Last Thursday was our second hearing before the County Planning Commission in as many months. They again were very supportive of our project, this time unanimously voting to approve our Conceptual Development Plan (CDP).
The really big news is our continuing success with the county approval process. That process was incredibly challenging 20 years ago and we just barely got our approvals. The big difference this time around is that our neighbors now know us and like us. Twenty years ago we were an unknown new community development conjuring up the worst fears about hippy communes. We have become friends with our neighbors and they know us to be good neighbors living in nice houses – in short, their fears did no materialize.
We still have one more big step with the CDP approval. In January we will go before the Board of County Commissioners for (hopefully) final CDP approval. After CDP approval, we'll still have Preliminary Plat approval, which is dependent upon demonstrating adequate plans for roads, water, and sewer. That will be a huge step as regulations have only gotten more strict in the past 20 years, but based on work with various agencies so far, things are looking good.
We continue to have lively discussions on our Phase 2 Associate Members' chat group. We surveyed the Associate Members about their hopes and needs related to their future homes at Heartwood and about becoming Full Equity Members. Some of the survey result highlights:
Welcome aboard Vanessa, Vincent, and Rosalie!
The Path Ahead
The big project on my plate right now is figuring out our septic plan. We've hired a very good septic engineer (Rick Johnson) and are working closely with our local health department. We have a unique situation in that we are not designing an independent system for a single family household and we're not designing a municipal system. We are somewhere in the middle, which makes navigating the regulations a bit tricky. But we've got good people working on it and we'll get it figured out.
Once we have a general septic system plan, we can figure out where to locate the Phase 2 homes. That will be an exciting visioning process – imagining the landscape transformed into a neighborhood.
One thing that came out of the survey is the desire of many of the P2 Associate Members to come to Heartwood for a weekend together soon. We'll see if there's a good time for everyone early in 2020.
An early 2020 gathering of P2 Associate Members could be a good reason for you to become an Associate Member if you've been sitting on the fence. Associate Members get to provide design and planning input via our group email chat and at onsite gatherings. Click here for info on becoming an Associate Member.
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.
Have a great weekend and Thanksgiving everyone! Lots of gratitude. Lots of love.
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 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.