Free State Project Forum

New Hampshire -- The "Live Free or Die" State => Moving & Housing => Topic started by: andrewpgardner on April 21, 2006, 08:27:11 pm

Title: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: andrewpgardner on April 21, 2006, 08:27:11 pm
Anyone interested in starting up a libertarian ecovillage in NH?

I’m a “greenish” libertarian in Phoenix, AZ just looking for a good enough excuse to move to New Hampshire.  I’m wondering if there may be others like me out there.

An Ecovillage is basically a planned community designed to both require as little outside resources to sustain itself as possible and build a close knit community among its inhabitants.  The land is owned collectively, but individual housing units are parceled out in a lease that reflects a "condo" type of arrangement.  The community as a group comes to consensus regarding decisions about the use of the land while individual owners have the final say about their individual housing units.

Ok, ok... I know this sounds kind of communist, and to some extent it is, but it isn't anything like, "the good of the majority outweighs the rights of the minority."  The idea of "consensus" decision making is that everyone needs to buy into an idea before any action can be taken on it.  One person can block the decision of the group if they are absolutely uncomfortable with it.  The idea is that for an idea to work, everyone needs some amount of ownership in it.  A, "majority rule," mentality means that the majority could make a final decision regardless of how you feel about it.  Every individual has a veto in the ecovillage on community matters.  The one exception I believe was timely issues that needed a decision pronto (like finances). Needless to say, gaining a consensus may take a VERY long time.

I was checking out a forming ecovillage in Ithaca, NY for a while, but the fact that the group refused to allow guns, even if I never brandished them and kept them trigger locked at all times on the property.  As a non-member, I was not able to block the decision.  Such is the disadvantage of latecomers.  They might not have let me in anyway.  To tell you the truth, I’m probably better off.

The existing members, after a vetting process, decide whether or not to let someone into the community.  This is a good idea for a group that is trying to live together more closely that average neighbors do.  All you need is one jerk to make everyone else’s lives miserable.

The great thing about a group of "greenish" libertarians getting together to do this in the free state is that we can make the rules as libertarian as we want, enshrine them into the village's bylaws, and only a super-majority of those that come after us will have a chance at overturning them.

The advantages of a group of libertarian activists living in close proximity to each other will also encourage our activism.  If our community is large enough we may also dominate a local board or two. ;-)

The community could also rent out spare units to other Free Staters coming to New Hampshire as a source of income… Hey, being green doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a good capitalist enterprise when I see one… ;-)

We could also benefit from the Tax Exempt status of the ecovillage.  Ecovillages across the country do this type of stuff all the time.  They always write in a mission that qualifies them for non-profit status.  The two in Ithaca were providing “sustainable living” education.  Ours could be to provide “economic/constitutional education (libertarian)” as well. ;-)

The reason “leases” are used instead of something more like a deed is that the “lease” ensures that the tax exempt ecovillage “owns” the property while the individual is granted an exclusive use of the housing unit transferable only by the individual signing the lease.  The ecovillage can’t annex the unit.  If the individual decides that he/she wants to move on he/she can sell it to whoever they want, though the community will still need to approve the person for membership before they can actually live there.  The original lease would contain language to that effect.  Consider it a “permanent easement” on the property.

The more "greenish" members I'm sure will also enjoy the camaraderie and showing the "greenish" socialists out there that we don't need the government's interference to build "sustainable" communities.  Our community can stand as an example of a free market solution to some of the ecological problems we face.

Thanks,

Andrew P. Gardner, Phoenix, AZ
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: Transition_Force on April 21, 2006, 08:55:41 pm
It's an interesting idea.
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: RalphBorsodi on April 21, 2006, 09:55:41 pm
Quote
The reason “leases” are used instead of something more like a deed is that the “lease” ensures that the tax exempt ecovillage “owns” the property while the individual is granted an exclusive use of the housing unit transferable only by the individual signing the lease.

This is a standard land trust concept as originally devised by Ralph Borsodi when he started the School for Living in the 1920's.

http://www.schoolofliving.org/history.htm

http://www.schoolofliving.org/landtrust.htm

In the late 30's Ralph became the editor of a publication called "Free America" a populist, agrarian, decentralist magazine which was an early attempt to unite right and left - southern agrarians & catholic distributists - which eventually became one of the major trajectories of the old right, jeffersonian/agrarian conservative movement after the magazine failed in the mid 40's.

I think you will find that there is not much sympathy from anarcho-capitalist for green/left libertarians. I should know - I am one.
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: UCCO2004 on April 22, 2006, 03:02:11 pm
This actually reminds me of something I was told to believe in during high school, the year before I decided that I was a Libertarian.  We were in an Environmental Science class with a textbook written by a hardcore [and basically statist] environmentalist.  One of the case studies in this textbook was an "integral urban home" built voluntarily by a group of environmentalists, although the home was also subsidized by a non-profit foundation.  We were told that we should consider building ourselves an "integral urban home" because it would reduce or eliminate our dependence on the unsustainable power grid and the corporate food suppliers, but also because living in an urban area might allow you to use the public transit system or walk instead of driving a car, an activity which most environmentalists hated with a passion until the introduction of electric and hybrid cars.  Although the author had some relatively lunatic ideas such as "worldwide oil shortages by the late 1990s" [end quote], the idea of creating your own home with deliberate reasons for its location and construction appealed to me, and remained part of my consciousness even after becoming Libertarian.
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: RalphBorsodi on April 22, 2006, 03:33:43 pm
I have found self-sufficiency is a common ideal amongst both right and left libertarians although for different reasons.

Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: brontus on April 25, 2006, 10:18:52 am
This is an idea that seems to come up again and again, and every time, everybody tries to reinvent the wheel and start from scratch.  Check out the White Mountain Land Company thread and  their YahooGroup.  Their whole point is group land purchase for the purpose of buying land at discounted prices.  Although sustainable living isn't a charter point for it, many of the members are in fact interested in it.  Even if they don't want to go as far as you do, you can use them as a vehicle to get your own movement started.
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: dalebert on July 10, 2006, 06:19:03 pm
I have no moral problems with small-scale voluntary communism. I think that concept fits within the ideals of libertarianism. However, I think the practicality of it deteriorates the larger the scale.

For instance, many of us have had roommates- people we chose to share things with for the sake of efficiency and controlling expenses. It's an idea that works well. But right now I live in a condo and the beurocracy is attrocious. Trying to get even a majority consensus on really important things is maddening, like when we need to replace the roof to prevent water intrusion into many of the units.

I think a better approach is to implement innovative ideas to incentivise green activities. Just brainstorming but for instance, start a non-profit organization that collects recyclables and organic material. Green-oriented people can make donations and volunteer to help it run. They can recycle and mulch things and sell the fertilizer at a discounted rate to participants. Use innovation to make being green more practical and you will increase the market share of green products and activities.

I've always wondered why people who are upset about big oil aren't putting their heads together to start viable companies to offer competitive green energy products. All the money donated to Moveon.org to support policies to force the bad things to be more expensive and inconvenient would go a long way on research and development of alternatives. When there are affordable alternatives to the standard sources, people other than rich condescending limozine liberals will start using them because it's actually viable, affordable, and heck, makes them feel good about themselves.
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: the almighty on August 16, 2006, 12:43:03 pm
Anyone interested in starting up a libertarian ecovillage in NH?

I?m a ?greenish? libertarian in Phoenix, AZ just looking for a good enough excuse to move to New Hampshire.  I?m wondering if there may be others like me out there.

An Ecovillage is basically a planned community designed to both require as little outside resources to sustain itself as possible and build a close knit community among its inhabitants.  The land is owned collectively, but individual housing units are parceled out in a lease that reflects a "condo" type of arrangement.  The community as a group comes to consensus regarding decisions about the use of the land while individual owners have the final say about their individual housing units.

Ok, ok... I know this sounds kind of communist, and to some extent it is, but it isn't anything like, "the good of the majority outweighs the rights of the minority."  The idea of "consensus" decision making is that everyone needs to buy into an idea before any action can be taken on it.  One person can block the decision of the group if they are absolutely uncomfortable with it.  The idea is that for an idea to work, everyone needs some amount of ownership in it.  A, "majority rule," mentality means that the majority could make a final decision regardless of how you feel about it.  Every individual has a veto in the ecovillage on community matters.  The one exception I believe was timely issues that needed a decision pronto (like finances). Needless to say, gaining a consensus may take a VERY long time.

I was checking out a forming ecovillage in Ithaca, NY for a while, but the fact that the group refused to allow guns, even if I never brandished them and kept them trigger locked at all times on the property.  As a non-member, I was not able to block the decision.  Such is the disadvantage of latecomers.  They might not have let me in anyway.  To tell you the truth, I?m probably better off.

The existing members, after a vetting process, decide whether or not to let someone into the community.  This is a good idea for a group that is trying to live together more closely that average neighbors do.  All you need is one jerk to make everyone else?s lives miserable.

The great thing about a group of "greenish" libertarians getting together to do this in the free state is that we can make the rules as libertarian as we want, enshrine them into the village's bylaws, and only a super-majority of those that come after us will have a chance at overturning them.

The advantages of a group of libertarian activists living in close proximity to each other will also encourage our activism.  If our community is large enough we may also dominate a local board or two. ;-)

The community could also rent out spare units to other Free Staters coming to New Hampshire as a source of income? Hey, being green doesn?t mean I don?t appreciate a good capitalist enterprise when I see one? ;-)

We could also benefit from the Tax Exempt status of the ecovillage.  Ecovillages across the country do this type of stuff all the time.  They always write in a mission that qualifies them for non-profit status.  The two in Ithaca were providing ?sustainable living? education.  Ours could be to provide ?economic/constitutional education (libertarian)? as well. ;-)

The reason ?leases? are used instead of something more like a deed is that the ?lease? ensures that the tax exempt ecovillage ?owns? the property while the individual is granted an exclusive use of the housing unit transferable only by the individual signing the lease.  The ecovillage can?t annex the unit.  If the individual decides that he/she wants to move on he/she can sell it to whoever they want, though the community will still need to approve the person for membership before they can actually live there.  The original lease would contain language to that effect.  Consider it a ?permanent easement? on the property.

