Such lovely day for a May Day Brunch. It's a joy to be gathering together again for celebration and connection.
With so many of us now vaccinated and the return of warm weather, we've been able to ease our Covid restrictions. We have continued to hold weekly outdoor Happy Hour Potlucks throughout the pandemic, thanks to heat lamps and bonfires, but we've also now been able to add weekly common meals. Many of our teams are returning to meeting in person, usually outdoors.
We've been welcoming friends and families as well as Phase 2 Associate Members for overnight stays in our guest rooms, although we're generally only booking one of our two guest rooms at a time.
The timing seems perfect. Spring is the time for new beginnings and rejuvenation. We've been very fortunate to have been here together throughout the pandemic because, for the most part, we've been able to get together in limited ways for outdoor gatherings, walks on our trails, and via Zoom, but now it really feels like we're moving ever closer to normal community life together.
Sandy and Sondra celebrating May Day.
Sandy was born on May 1, 1961 so it was the perfect opportunity for the community to come out and also celebrate her 60th birthday.
Like so many places in the Rocky Mountain West, Heartwood continues to attract a lot of interest from people wanting to move away from the city and bring more nature and community into their lives. We now have 40 Phase 2 Associate Members (P2AM's), which is a lot considering that we will only have 14 homes available, but with so many uncertainties still ahead and the cost of construction at all time highs, there will inevitably be lots of those folks who decide not to become committed Phase 2 homebuyers. Not only do we have a lot of P2AM's, because of our monthly P2AM Zoom Gatherings, our biweekly P2AM Zoom Happy Hours, and the many P2AM's coming for visits, it's obvious that we also have exceptionally wonderful people showing up. Like our current community members, the P2AM's yearn for community in their lives, value a strong connection with Nature, and generally possess tremendous vitality. Overall, we couldn't be more pleased with the people being attracted to Phase 2. Attracting the right quantity and quality of people to any new cohousing development is absolutely essential and we're thriving in that area.
We've been working diligently with the County and various regulatory agencies and are making slow, but steady progress. We recently submitted our Sketch Plan application. The Sketch Plan approval is a new step that was added by the County during a recent land use code revision to streamline the process. Go figure. We hope to receive our Sketch Plan approval in June. We are also still waiting on the County to decide on the fire department's recommendation about an emergency access waiver and fire mitigation plan. Hopefully that will be coming soon.
Maybe the most exciting news we've gotten so far this year is that we were recently awarded a $200,000 grant for fire mitigation. Here in southwest Colorado, we don't have to worry about earthquakes, tornados, floods, or hurricanes, but we do have wildfires. It's our number one natural disaster to prepare for and hopefully prevent so you can imagine how important this grant is to us. We have worked hand in hand with the fire department for many years and have been recognized as a FireWise Community, but this grant will take our fire mitigation work to a whole new level. In order to receive the $100,000 of state funds and $88,000 of in-kind labor from the fire department, we will be required to chip in $12,000 plus 455 hours of in-kind labor.
Something else that I thought you might be interested in is our brand new Meet our Members page on our website. Check it out to get a feel for the folks living at Heartwood.
Terry (a visiting P2AM), Ronda, Paul, and Sondra enjoying the May Day Brunch.
The Path Ahead
We hope that the county planners will soon approve the fire department's fire mitigation plan and grant us an emergency access waiver. Once that happens, we will be ready to open Phase 2 Homebuyers Commitment. Opening Homebuyers Commitment is a huge step in the development process. That's when we'll find out which households are actually fully committed to buying a Phase 2 home – that is, who will be on this bus together as we continue this exciting journey. It is looking very likely that we will have commitments for all 14 P2 homes and a waiting list. That's incredibly positive.
Lately, we will been devoting our monthly P2AM Zoom Gatherings to what it means to be a P2 Homebuyer (P2HB), what's required to become a P2HB, and how P2HB's will be involved in Phase 2 planning and design.
Because we are working through regulatory requirements, nailing down a timeline is difficult. Here is our current very rough, best estimate of the development timeline for Phase 2.
This is probably an ambitious timeline, but we’d rather set ambitious goals and hit them a bit late than set more relaxed goals and hit them a bit late.
Lincoln overlooks the festivities below.
If you're interested in a greater sense of peace and belonging in your life and a healthier lifestyle fostered by living in community and close to Nature, we invite you to get involved. With the easing of Covid restrictions, this is a great time to become a Phase 2 Associate Member. We are welcoming visits from P2AM's (with heightened hygiene precautions). Click here to go to our Plan a Visit webpage or click here to send an email to Sandy. She can help you reserve one of our common house guest rooms.
If you've been on the fence about becoming an Associate Member, don't despair about the fact that we already have 40 Associate Member households. Once Homebuyer Commitment opens and the $12,000 non-refundable deposit is required, there will undoubtedly be some turnover. If you are seriously interested and would like to get involved with Heartwood and our Associate Members group, including participating in our monthly Zoom gatherings and biweekly Happy Hours, we'd strongly encourage you to get in the Phase 2 queue by becoming an Associate Member. Click here for info on becoming an Associate Member. Phase 2 will sell out on a first come, first served basis.
As always, if you have any questions, simply reply to this email. We're happy to answer any and all questions. We've posted answers to frequently asked questions on the Phase 2 FAQ page and also the general FAQ page. You might also be interested in our relatively new Vital Information for Phase 2 Homebuyers webpage.
Al serving 'Auntie' Gail a mimosa at the May Day Brunch.
Al grew up here at Heartwood with a huge "extended family" of aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas, and cousins.
Gay bringing some tasty pastries to the May Day Brunch.
Sarah next to the May Day Brunch beverage table.
Yours in Community,
Phase 2 Project Manager
The Phase 2 Update newsletter provides periodic updates on our progress in developing the second phase of Heartwood Cohousing. To have Heartwood newsletters delivered right to your inbox, click on the GET IN TOUCH button at the bottom of this page.