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Interested in creating an intentional community  RSS feed

 
                                  
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  I am becoming more and more interested in this lifestyle and was sooooo disappointed that there weren't any postings on this topic.  I am new to this site and so far I think it's great.

  I have a forty acre farm just south of Sandpoint ID.  I'm recently divorced and considering selling it or creating an intentional community here.  So far I'm hearing far more negative attributes from people than positive, yet I would love to share my farm and expenses with others.  I'd love to get some links to sites that could better explain the ins and outs of intentional community.
 
paul wheaton
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Posts: 22170
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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I just spent some time at the "Art of Community" conference.  So it's seems a bit cosmic to find a post here about community!

Check out ic.org - this is gonna be the premier site on this topic.

Also, look for the book "creating a life together" by Diana Leaf Cristian.  This is __the__ book on IC.

The sandpoint area is very nice.  How far south of sandpoint are you?

 
                                  
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  That sounds like an interesting conference.  Where was it, and was it worth the time?      I have the  "Creating a Life Together" book on order.
  I have to admit I'm really nervous about the community thing.  I love people and have always been outgoing, but I also value my "space" and am very independent.  The legalities also are going to be a big point of this too I imagine.
  My farm is just about 20 minutes south of Sandpoint, towards Athol.  I'm out in the "sticks" a ways and wonder if that would be a deterent.  Have you been to many of these communities?  What's your take on them?  Would you give up ownership of land to start one?  That one REALLY scares me.  I have a child in college and a senior in high school and this is/was to be their inheritance one day.  Thanks for your time and input.
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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The answers to your questions go far beyond the book you are about to receive!!!

The conference was good.  It was in Seattle. 

Without getting into infinite detail:  I would suggest that you steer clear of all non-profit stuff tied to your land.  Having a non-profit venture on your for-profit land is considered a wise recipe!

Does your zoning allow more than one structure on your property?

What sort of housing does your property have right now?

The folks that might be interested in this sort of thing are typically liberal, but you are not far from one of the biggest aryan places around ...  what's your plan there?

I would not give up ownership, but I would be okay with sharing ownership.  What if you are "the primary owner" and somebody comes along and gives you 50 grand to become 1/4 owner?  And then they have a lien on your property?  There are scads of ways to arrange stuff and this is just one - to give you an idea of how things can be managed.

Do you have pics?  A web site?

 
                                  
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The zoning seems flexible, one house per ten acres, but variances are allowed.  Right now I just have our house; a three bedroom manufactured home.  I'm hoping to build a passive solar house and some more creative small buildings in the future.

The Aryan thing is a matter of perspective I think.  I believe people from other areas think it's far worse than it is.  The white supremacists that are still here (most vocal ones left), are quiet and mostly want to live quiet solitary lives.  I personally think that the best way to deal with problems like that is to overshadow/overpower it by doing what's right there in front of everyone and to do your best to make big changes for the better.
In marketing, you always search out your competion, and fight it out head to head, right?    No literal fighting we hope!

I don't have a web site and still don't own a digital camera.  My daughter is amazed I do email

Do you live in an intentional community?  What are the pros and cons of this lifestyle in your opinion?
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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I think that if I were to build, I would want to build a house with many (a dozen?) bedrooms.  Or, build a house with, say, five bedrooms and designed in a way for easy remodel to have more. 

Most zoning stuff is cool with a 30 bedroom home, but frowns on two homes with one bedroom each.

Next, you can typically build a structure that has 120 square feet or less without a permit.  One room micro cottages/cabins with no electricity or plumbing. 

I do live in an IC now.  I'm learning a lot of lessons.  Many of those lessons are not the lessons I thought I would be learning.  I wish to end up on farm land in an IC somewhere in the pacific northwest. 

My current crazy theory is to come up with a system where "room and board" is something like $250 per week - which includes maid service, three squares a day, laundry service, the works.  **AND** industrious people can earn ten bucks an hour to erase that.  Their time could be spent farming, cooking, cleaning, etc.  At the end of the week, a person could work 35 hours and have an extra $100 in their pocket.

 
                                  
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I'm really interested in the personal dynamics involved in being in an IC.  I love being around people, but I am a big baby when it comes to conflict.  I'm afraid I would be a big pushover.
I have several organic people interested in being a part of a community with me and I'm in a position where I'll be able to build soon; I just want to make sure I make the best decision for the long run.  The idea of charging a weekly fee sounds great, although the amount you mentioned seems high for here.  Also, it's seems that such a system would require almost a full time position just to manage and organise details and track/delegate chores.  Would it be worth such a constant headache?
Many many things to consider.  I'm trying to find people who were/are members of IC's to get there opinions.
 
paul wheaton
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It is true that the rate is high.  Of course, it does include cooked meals, etc. 

And, ten bucks an hour is also high, is it not? 

I think the goal is to say that there is great value to what you provide, and there is great value to their time.  And since the pay rate is high, it is okay to get hard work in return. 

With any week, a person might put in 25 hours of farm stuff and 5 hours of cooking, cleaning, etc. They then get $50 per week stipend.  If you want to rephrase it, you can:  "30 hours per week in exchange for room, board and $50." 

Personal dynamics:  Everybody has to be a good, decent person.  If you have even one person that is icky, you have to have them move on.  You can easily spend all of your life, and the life of everybody else in the community, trying to be the personal therapist(s) for this one person.  Not to mention that all of the pleasant folks will leave to get away from the icky person.  Just be quick to hit the eject button.


 
                            
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Out east we have these things called co-housing communities.  Sounds a bit like what you are talking about.  I've heard the stories and what Paul is saying sounds right on. 

KatyLynn, Maybe you are already ahead of me on this but you might want to start with interviewing some room mates or tennants to see if you are cut out for this.

Check out http://www.cohousing.org/default.aspx

Paul, it might be interesting to hear from you as  to what got you to IC and how it is working out.

The farm (from what I see here) looks like a pretty cool place!

PS: I really like this forum's TOS (Terms of Service):  "be nice". 
 
                    
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Hi Katylynn -  The internet is amazing - I googled "Sandpoint intentional community" - not thinking I would get anything, and your posting here popped up.  I live 10 miles north of Sandpoint.  I have also recently split with a partner who owns 1/2 of the 45 acres I am on - and I am facing having to sell or find a way to share.  I went to the Art of Community in Seattle and was inspired to look for IC, or start one.  I'd like to meet you.  I work in town - could meet you Monday, 10/30 after 2 pm or Friday,  11/3 before noon or after 2.  I'll check back here.  Jean
 
                    
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Katylynn:  Nov 27 - I checked back in.  Would still like to talk.  I'll check this site weekly to see if we can connect.  Jean
 
                                
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I wonder what happened to this thread?  It seems to have just dropped
off the face of the earth   I was going to mention what a great idea IC's
are and suggest to the lady that she check out the Dancing Rabbit website
from Missourri.  They seem to have a good thing going.
tex
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22170
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
 
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