many other overcrowded areas of our country nowadays.  In a few years recently I've succeeded with some personal astronomy projects here way beyond my wildest dreams.  It would not have been possible many places elsewhere. 

And regarding dark-sky communities -- I had not really thought about it until now -- but the rather unique observatory communities that evolved to operate originally remote places like Lick and Palomar, etc., were really a form of "dark-sky communities."  I had the good fortune to live and work at four such places, and generally with my family.  They were on the Yerkes campus, at Mount Wilson, and more recently at Sunspot, New Mexico.  The fourth was not with my family, and it was for only a year.  But it was unusual -- a winter-over at South Pole Station in Antarctica. 

Certain lessons can probably be gleaned from all of these places and others like them.  Additional lessons might be learned from the unusually dedicated and cohesive group that together own and operate Stellafane near Springfield, Vermont.  For most people, "Stellafane" refers to the annual convention that's quite famous in its own right.  But actually, the name is for the associated observatory that now involves some 80 acres and quite a variety of buildings.  The Springfield Telescope Makers who operate it all have a membership of about 150, I believe -- i.e., close to a number that was mentioned earlier here, if I recall right.

Cheers!
--John W. Briggs, 
Magdalena, NM.
PS:  Photo attached of FOAH Observatory located in hills typical of this area; FOAH is at 6,500 feet altitude.


Land Auction email

Lissa Bengtson
 

I get emails from this site pretty regularly, about government surplus auctions, which always include land.

https://www.governmentauction.com/


Also, want to make sure you know about this Facebook group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/411729488873828/
It's called 
Big Bend, Texas. Terlingua, Lajitas, Study Butte, Alpine, Marfa, Marathon

Some gorgeous photos.
Lissa Bengtson


Why the Big Bend of Texas for Mirador? - Weekend Viewing

Bennett Jones
 

This first one is within Big Bend National Park, but gives some idea of the area - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scnbMC-tcUI 
The next is dark sky photography specific and is outside the Park - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FROZGwXofA4 
And then there is Big Bend Ranch State Park - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5orO7w2gcww 


Re: Site Plan

Bennett Jones
 

Maxeem,
I was definitely influenced by the experience of visiting EPCOT when it finally opened.

Unfortunately I do not know of any descendants of the original inhabitants of this area. The Archaeologist are just beginning to figure out what happened here. Did you have a chance to watch - "The Chihuahuan Desert: Our North American Outback" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQvg5TDV_nc

-Bennett

On Thursday, May 28, 2020, 05:41:18 PM CDT, maxeem <maxeem@...> wrote:


Wow, interesting and ambitious. It almost sounds like an improved Disney park. Short of mis-glorifying all the ways that people have lived in the area for a couple decamillennia. I think ol Walt Disney himself wanted something in the vein for DisneyWorld Resort before it was vetoed by others. Like an actual "Experimental Proto-type Community Of Tomorrow" (EPCOT) but the LC model sounds like it will have room for more references, more historic accuracy, more openness to the thousands of years of Native models and hence not by necessity colonist as an "end goal" (or justification).

I am super interested. I am also interested in getting to know and honor the descendants of original inhabitants of whatever region "selects us" for this caring ecological model (e.g. Coconino, Zuni, Yavapai, Apache, Navajo, Hopi, Apache, Pueblo, Mexican, Spanish, etc.). I would guess some native folks would be highly interested in promoting a Dark Sky community done in this spirit.

I think I'd find myself weeding, and tending in the gardens or growing spaces ... and the kitchen a lot. :)

Maxeem


On 5/28/20 1:31 AM, Bennett Jones via groups.io wrote:
Hi Maxeem,
This LC model site plan contains no single family homes. The closest thing to that would be an RV in the Campground. The site plan is a very simplified bare bones version, prior to site selection.

The version based on a site currently available here in a remote area of the Chihuahuan Desert (Big Bend region of Texas) is much more developed. The road side businesses are the "town" and designed in a historic 1890's - 1912 Western style. The idea is to actually represent a time-line from around 13,000 BP (the Museum) to the future (the Science facilities) - think Steam Punk meets Star Trek. The base is a working "Living History" Farm/ Agriculture Experiment Station. The "town" buildings have two "fronts", one on the highway side for public access by automobile, and one on the community side that is car-free.