The more "greenish" members I'm sure will also enjoy the camaraderie and showing the "greenish" socialists out there that we don't need the government's interference to build "sustainable" communities.  Our community can stand as an example of a free market solution to some of the ecological problems we face.

Thanks,

Andrew P. Gardner, Phoenix, AZ


im green & an ancap but i cant stand to have dealings w. neighbors.  call me semiautistic
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: kckuhns on August 21, 2006, 07:29:54 pm
Andrew,

I was just about to make a posting to see if anyone is interested in starting an intentional community in New Hampshire. Then I read your posting. I have done some research and find the concept very compelling; there is really nothing very communist about it at all. For one thing, membership into the community is completely voluntary. Anyway, I was quite enthralled with one community outside of Peterborough. You can check them out here:

http://peterboroughcohousing.org/

Everything about this community fits exactly with my idea of a nice cooperative neighbohood and farm. There is only one problem, the price of entry. They want $450K for a 3BR unit in a duplex, and almost $550K for a 4BR single family unit. Then the property taxes run about $10k a year. I suspect that this just might be a for-profit community. Don't get me wrong, this community looks to be outstanding, but the price for entry is prohibitive in my opinion.

So I did some searching and found a piece of very nice property, 37 acres, less than a mile north of the Nubanusit Neighborhood [NN] for $250K. So I did some quick math and figure, heck, $250K for 37 acres, then say another $200K for a really nice 4BR house, and I now have the house, 37 acres, and I'm way below NN.

So, now I am thinking REAL seriously about starting a community. Check out the mission statement for the NN; this is nearly identical to what I would want. So, I'm thinking of the [best guesstimate] math like this now:

Land                  $     250K
12 houses           $  1,000K  [$83K per house, averaged....communty constructed]
Common bldg      $     300K
Farm bldgs           $    100K
Farm equip          $      50 K
Civil works            $    250K

Total                   $ 1,950K

Price per unit        $  163K

Now that's more like it. So you put the 12 houses and the common bldg on about 6 acres, then the farm on about 10 acres, and the rest is woodlands.

Anyway, I am going to investigate this some more, see if I can come up with financial backing.
Next step is to locate some other interested individuals. For all successful intentional communities there is an extensive screening process for prospect community members, to be sure that they are aligned with the general mission statememnt. The only modification that I would add to the mission statement is that it has a libertarian slant.

So this posting is just a heads-up on this forum. I hope to post a more provocative proposal in another few months on a well-planned, financed, intentional community with a libertarian flavor.

For those reaing this who may be interested, here is some general info on intentional communities:

http://www.ic.org/

Regards,

Kevin C. Kuhns

Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: maxparrish on September 04, 2006, 06:56:58 pm
Andrew,

I was just about to make a posting to see if anyone is interested in starting an intentional community in New Hampshire. Then I read your posting. I have done some research and find the concept very compelling; there is really nothing very communist about it at all. For one thing, membership into the community is completely voluntary. Anyway, I was quite enthralled with one community outside of Peterborough. You can check them out here:...

http://peterboroughcohousing.org/.....

Everything about this community fits exactly with my idea of a nice cooperative neighborhood and farm. There is only one problem, the price of entry.Regards,

Kevin C. Kuhns

Hmmm, I do have an interest. I've looked at a lot of intentional communities and most of them are too mystical and collectivist for my taste.  The logic of collective action is to  share those  items of mutual interest (to pool costs) and to appreciate social interaction and support. For me, however, farming would not be of particular interest (vs. gardening or hobby growing/raising).

I would be looking for: a workshop, pottery/ceramics studio, craft room common house, sauna, hot tub AND gardening (maybe chickens). My own place would be one or two bedrooms, passive solar heated (mainly), a/C, and most likely on the grid.

Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: FreeBoB on September 04, 2006, 08:19:51 pm
The intentional communities listed for NH are an interesting group - http://directory.ic.org/records/?action=search_results&locations[state_prov]=New%20Hampshire

Atlantis Rising in Bradford NH mentions that libertarianism as an interest in a resident.

I would like to own my own property, but I'd also look to share in the cost and benefits of private but commonly used facilities, like a woodshop, bbq & party areas, a big room for indoor parties & meetings, food gardens, food, water and energy reserves, etc.  One of the NH ICs offered professional office spaces for its residents - now there's a great idea!  When I land in NH soon I plan to rent for a while and get the lay of the land.  I like the earth-sheltered solar designs, like the Earthship, and plan to build within a couple of years. 

I think a libertarian-style of IC would be arranged differently than usual and I'd seriously consider it. 

