Update to the Update...
I first drafted this newsletter two days ago. In that time the urgency around responding to the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have heightened greatly. Given the current situation, we'll have to make a decision within the next week or so about whether to hold the Phase 2 Gathering on April 3 - 5. We will consult with the Phase 2 Associate Members to bring their voices into the conversation.
In just three weeks, Heartwood will be hosting our first gathering of Phase 2 Associate Members. This is a huge and exciting step as we move closer to making Phase 2 a reality.
On the county approval front, recent progress has unfortunately been slow. We've mostly been working on septic system plans, an emergency access easement, and fire mitigation requirements. All of these need to be figured out before we can apply for our Preliminary Plat approval, which is our next big step in the overall county approval process. These are challenging obstacles, but we will persevere. We had many equally challenging obstacles during our Phase 1 approval process and we were able to work through them.
On a more positive note, our group of Phase 2 Associate Members (P2AM's) is growing in number and growing in enthusiasm. Recently we've had a couple of new households become P2AM's and many P2AM's visit Heartwood. A big welcome to Mary Ellen & Paul Garrett and David & Lalanya Bingham and their 2 children (ages 6 & 1), our newest Associate Members!
In February I gave a presentation during the Cohousing Association of the US online affordability conference on reducing construction costs by offering smart and economical design choices. Coho/US is doing a great job of hosting online events and webcasts to share information about cohousing.
At the end of February Heartwood held its annual retreat. I can't tell you how grateful I am that many years ago we had the foresight to start that tradition. Although shared community meals, casual social interactions of all kinds, work parties, our annual Canyonlands campout, and many other points of connection bring us together throughout the year, for me, nothing seems to bring us closer than our annual retreat.
The retreat combines reflection, authentic personal sharing, humor, renewal of our shared community vision, and breaking bread together to bring us into a place of expanded commitment and connection. We are here together at Heartwood because we recognize that we each need community and connection in our lives to thrive. The world needs community and connection to thrive. At our annual retreat, we reconnect with that shared vision.
When Lucy and Lowell, two of our Associate Members, recently visited, we were blessed with some fresh snow so Lucy, Jeff (Heartwood neighbor), and I headed over to the San Juan National Forest just up the road for some cross country skiing – a gorgeous day and a great adventure
The Path Ahead
The next big thing on the horizon is our very first gathering of the Phase 2 Associate Members over the weekend of April 3 to 5. We've got nine households so far planning to attend plus current Heartwood members.
We've been busy working on plans for the weekend. We'll be sharing information and gathering input on development and design plans. It will be a combination of discussions and feet-on-the-ground reviews of Heartwood homes, other community amenities, and possible Phase 2 building sites.We will be learning, connecting, and having fun together.
If you've been sitting on the fence about becoming a Phase 2 Associate Member and this gathering sounds interesting to you, this might be a good time to join. Only P2AM's and current Heartwood members are invited to the gathering. Associate Members will be able to provide design and planning input (as they've already been doing on our Phase 2 email chat). Click here for info on becoming an Associate Member.
Besides the big gathering, we will continue working on our county approvals and attracting members.
On Saturday night of our annual retreat, Mimi lovingly prepared for us a delicious dinner of gumbo and green salad.
In a dinner theater format, while having chocolate cake for dessert, we then enjoyed our raucous and silly Gong Show in which community members performed a variety of comic skits, musical acts, and the like.
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. If you'd like to come for a visit, click here to check out 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 undecided about becoming an Associate Member, don't despair about the fact that we already have 15 Associate Member households. Once Full Equity Membership opens up and the $12,000 non-refundable deposit is required, there will undoubtedly be some turnover. If you are seriously interested, we'd strongly encourage you to get in the Phase 2 queue by becoming an Associate Member. Chances are there will be room for you. Click here for info on becoming an Associate Member.
As always, if you have any questions, simply reply to this email and let us know. We're happy to answer any and all questions. We've posted answers to frequently asked questions on the Phase 2 page on our website.
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.