Each Department "home" has 12 adjoining Bed Rooms, which can be grouped together as needed for a family, and a common Kitchen/Dinning area that is used two days/week when the community Kitchen staff has time off. The base Bed Room unit would offer minimal features, and would be very affordable. There is a "Hotel" in the same format, above the "Saloon"- think ice cold organic root beer & ginger ale on tap, plus fresh fruit smoothies, with cards (The Civil Four) and board games, and a piano of course.

The community is reversed in many ways from a "normal" community. Instead of taxes and fees being used to subsidize businesses, business profits would subsidized the residents. The plan is to have the whole complex profitable enough so as to be able to offer scholarships to some who could not otherwise afford to be an owner/resident. Approved items and supplies are purchased in bulk at the community level, and would be available to residents at a discount.

Because of the tourism already in place (plus the additional folks drawn in by the Campground and all the scientists and students who would be rotating through), for the permanent residents who want to spend some time in the public areas, the community would deliver a lot of the good points of traveling without actually having to leave home. With the on-site storage units, it would also be the perfect home base for travelers. Because of the features, this community would have more to appeal to motivated younger folks than any community currently in this region. You could also think of this as the equivalent of a Star Fleet Academy training program for colonists.

Adding Mirador to the model would just expand the Astronomy facilities sub-campus to include more residence options.

Thank you for sharing your ideas;

-Bennett
On Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 11:15:41 PM CDT, maxeem <maxeem@...> wrote:


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 community.

Warm Regards,

Maxeem


On 5/27/20 4:56 PM, Bennett Jones via groups.io wrote:
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 functions.
-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 closed :)


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.

-Bennett

* Unfortunately I have long lost the identity of the originator of the "bubble" design technique, so I can not relay the credit due.
On Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 12:46:30 PM CDT, Sharon Villines via groups.io <sharon@...> wrote:


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 limitations.

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 inclusive community.

You know your audience and I don’t, but I’m biased in favor of starting with cohousing. 



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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsiUEGk4v6g

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.
See: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/ea/16/75/ea1675cae413e17286582521a15dc86a.jpg

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. :)

-Bennett

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


It's a Process: Moving from "Me" Towards "We"

David Oesper
 

The last topic I’d like to share from Yana Ludwig’s webinar, "How to Start an Intentional Community", is the recognition that any intentional community (including Mirador Astronomy Village) provides an opportunity to “move the needle” at least a little from the status quo towards a more wholesome way of living.


We are All In a Cultural Transition…

… and Community is a Fertile Ground For It

Independence arrow_right Interdependence

Judgement arrow_right Discernment

Me arrow_right We

Hoarding Resources arrow_right Sharing Resources

Competition arrow_right Cooperation

Blame arrow_right Compassion

...and it is Lifelong Work!


I'd love to live in a rural or even remote area, where the night sky is dark and filled with stars, but I would never want to live in such an isolated place with just me and my family. I need a community.

Dave


Re: Site Plan

maxeem
 

Wow, interesting and ambitious. It almost sounds like an improved Disney park. Short of mis-glorifying all the ways that people have lived in the area for a couple decamillennia. I think ol Walt Disney himself wanted something in the vein for DisneyWorld Resort before it was vetoed by others. Like an actual "Experimental Proto-type Community Of Tomorrow" (EPCOT) but the LC model sounds like it will have room for more references, more historic accuracy, more openness to the thousands of years of Native models and hence not by necessity colonist as an "end goal" (or justification).

I am super interested. I am also interested in getting to know and honor the descendants of original inhabitants of whatever region "selects us" for this caring ecological model (e.g. Coconino, Zuni, Yavapai, Apache, Navajo, Hopi, Apache, Pueblo, Mexican, Spanish, etc.). I would guess some native folks would be highly interested in promoting a Dark Sky community done in this spirit.