Brian
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: maxparrish on September 05, 2006, 01:00:50 pm
I am now in the process of looking for land in Northern California and Southern/Eastern Oregon (with a bit of interest in New Mexico and a spot on the Washington side of the border with Oregon).  I never thought much about New Hampshire as I generally think of anything east of the Rockies as too humid and hot in summers.  Still, I decided to explore the free state project (I've been a libertarian fellow traveler for decades...since college) - while New Hampshire does have cold winters, its summers seem tolerable (even if I have heard horror stories about the black flys).

After reading about the people, the old towns, etc. its obvious I should take a second look...at this point next spring (although October would be nice..who knows).

Anyway, here is my situation: I'm semi-retired. I have a modest income and enough assests to commit 400K (max). If I entered in a situation like this I might be able to trade financial investment for support; i.e. I'd buy the land and build my place, in return other residents could use the land and own some smaller percentage based on their investment (for their own house).  Here's what I'd expect of fellow libertarians: a) you guys keep the place up, I'm not inclined to do a lot of yard work. b) keep the workshop (and my tools) in shape, repair ponds, etc. c) daily sojurns to my statue and the leaving of produce and refreshments as the estate "padron" or minor lord - worship of my image would be nice :)  (Ummmm recall the Warlord with Heston?)

Otherwise the younger folk could party their hearts out, hold pagen rituals, build an A.I. Ayn Rand robot, brew beer and moonshine, or whatever they please.  I'm a 55 year old lazy ass, but also very easy to get along with.

Now that we are dreaming: orchards, chickens, microbrew, water falls, ceramics, woodshop, greenhouse(s), aquaculture, etc. My place: either strawbale or SIP's, passive (Kachadorian floor) solar heated, and centeral air.  Style: french country, craftsman, log. 

But where in N.Hampshire? Where are most of the FS'ers? Hmmmmm




 
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: FreeBoB on September 06, 2006, 12:49:38 am
maxparrish -

Participants are spread out all over really, with the most in the southern cities, it seems.  I believe I'd be happy to be within a 45 minute drive from Concord/Manchester, but I really don't know yet.  We'll see.

Please move forward with your idea - I'm interested in the concept.

Brian
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: maxparrish on September 07, 2006, 12:29:25 pm
maxparrish -

Participants are spread out all over really, with the most in the southern cities, it seems.  I believe I'd be happy to be within a 45 minute drive from Concord/Manchester, but I really don't know yet.  We'll see.

Please move forward with your idea - I'm interested in the concept.

Brian

I confess that my desire is to stay in the far west - its home territory for me.  However, I am also quite constrained by property prices.  In the bay area, a building lot is 350K. In bucolic nearby wine country or coastal property (by preference) you might pay up to 500K for a little lot (in Bolinas, its 500K for a water connection).  In more remote areas  (e.g. Paradise in Northern California) I might get 1.5 acres for 120K to 140K.  So it looks as if 2.5 to 4 acres could be 250K in rural areas.

As I don't want to spend more than 250K for land (with well/electricity) you see the challenge.  I would like a few others on my land to keep it up and use it as they please (as long as it is not harmful), in return I get to enjoy retirement without excessive upkeep.  I will keep looking this fall along the Northern California coast, in Southern Oregon, and up to Hood River (Oregon-Washington border).  If I find some potential "estate" land I will let 'y-all' know (although you and others may be committed to New Hampshire).

In the meantime I'll schedule a trip to N.Hampshire in the spring (say April?).  HOWEVER, if you or anyone here is willing to put me up for several days (say 4 or five) I'd be more than happy to fly out this fall (October).  I imagine the fall folige would seduce me far more effectively than the 'black fly' of ill-repute.  Basically I need to fall in love with New Hampshire - my once youthful political asperations to reform the collectivist State are no longer suffcient to induce a move...priorities change with age.

If you or Andrew (or others) continue to be interested, it might work. I have one other friend who is interested, although he has little funds and would conribute work.  A few more questions:

1. What is (in miles) within 45 minutes of Manchester (etc)?  Are all these areas served by straight freeways or winding mountain roads?
2. Don't most FS'ers need work?
3. I like mountains AND seashore, are there any such combos (i.e. mountains plunging into the ocean)?

Keep in touch, keep the ideas coming. I'm getting interested.... 
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: andrewpgardner on January 05, 2007, 10:32:29 pm
Wow!!!  I'm glad to see my original post produced this kind of response...  I guess that's what happens when you forget about a forum for a while.

My plans to move to NH are currently on hold as I am getting paid extremely well for what I am doing currently in AZ.  I was looking into buying a house or some property but the property prices out here in the southwest are getting as bad as CA! :-P

I think the idea of having both private land and areas for general use by the community is a pretty good idea.  The original idea of "the association" owning all the land would be to avoid the property taxes, but a private property, with community association, and community association owned property" might accomplish almost the same thing.  The individual owners would need to pay taxes on their housing plots, but the "Association" can be a non-profit.

