Huge Step Forward with County Approval; First Gathering of Associate Members Scheduled for April 3 - 5
On Tuesday the Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved Phase 2's Conceptual Development Plan. We still have significant approvals needed, but this was a huge step forward. More details below as well as information about the Associate Members gathering.
The really big news is our continuing success with the county approval process. We received final approval for our Conceptual Development Plan, which basically means that the County believes that adding 14 Phase 2 homes is consistent with the Land Use Code and also other development in our area.
In addition to the 14 Phase 2 homes, the approval also allows us to build three farm houses. The rough plan at this point is to build some sort of housing to accommodate a farm manager and farm labor. In 2009 we started an organic farm powered by intern labor. We grew huge quantities of delicious, nutritious veggies and the interns brought a wonderful youthful and idealistic energy to the community. Unfortunately they were living in a little tent village we had built and even though they loved their tents, the County did not. The tent village violated various codes so we had to shut it down. Being able to build acceptable farm housing means that we can renew our dreams of creating a thriving organic farm here.
Our next big step in the county approval process is Preliminary Plat approval. During that process, we will need to demonstrate adequate plans for roads, water, and sewer. Those will all be challenging to some degree because of our rural location. We can't simply tap into municipal water and sewer systems. We have our own systems here at Heartwood and we'll need to demonstrate that they can be expanded to meet regulatory requirements for Phase 2. We've hired highly qualified engineers who are working on system details. We've recently completed the paperwork to expand our water well permits to accommodate the additional Phase 2 homes.
Once upon a time there were about 30 kids here at Heartwood. Many of us founding members had young families. The good news is that those kids got to grow up in an amazing community environment to become some of the most grounded and inspiring young adults that we could have hoped for. The bad news is that those kids are now out in the world forging their own paths so we have far fewer kids living here. Because our desire is to be a multi-generational community, we are actively welcoming new families. To that end, we've just this month created a New Families Award. Each of the first three families to buy a home at Heartwood, either in Phase 1 or Phase 2, will receive $1000 towards the purchase of their new home. (We define a family as having at least one child ≤12 years old.) Because of the safe and loving environment where unsupervised free play is a normal part of a kid's life, Heartwood is about as good of a place as a kid will find to grow up. Not only is it super fun, kids grow up with self-confidence, interpersonal skills, and emotional maturity. By becoming a P2 Associate Member or buying one of the gorgeous Phase 1 homes currently for sale, a family can lock in one of the three $1000 New Families Awards.
One of my Heartwood neighbors, Han Bishop, is very active in many senior organizations and was recently interviewed by the Elders Action Network. Han did a great job talking about cohousing and the impact it's had on his life. Click here to view the interview.
KJ burning slash at last Saturday's work party. How sweet is it to work outdoors with friends getting useful work done for the good of us all? It’s just a good feeling.
The Path Ahead
Our main points of focus will continue to be obtaining our county approvals and attracting members. Developing 14 homes is a significant financial undertaking. To make the homes as affordable as possible we want to have all 14 new households committed before we break ground. That makes obtaining construction financing much easier and cheaper and also guarantees that we'll sell the homes as soon as they are completed and thereby avoid extra interest costs.
We're very excited to announce the very first gathering of the Phase 2 Associate Members (P2AM's) on the weekend of April 3 to 5. The purposes of the gathering are:
The Cohousing Association of the United States (CohoUS) has a couple of online events coming up that you might want to register for:
We continue to work to attract more P2 Associate Members. Marketing and building the tribe are huge success factors in any new forming cohousing development. Please spread the news about Heartwood Phase 2 with anyone you know who might be interested in community living in close connection with nature. Please share this email or send them to www.heartwoodcohousing.com.
Gorgeous hoar frost coats the needles of pine trees during my XC ski yesterday. The HD Mountains are only a few minutes from Heartwood. I love getting out for some fresh air and exercise after a day of desk work.
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 13 Associate Member households. Once Full Equity Membership opens up and the $12,000 non-refundable deposit is required, there will certainly 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 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.