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Author Topic: Libertarian Ecovillage  (Read 16528 times)

eightiesoid

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Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
« Reply #15 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.
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cathleeninnh

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Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
« Reply #16 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
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Russell Kanning

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Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
« Reply #17 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.
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Brian Travis

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Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
« Reply #18 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?
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jonf

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Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
« Reply #19 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. 
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LibertyforLife

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Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
« Reply #20 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!
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Ricknh

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Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
« Reply #21 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.
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maulotaur

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Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
« Reply #22 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.

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JaqEboy

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Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
« Reply #23 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.



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.
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cathleeninnh

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Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
« Reply #24 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.
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JaqEboy

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Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
« Reply #25 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.
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JaqEboy

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Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
« Reply #26 on: September 10, 2008, 01:11:14 pm »

PorcManor.com listing for Greenfire Haven, our main house: http://porcmanor.com/residence/greenfire_haven
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carolee

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Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
« Reply #27 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.
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JaqEboy

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Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
« Reply #28 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).
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Ron Helwig

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Re: Libertarian Ecovillage
« Reply #29 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.
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