I see housing associations all the time out here in AZ.  The houses are owned individually, and the community pool, clubhouse, and fitness facilities are owned and maintained by the association.  In an ecovillage, I would envision more of the land being "association owned."  The "Association," most likely being a corporation whose shareholders are those people putting up the money for the property and "non-private" infrastructure.  Some ground rules could be laid out in the corporate charter to prevent drastic changes to the use of the land without a super-majority approval of the people living there.

With Ecovillage at Whitehawk in Ithaca, the idea was that everyone had a say in matters that effected living in the community, but those that put money into the community had the final say about fiscal matters.

To avoid the type of situation one sees in both Animal Farm and Atlas Shrugged (IE one or two animals being expected to feed the whole lot), the farm land could be operated as a coop.  In order to reap the benefits of the harvest, one needs to either have worked to produce it or pay the coop for their share, or some combination of both.  If an Ecovillage member doesn't want anything to do with the farming aspect of the property, then they don't have to.

This is how the farming was done in Ithaca, and the community outside of the ecovillage also participated.  We should be able to expect the same type of thing happening for us.  I might also suggest that we see if we can't build in a little profit into farming.  Hopefully enough to spread around to both those farming the land, and the "Association" for use of the land.  I would suggest that some portion of this be held or used by the "association" for upkeep or capital improvement and some of it be spread around to the shareholders of the association in proportion to their 'ownership.'  Call it a dividend on their investment in the ecovillage... ;-)

Also, if there are any other activities like logging or extra electricity generated by the ecovillage,  it might not be a bad idea for the same type of dividend to go to the original investors.  At Whitehawk the land was donated, but this requires some extremely generous individuals.  I feel that an opportunity to make money off the land is a good incentive for investors in the property.

Does anyone know if doing this kind of stuff will threaten the "non-profit" nature of the organization?  A cost benefit analysis should probably be done to see if any potential money made on the operations of the ecovillage actually outweighs the amount paid in taxes.  It might be worth it to keep the whole thing strictly non-profit, but who-knows, maybe not.

Setting things up so the "Association" has some cash is also a good way to provide for the regular maintenance of the property by paying one of our members to do it.  This will be nice for those who may wish to be retired and not worry about such things. ;-)

As I said before, I don't have any immediate plans to relocate, but I think I will eventually find myself in NH.  I look around here, the area that pioneered the type of home I want to build, and I just can't picture myself doing it here.  I don't really feel at home here, while one long weekend at the Porcupine Festival a couple years ago felt like home. ;-)  In the meantime, I plan on socking away some cash and investing in some property out here so I can sell it off when the time is right and have some cash for NH.

When I was looking at Whitehawk, I was toying with the idea of hybrid Earthship-Haybail duplexes or triplexes.  The idea would be to conserve space and provide a good amount of living area.  Individual Earthships take up a lot of room, but two or three Earthships side by side with an "upper level" on the berm constructed out of Haybails might not be too bad on space.

I might also suggest that those who are interested in this idea might also look at the "white mountain land trust" as someone else suggested.  If there is enough of us/you guys you may be able to work out a deal with the land trust to get a huge piece of land that could be divided up according to the amount "put in" with those interested in an ecovillage guaranteed continuous plots.

Any and all ideas are most welcome.  I'm going to really try to make it to the Porcfest in 2007, so if any of you plan on going I'd love to pow-wow with you.  My camp will be the one flying the AZ State Flag (Coolest one in the union). ;-)
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: eightiesoid on January 08, 2007, 01:10:29 pm
I've always hoped someone would build a community replicating those of old Europe: castles, medieval walled villages, or cities with blocks of houses opening onto courtyards; something that makes use of interesting architecture to set it apart from the bland and characterless McMansions and condos that have been overbuilt. I also like the idea of making something last for the long term. Make it out of stone to last for centuries, not cheap materials that will fall apart in a few years.

I'm also an anarcho capitalist and also a bit antisocial, so I wouldn't want to live in proximity to others. Something interesting, however, could convince me to do it. The caveat is that I've noticed that the problems of people in groups manifest themselves from the smallest level- two, to huge mega corporations as well as governments. Politics is everywhere and it corrupts the dynamics of all groups. Many of you experience this with roomates and HOAs. So, this project needs to be thought out in such a way as to minimize these problems. The privacy of courtyards and stone construction would help a little in defining territory and absorbing neighbors' noise.

Non-profits have many problems. I worked for a libertarian environmental group and it was full of problems. The late Milton Friedman, Peter Drucker, and John Mackey have written about this subject. They made suggestions on how to alleviate some of the problems.

There are many business ideas that can help to defray the cost and make it self sufficient. Maybe the community could be treated like an investment and the investors could engage in some sort of profit sharing. Some units could be sold, others rented. A mix of large and small, scattered throughout to avoid monotony would make things interesting. In some retirement communities, retirees pay a downpayment $200,000 (cost of a condo here) and then $2000 a month (expensive for apartment rent here) for expenses in a 2 bedroom apartment, including utilities and food. Upon their death, their estate gets the $200,000 back. The common areas can be rented to the general public for parties and weddings ($5000 for 4 hours). Some researchers and foundations might pay to reconstruct historic replicas.

