Maybe it's the extra marketing we've been doing to ensure that we'll have enough new community members to make Phase 2 a success. Maybe it's the pandemic, which seems to have convinced so many people that real security in life is to be found in connection with nature and in the community of others, even if physically distanced. Or maybe it's because Heartwood Cohousing offers an opportunity to live in an established, close-knit community on a gorgeous piece of land in an exceptionally sunny part of the Rocky Mountains where deep relationships, low stress, playing and working outside, and eating local organic food all add up to an extremely healthy lifestyle.
For whatever reasons, we have been overwhelmed by the number of really wonderful households who have joined us to become Phase 2 Associate Members (P2AM's). We've got P2AM's of all ages and backgrounds and from all over the country. Everything from retired teachers, engineers, and a veterinarian to young families seeking to give their kids a more healthy childhood, growing up free to play in the safe embrace of nature and community.
We've currently got 33 P2AM households for only 14 available homes in Phase 2. And yet, there's no better time to become an Associate Member. How can that be?
Hopefully within the next month or two, assuming we can get our last regulatory hurdle resolved, we will be opening Full Membership. P2AM's will get priority status in becoming Phase 2 Full Members (P2FM's). While becoming an Associate Member requires a $1,000 fully refundable deposit and is essentially equivalent to saying, "I'm very interested in living at Heartwood. Give me a spot in the queue in case I decide to become a Full Member.", becoming a Full Member requires a $12,000 non-refundable deposit and is essentially equivalent to saying, "I am fully committed to living at Heartwood. Reserve my spot at Heartwood." What all that means is that many P2AM's will probably not make the big step up to become P2FM's, which will create room for those lower in the queue. It's not too late.
In addition to receiving priority status to secure a spot in Phase 2, by becoming a P2AM now, you will be invited to participate in various gatherings exclusively available to P2AM's:
With P2FM fast approaching, the window for becoming a P2AM will be closing soon. If you don't want to miss this no-risk opportunity (your $1000 deposit is fully refundable for any reason), you might want to visit our P2AM webpage for full details on becoming a P2AM.
Winter is here, which means ski season in the San Juan National Forest, just up the road from Heartwood.
As alluded to above, the really big recent news is all the new P2AM's who have now joined us. Welcome Kristi, Tracy, Shelley, Dawn & Tom, David & Kate & daughter, Hildegard, Janice & Bill, Jennifer & Kelsey & son, Charlie & Brenna, Terri & Sam, Joan, Susi, Denise & Bill, Alana & Jason & sons, Sonja & John & sons, and Kim & Jeff. We are soooooo excited to have you!
We have been having some great discussions on our email chat group and at P2AM Zoom gatherings, and just this last Saturday was our first ever P2AM Zoom Happy Hour, which was an overwhelming success.
At one of our recent Zoom gatherings, we announced that we will be building and selling homes in P2, as opposed to just selling lots. What that means is that we'll be able to provide beautiful, super high quality, energy efficient, and environmentally responsible homes at a lower cost and with less work for homebuyers than if we had sold lots and left it up to new Phase 2 members to build their own custom homes. There's a recording of that Zoom gathering explaining the advantages of building homes in this way and the whole home design process that Full Members will get to participate in.
Another bit of really big news is that we've decided where we will locate the Phase 2 homes. With 361 acres, we had many good options. We will be building the P2 homes somewhere within the envelope shown on the map below. I will work with engineers, architect (Matt Worswick), surveyors, etc. in deciding where in the envelope to place the homes. The P2 cluster will probably end up taking up somewhat less than half of the envelope. We are VERY excited about this location. It is gorgeous, south-facing land, right next to our dome greenhouse, but most importantly, it is very close to the existing cluster and common house thereby supporting a full integration of Phase 1 and Phase 2.
The very recently decided location for the Phase 2 homes.
Another big recent community decision was that we have determined (as best as we can) that our very strong water well #5 means that we have enough water for both P1 and P2. Rather than building its own water system, P2 will buy into our existing P1 water system. We basically calculated the cost of the current water system ($251K), divided it by 38 (total homes in P1 and P2) to come up with $6600 per home, and multiplied that by 14 to get the P2 share ($92,400). We are lucky to have such great water (both potable and irrigation), especially considering that we live in a relatively dry part of the country.
Something else that's new: a brand new webpage answering many questions frequently asked by P2AM's. Check it out.
The community has also recently concluded a study considering the feasibility of connecting to the local sanitation system. Being a rural community, we currently have our own septic fields serving Phase 1. The line for the Town of Bayfield system runs along the highway about a mile and a half south of our homes. Tying into that system would relieve us of the burden of building and managing our own systems. In the end, however, we determined that the cost of tying into the Bayfield system (>$1,000,000) along with the fact we are located outside of the Town of Bayfield and they didn't seem to be particularly interested in serving us (system capacity issues), were too great of obstacles to overcome. The good news is that we have good septic systems serving Phase 1 and we will simply build more of them for Phase 2.
We have continued to doggedly work with the local fire department to create a fire mitigation plan which would be acceptable to them and the county planners in lieu of obtaining an emergency access easement. You may recall that even though we have an emergency access road, the neighbors whose land the road crosses between our land and the county road are not willing to sell us a legal easement. They are nice neighbors that we get along with well, but they were afraid an easement might reduce their property value and/or expose them to liability. The county planners have asked us to prepare, or have prepared by fire mitigation professionals, numerous reports and site plans detailing our fire mitigation plans. We have done all that and are hopeful that the county planners will soon make a decision to accept the fire department's recommended plan.
One thing that probably helped us in all this is that we've been very fire conscious for many years, collaborating with the fire department to mitigate the fire danger around our homes and being certified as a Firewise community.
The Path Ahead
Once the county planners accept our fire mitigation plan (fingers crossed), we will be ready to open Phase 2 Full Membership and apply for Preliminary Plat approval. Opening Full Membership is a huge step in the development process. That's when we'll find out how many households are actually fully committed to buying a Phase 2 home. Attracting enough committed members is one of the most vital goals any new-forming community must accomplish. We are incredibly blessed to have so many enthusiastic P2AM's. It is looking very likely that we will have commitments for all 14 P2 homes and a waiting list.
We will be devoting our next monthly P2AM Zoom Gatherings to what it means to be a P2FM, what's required to become a P2FM, and how P2FM'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.
Although Covid has forced us to cancel all of our common meals, parties, and other indoor gatherings, our Common House team has been very creative in coming up with other ways for us to safely get together in person out by the fire pit on our common house terrace, including Friday Hearty Appetizer Happy Hours and Souper Sundays.
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. Although our community gatherings are limited to Zoom and the outdoors, 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 33 Associate Member households. Once Full Membership 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.
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.