I think I'd find myself weeding, and tending in the gardens or growing spaces ... and the kitchen a lot. :)

Maxeem


On 5/28/20 1:31 AM, Bennett Jones via groups.io wrote:
Hi Maxeem,
This LC model site plan contains no single family homes. The closest thing to that would be an RV in the Campground. The site plan is a very simplified bare bones version, prior to site selection.

The version based on a site currently available here in a remote area of the Chihuahuan Desert (Big Bend region of Texas) is much more developed. The road side businesses are the "town" and designed in a historic 1890's - 1912 Western style. The idea is to actually represent a time-line from around 13,000 BP (the Museum) to the future (the Science facilities) - think Steam Punk meets Star Trek. The base is a working "Living History" Farm/ Agriculture Experiment Station. The "town" buildings have two "fronts", one on the highway side for public access by automobile, and one on the community side that is car-free.

Each Department "home" has 12 adjoining Bed Rooms, which can be grouped together as needed for a family, and a common Kitchen/Dinning area that is used two days/week when the community Kitchen staff has time off. The base Bed Room unit would offer minimal features, and would be very affordable. There is a "Hotel" in the same format, above the "Saloon"- think ice cold organic root beer & ginger ale on tap, plus fresh fruit smoothies, with cards (The Civil Four) and board games, and a piano of course.

The community is reversed in many ways from a "normal" community. Instead of taxes and fees being used to subsidize businesses, business profits would subsidized the residents. The plan is to have the whole complex profitable enough so as to be able to offer scholarships to some who could not otherwise afford to be an owner/resident. Approved items and supplies are purchased in bulk at the community level, and would be available to residents at a discount.

Because of the tourism already in place (plus the additional folks drawn in by the Campground and all the scientists and students who would be rotating through), for the permanent residents who want to spend some time in the public areas, the community would deliver a lot of the good points of traveling without actually having to leave home. With the on-site storage units, it would also be the perfect home base for travelers. Because of the features, this community would have more to appeal to motivated younger folks than any community currently in this region. You could also think of this as the equivalent of a Star Fleet Academy training program for colonists.

Adding Mirador to the model would just expand the Astronomy facilities sub-campus to include more residence options.

Thank you for sharing your ideas;

-Bennett
On Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 11:15:41 PM CDT, maxeem <maxeem@...> wrote:


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 community.

Warm Regards,

Maxeem


On 5/27/20 4:56 PM, Bennett Jones via groups.io wrote:
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 functions.
-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 closed :)


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.

-Bennett

* Unfortunately I have long lost the identity of the originator of the "bubble" design technique, so I can not relay the credit due.
On Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 12:46:30 PM CDT, Sharon Villines via groups.io <sharon@...> wrote:


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 limitations.

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 inclusive community.

You know your audience and I don’t, but I’m biased in favor of starting with cohousing. 



Re: Customization and Building a Community

Sharon Villines
 

On May 25, 2020, at 11:46 PM, David Oesper via groups.io <oesper@...> wrote:

"If possible, create homes that are flexible enough for modifications and customizations AFTER move-in. For us, one of the main opportunities of that kind was to include unfinished basements, which about 2/3 of the households have since finished in the 20 years since move-in."


Another project is leaving the second floor unfinished as a “party room.” The Ecovillage of Loudon County is a lot development model — each person chooses from a list of architects and building plans and builds on a community lot. Many designed their houses so the basement floor is finished so it can be rented as a separate apartment with an outside entrance as well as an entrance to the upstairs. At this point most are young families so they use the whole space, but some are empty nesters and rent the apartment.

Sharon


Community & Business [ was Site Plan

Sharon Villines
 

On May 27, 2020, at 10:45 PM, maxeem <maxeem@...> wrote:

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.

First problem is probably referring to community members as "investors.” The feel is not the same as other cohousing community websites. The stress isn’t on community, and the pages on the vision, mission, etc are more institutional. They don’t invite people to come and make a home. 

