The kids are headed back to school and summer is almost over. How did that happen already? Summer is a very busy time at Heartwood with crops growing in the pasture, wildflowers in the mountains, hiking, mountain biking, new baby farm animals, rafting, backpacking, and evenings on front porches. Despite all of that, we've been making steady progress on making Phase 2 a reality.
In the last Phase 2 Update newsletter, I mentioned that we were considering selling off some of our pastureland in order to reduce our pasture stewardship burden. In preparation for submitting our map amendment application with the County we devoted a couple of Community Meetings to deciding whether we did in fact want to sell off some pastureland. After a thorough discussion, we ended up deciding not to sell any pastureland for the time being. That means that Phase 2 will only entail the addition of 14 new households into the community in a cluster near our existing cluster. There won't be any homes in the pasture – at least for now. We'll still have the option in the future to pursue selling off some pastureland.
To me this decision is a great example of our collaborative consensus process in action. We started the discussion with the majority of people favoring selling off pastureland, but through engaged conversation, deep listening, and everyone pursuing a decision that would be in the best interest of the whole community, we gracefully changed course and decided to keep all of our pastureland.
There were three main reasons for the change in thinking: 1) with Phase 2 we will have more community members to help with the pastures and we will also have the possibility of housing for farm workers so stewardship should be easier; 2) developing pasture lots would have made the overall Phase 2 development more complicated and therefore maybe more risky; 3) once the pastureland is sold, it's gone forever (scary to part with land we love). We decided to see how the big changes brought by Phase 2 play out and then decide what to do with our pastureland.
This is all good news for you if you're interested in Phase 2. We had thought that Phase 2 might only include 10 new homes within the Heartwood community, but we will have 14 instead, which means that we can accommodate four more households and we'll be creating more community in the world.
The decision gave us the information we needed to submit our map amendment application with County. The County's current Bayfield District map would only allow 12 new Phase 2 households and no farm housing. Amending the map will allow us to create 14 new Phase 2 households, possibly two or three farm houses, and possibly pasture lots sometime in the future.
(Note that farm housing is not to be confused with pasture lots. Farm housing is for farm workers to help us achieve our organic farming dreams. Pasture lots would be sold outside of the community to raise money and divest ourselves of pastureland. We still plan to pursue farm housing, but not pasture lots.)
Submitting the map amendment application was a big hurdle. Our hearing before the County Planning Commission to determine whether the map will be amended happens in October. Wish us luck!
Along with County approvals, the other big Phase 2 work right now is recruiting members to be part of Phase 2. We opened Associate Membership in May and the response has been very strong. We currently have 16 Associate Member households (see attached list).
You might be wondering why recruiting members is a priority if we have 16 Associate Member households for only 14 spots. The answer is that because Associate Membership only requires a fully refundable deposit of $1000, it would be naive to consider all of those eggs as hatched. Once Full Equity Membership is open, which requires a nonrefundable deposit of $12,000 (much bigger commitment), we'll have a much better idea of how many of those 14 spots we have filled.
The only way that Phase 2 will happen is if we attract enough members. Please spread the word about Heartwood to friends, family, or anyone you think might want to explore life in community. This is a team effort and word of mouth has always been our best way to find new members. A great way to share information about Heartwood is through social media. Click on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram links at the bottom of this email.
Since the last update I also attended the National Cohousing Conference in Portland, Oregon. That was a great experience connecting with other people passionate about creating more community in the world and learning lessons from each other on just how to make that happen.
The Path Ahead
We will continue to focus primarily on County approval and marketing. We are currently working on our Conceptual Development Plan (CDP) application submittal. Once the map amendment is approved, CDP approval is the next big hurdle with the County. We plan to work on both those concurrently. Our goal is to have both completed by yearend, which will put us in a position to open Full Equity Membership in early 2020.
I've had several people reply to these updates with questions. That's fantastic. I try to cover what I think is important, but obviously I can only share so much and often leave questions unanswered. Based on some of the questions I've received, I've created a Frequently Asked Questions section on the Phase 2 page on our website. If you have any questions, please check out that page and if you don't find your answer there, reply to this email and let me know. I'm happy to answer any and all questions.
The Phase 2 train is picking up steam. If you're interested in having more community in your life and living close to Nature, we invite you to get involved.
Anytime of the year is gorgeous at Heartwood, but late summer and fall are many people's favorite. The wildflowers in the high country give way to fall colors. 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 who can help you reserve one of our common house guest rooms.
To better support our Associate Members, we will be creating an Associate Member email discussion group. If you're an Associate Member, look for an email with info on that within the next few weeks.
Another big event in our future is our annual fall community campout to Canyonlands National Park. This year's campout is happening from October 17 - 20. One of the great things about living in Southwest Colorado is our proximity to the vast red rock canyon country of Southeast Utah. It is truly one of the natural wonders of the world. If you would like to join the campout to get to know Heartwood community members and have fun hiking and relaxing in the desert, please let me know and I'll reserve your spot. We share the camping fees, which usually work out to be about $12 per person for the weekend. (See photos below.)
If you've been sitting on the fence about becoming an Associate Member, don't despair about the fact that we already have 16 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, I'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.
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.