Organic and Slow Foods enthusiasts might be attracted to the old European lifestyle, even for farming, if not to live. IT, craftsmen, and home based businesses could also be encouraged.

Sorry about the rambling- I had to write fast.
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: cathleeninnh on January 08, 2007, 05:19:17 pm
Many of us are attracted to such settups. And wary too. I think one problem that often kills efforts in this area is how to handle entrance and exit civilly and gracefully. Nothing is static, and what works for a group one year may not work for the same group later. When conditions morph, there has to be an easy way to leave.

Cathleen
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: Russell Kanning on January 08, 2007, 06:30:38 pm
I also like these types of ideas. I like saving resources (and money), but I would not be afraid to have electricity (sustainable in my book) and water (or wells) pumped into my property. :) I also would have to share space with others who have no interest in funding or obeying any local gangs that call themselves towns or cities.

I have been looking at a property in Winchester ( closed lumber mill office, 25 acres, barn, silo, flat ground, wooded hill $340,000 ) that could accomodate quite a few people if they could work together. Eventually one of these unique situations is going to work out. Feel free to contact me if you are interested.
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: Brian Travis on January 13, 2007, 01:37:19 pm
I'm also looking at land in the southern part of the state. I'm with eightiesoid on the topic of a village. I don't really want to live as part of a group with common property. That will only lead to the tragedy of the commons. Even if there are strict rules about such things, the dynamics of people getting together are such that things will change over time and eventually lead to unintended consequences.

I envision something more like Galt's Gulch, where every piece of property is privately owned, and all participants conduct their lives to profit by helping others.

For example, picture this alternative to the common-use scenario in this thread. I purchase a hundred acres of wooded land. If I were to subdivide the property into 1-2 acre lots and sell them, each person would have to drill their own well and build a septic system and a road to the lot before building a house. I could probably get $30,000 for each lot.

Let's take a look at the economics. I don't know what the price of building a well and septic are in New Hampshire, but a well is about $23/foot here in Colorado, and a septic system and leech field is $5,000 to $15,000 depending on percolation. An asphalt driveway is $25 a foot. Figure $30,000 for well, septic, and driveway before you even start on the foundation.

Rather, I would subdivide the lot into, say, 30 1.5 acre lots, pave the streets, and build a private community well and sewage treatment plant for a half-million dollars. I'd run water and sewer lines up the streets for people to connect to.

By doing this, I could now charge $50,000 per lot. This would pay for my common infrastructure. Then, I could charge a monthly fee for water and sewage to pay for ongoing maintenance. Each person benefits because they pay $10,000 less for their lot, and don't have the hassle of doing well, septic, and roads.

I've just created a private town with a voluntary infrastructure. If you wanted to buy a lot and build your own well and septic, that'd be fine with me. You'd spend the money up front, but you wouldn't subscribe to the monthly fee.

Then, I or someone else in the community would build a workshop, craft hall, meeting place, and all of the other things that are mentioned in this thread, except that they would be owned by an individual, not the community. Residents who wanted to leverage the owner's capital could either join an organization that had access to these facilities or pay on a per-use basis.

As far as power, there are also ways to generate lots of power and sell it to the community so they would not be dependent on the government grid. There could also be large gardens that would be owned by an individual and leased to others for a fee.

This simple example shows how to achieve all of the goals that people have indicated they want in this thread, but would also prevent the problems of common ownership of resources. The private owners of all of these resources would be free to experiment and innovate and discriminate as an individual, rather than requiring a consensus of all of the owners. And individual consumers would be free to choose whether or not they want to participate in any or all of the resources for sale by others in the community.

Is anybody with me?
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: jonf on January 24, 2007, 08:55:39 am
I have an approved condo project in Wilmot NH.  The approval gives me the right to build 4 8-unit buildings  (32 total units) on about 6 acres of land.  Wilmot is located in the center of the state about 30 min. north of Concord and 30 min south of Lebanon.  The town is a wonderful rural town with only about 1,000 residents making it easy for members to get involved with local government.  The project is only 1/2 mile from Pleasant Lake and about 10 minutes from Lake Sunapee.  It is also about 15 minutes from Mt. Sunapee Ski Area and Ragged Mountain. The roads are all built and the condos are 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom in size (about 1500SF).  I am looking to sell the whole approved project.  I believe you could probably construct the condos for about $100 or less per SF due to the scale of the project, making this very affordable.  If anyone would like information on this please email me at jon@proclaiminc.com. 
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: LibertyforLife on February 09, 2007, 12:47:27 am
Greetings,

Lets get organized and move this idea along. I like everyone else like the idea of this 'project' and would like to see it take form. I agree with alot that Brian says as well as others. I need at least 1 acre to live on. I want to be totally and 100 percent suffient. My past plans were to buy 5 acres of land and build a farm, from the ground up if needed. I also wanted to build a home that honored the ideas of self-suffiency, and living with the land and not just on it. My home design was like that of the Earthships of Taos, New Mexico. Oh, and my family are nudists and we are also pagans. We are looking to spend $30,000 to buy our land and understand this may prove difficult. I'm a payment buyer and could honestly careless the over all price, my payment is about $400-500 a month.