While most cohousing communities share the same values and a large percentage of residents work in non-profit and social activist groups, the community itself is focused on the community. There are communities that have tangential businesses — cheese making, Christian Retreat House, Recreation Cabins, gardens, etc. — most seem to have found that it is better if there is a clean division between the two. They are still in the same place with lots of involvement  of many members but the finances and legal status are separate. 

That way mayhem in the community or economic downturns in the business don’t drain each other’s energy or finances. There be influences and concerns, certainly, but the purpose (vision, mission, aim) of each entity is not the same.

Cohousing communities often have a shared interest but there is no allegiance to a cause or ideology expected. Everyone is expected to respect each other. One community encouraged new members that shared a common interest in yoga and meditation, for example. Ours is taking on a serious interest in cooking and baking — just because 3 or 4 serious cooks have moved in. They host group baking sessions and special meals. One had prizes for the people who found a bean in their quiche.

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.

Many cohousing communities in the US are considering this, if only to allow younger people to join cohousing. The problem has been that communities had to build themselves and there was no money to build one’s own home and to build another building too. Many have developed without a common house because they couldn’t afford it. It might be 5-10 years before they can finance it.

It may not apply to what you're discussing, but just thought I would toss in the idea about what replenishes my sense of community.

I think this is a very good description of the purpose of cohousing:  “to replenish one’s sense of community.” This is what is missing from the Moora-Moora website. Another purpose that many have adopted is “to create an old-fashioned neighborhood."

Sharon


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


Re: Site Plan

Bennett Jones
 

Hi Maxeem,
This LC model site plan contains no single family homes. The closest thing to that would be an RV in the Campground. The site plan is a very simplified bare bones version, prior to site selection.

The version based on a site currently available here in a remote area of the Chihuahuan Desert (Big Bend region of Texas) is much more developed. The road side businesses are the "town" and designed in a historic 1890's - 1912 Western style. The idea is to actually represent a time-line from around 13,000 BP (the Museum) to the future (the Science facilities) - think Steam Punk meets Star Trek. The base is a working "Living History" Farm/ Agriculture Experiment Station. The "town" buildings have two "fronts", one on the highway side for public access by automobile, and one on the community side that is car-free.

Each Department "home" has 12 adjoining Bed Rooms, which can be grouped together as needed for a family, and a common Kitchen/Dinning area that is used two days/week when the community Kitchen staff has time off. The base Bed Room unit would offer minimal features, and would be very affordable. There is a "Hotel" in the same format, above the "Saloon"- think ice cold organic root beer & ginger ale on tap, plus fresh fruit smoothies, with cards (The Civil Four) and board games, and a piano of course.

The community is reversed in many ways from a "normal" community. Instead of taxes and fees being used to subsidize businesses, business profits would subsidized the residents. The plan is to have the whole complex profitable enough so as to be able to offer scholarships to some who could not otherwise afford to be an owner/resident. Approved items and supplies are purchased in bulk at the community level, and would be available to residents at a discount.

Because of the tourism already in place (plus the additional folks drawn in by the Campground and all the scientists and students who would be rotating through), for the permanent residents who want to spend some time in the public areas, the community would deliver a lot of the good points of traveling without actually having to leave home. With the on-site storage units, it would also be the perfect home base for travelers. Because of the features, this community would have more to appeal to motivated younger folks than any community currently in this region. You could also think of this as the equivalent of a Star Fleet Academy training program for colonists.

Adding Mirador to the model would just expand the Astronomy facilities sub-campus to include more residence options.

Thank you for sharing your ideas;

-Bennett

On Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 11:15:41 PM CDT, maxeem <maxeem@...> wrote:


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 community.

Warm Regards,

Maxeem


On 5/27/20 4:56 PM, Bennett Jones via groups.io wrote:
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 functions.
-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 closed :)


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.

-Bennett

* Unfortunately I have long lost the identity of the originator of the "bubble" design technique, so I can not relay the credit due.
On Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 12:46:30 PM CDT, Sharon Villines via groups.io <sharon@...> wrote:


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 limitations.

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 inclusive community.

You know your audience and I don’t, but I’m biased in favor of starting with cohousing.