Are we in agreement(or agree with the following in principle) with the following?

Land will be purchased by the group.
Land will be divided into smaller sections for each member to own.
Usage of the owned land will be left to the owner of the land.
The community will be ruled by unanimity.

Live free or die!
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: Ricknh on August 12, 2008, 09:27:17 pm
This is an interesting idea, as a libertarian town without zoning and building codes is an ideal place for a community/greens to live in.  They often want to build alternative buildings and most are farther from civilization than Grafton.  It would provide a more accepting social environment then most towns too.  As people find, cohousing is very costly, being both coded and a commercial project.  Living in a similar way but much more simply would be nice.
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: maulotaur on August 12, 2008, 10:17:05 pm
most are farther from civilization than Grafton.

Have you checked in Ellsworth?  There is no zoning there and may be more accessible.

Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: JaqEboy on August 21, 2008, 02:52:44 pm
Many of us are attracted to such settups. And wary too. I think one problem that often kills efforts in this area is how to handle entrance and exit civilly and gracefully. Nothing is static, and what works for a group one year may not work for the same group later. When conditions morph, there has to be an easy way to leave.

Cathleen

The book, Creating a Life Together; Practical Tools to Grow EcoVillages and Intentional Communities, by Diana Liefe Christian covers a lot of the known challenges as well as the possibilities - she should know, being the editor of Communities magazine for a decade. She also lives (I believe) in the EarthHaven community in North Carolina (seen on TV - I forget the name of that show that has the 3 young guys travelling around the country looking for new energy ideas). Worth a reading over for those interested in this concept.

(http://lh4.ggpht.com/jaqeboy/SK3FV9CrFtI/AAAAAAAAATg/D5dETdLANC8/Building%20a%20Life%20Together%20bookcover.jpeg) (http://www.amazon.com/Creating-Life-Together-Ecovillages-Intentional/dp/0865714711)

We refer to this book a lot in our evolving discussions about the Namaste Greenfire community, which is evolving to become a Land Trust Community. First step is forming the Greenfire Co-operative and inviting people into the Co-op. We now also have space for rent in a large house, Greenfire Haven. All in Barnstead, New-Hampshire.
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: cathleeninnh on August 22, 2008, 07:35:35 am
I really look forward to being neighbors with the group. Barnstead is a nice town and convenient, I drove back roads to the bank and the grocery store yesterday. It turned out to be 11 miles and 20 minutes. Saw a little more tornado damage than I had seen before. Damage, but not devastation. Hard working people moving forward.
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: JaqEboy on August 31, 2008, 07:04:38 pm
We're starting to list available spaces on PorcManor.com and are finally ready for occupancy (just a little painting left to do).

We hope to develop the ecovillage community out of our community of tenants, and the folks who attend planned meetings, seminars, workshops, etc.
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: JaqEboy on September 10, 2008, 01:11:14 pm
PorcManor.com listing for Greenfire Haven, our main house: http://porcmanor.com/residence/greenfire_haven
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: carolee on September 21, 2008, 10:47:35 am
I'm pretty excited about this project!  I'm about six to eight months from a move so I will have to check back then to see what progress has been made.  I've been interested in ICs to varying degrees for the last five years and I'd love to finally have an opportunity to join one.
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: JaqEboy on September 21, 2008, 08:06:39 pm
I spent some time with some knowledgeable co-operative folks up at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine on Saturday and learned of a couple of interesting groups:

the Cooperative Development Institute
(not sure, but may have some relationship with the USDA :(   )
1 Sugarloaf Street, Suite 1
South Deerfield, Massachusetts 01373
tel: 877-NE COOPS, or 413-665-1271
email: info@cdi.coop
website: cdi.coop

Cooperative Maine (an alliance of cooperatives in Maine)
email: info@cooperativemaine.org
website: cooperativemaine.org

We're looking for models and sample documents to make our form of organization more clear. email: greenfire@ijaq.net to be invited to join our email news list.

I'm hoping to get some feedback and assistance from my new friends who have more experience with co-ops and real life practices that work (and what doesn't work).
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: Ron Helwig on September 22, 2008, 06:06:20 am
I'm pretty excited about this project!  I'm about six to eight months from a move so I will have to check back then to see what progress has been made.  I've been interested in ICs to varying degrees for the last five years and I'd love to finally have an opportunity to join one.

I'm guessing that moving to the community in early spring would be most excellent timing.
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: MaineShark on September 25, 2008, 09:16:57 am
FYI, a few folks are somewhat-seriously talking about building a libertarian intentional community in Grafton.  I'm expecting that there's a good chance we will be breaking ground on something next year, with how serious folks are sounding.

And that would be a libertarian community, unlike some others...

Joe
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: sj on September 25, 2008, 10:36:07 am
FYI, a few folks are somewhat-seriously talking about building a libertarian intentional community in Grafton.  I'm expecting that there's a good chance we will be breaking ground on something next year, with how serious folks are sounding.

And that would be a libertarian community, unlike some others...

Joe

If it ever becomes more than a post on the internet, maybe JaqEboy can come and pepper your thread with repetitive negative posts.
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: MaineShark on September 25, 2008, 10:42:39 am
FYI, a few folks are somewhat-seriously talking about building a libertarian intentional community in Grafton.  I'm expecting that there's a good chance we will be breaking ground on something next year, with how serious folks are sounding.

And that would be a libertarian community, unlike some others...
If it ever becomes more than a post on the internet, maybe JaqEboy can come and pepper your thread with repetitive negative posts.

Be hard to come up with anything negative to post about a libertarian group coming together to build a libertarian community.

Unlike certain anti-freedom groups.

Joe
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: sj on September 25, 2008, 10:59:14 am
FYI, a few folks are somewhat-seriously talking about building a libertarian intentional community in Grafton.  I'm expecting that there's a good chance we will be breaking ground on something next year, with how serious folks are sounding.

And that would be a libertarian community, unlike some others...
If it ever becomes more than a post on the internet, maybe JaqEboy can come and pepper your thread with repetitive negative posts.

Be hard to come up with anything negative to post about a libertarian group coming together to build a libertarian community.

Unlike certain anti-freedom groups.

Joe

Yeah, the only criticism I can think to come up with is....that you're not doing it.  Other than that, it's great. 

Joe, you've made your point.  Multiple times.  At this point, you're just being an ass.

In any case, if they are all coming up with the rules in the community - which the people I've talked to say are not the same as you've described them -  on a voluntary basis, who cares what they are?  As long as the people voluntarily coming together can agree on them, it's none of your business.  This isn't the type of place I would live...which is why up till now I haven't been discussing anything on this thread...but SOME PEOPLE do want to discuss it.  Show some class and tolerance so that people interested in the project can discuss it without having the neighbor kid yell over the fence about how his club house will be so much better....when he builds it.
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: MaineShark on September 25, 2008, 11:08:11 am
Yeah, the only criticism I can think to come up with is....that you're not doing it.  Other than that, it's great.

Yeah, all the folks who are working on this are not doing it.

None of them are doing anything.

Exactly. ::)

Building an entire housing development is a large project.  Generally, it takes about 5-10 years.  If the folks with the money decide they are ready to start soon, I would expect that we can be done by this time, next year.

In any case, if they are all coming up with the rules in the community - which the people I've talked to say are not the same as you've described them -  on a voluntary basis, who cares what they are?  As long as the people voluntarily coming together can agree on them, it's none of your business.

This thread was specifically started to discuss a libertarian intentional community.  Not just any intentional community, but one friendly for libertarians.

This isn't the type of place I would live...which is why up till now I haven't been discussing anything on this thread...but SOME PEOPLE do want to discuss it.  Show some class and tolerance so that people interested in the project can discuss it without having the neighbor kid yell over the fence about how his club house will be so much better....when he builds it.

Um, that's exactly what Jack is doing.  The organization he's dealing with is not a libertarian group, and therefore is not related to the topic of this discussion.  Spamming other discussions is extremely low-class.

Joe
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: sj on September 25, 2008, 11:13:58 am
Quote
Yeah, all the folks who are working on this are not doing it.

I didn't say THEY aren't doing it.  I said YOU aren't doing it.

If there's one thing I hate about some libertarians, it's this constant criticism of what everyone else is doing.  Every libertarian thinks s/he could do it sooooo much better and wants to say it loud and often enough that no one else can listen to anything but him/her. 

Debatatarians.  ::)  The greatest thing about the FSP is that we have a much smaller percentage of those types.  Most of the people we have get things done.

I'm done.  We now return you to your already scheduled witch hunt, already in progress.
Title: Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
Post by: MaineShark on September 25, 2008, 11:23:39 am
Quote
Yeah, all the folks who are working on this are not doing it.
I didn't say THEY aren't doing it.  I said YOU aren't doing it.

By that standard, few are doing anything.

How many here are single-handedly doing an entire major project, with no assistance or collaboration of any sort?

We are working on a project to build a libertarian intentional community.  We includes myself and several others, some in NH and some who have not yet moved.

If there's one thing I hate about (some) libertarians, it's this constant criticism of what everyone else is doing.  Every libertarian thinks s/he could do it sooooo much better and wants to say it loud and often enough that no one else can listen to anything but him/her.

I doubt you can find even a single example of me criticizing anyone for pro-liberty activism.  I even support the "we can fix the system" and "if we pretend the system is not there, it will go away" types, despite the fact that I consider both groups to be wrong.  If they are actively working for liberty, they can count on what support I have available to give.  Go bark up a different tree.

Joe