I am a new grad nurse in the Seattle area that's been bitten by the permaculture and public health bugs. These ideas have been merging into something I am calling the Marcella Barnes Modern Homestead Community (MBMHC), which is a community I am looking to form about an hour outside of Seattle. This community values independence but also kindness, community, generosity, respect, and education.
I know there is a lot that comes with starting a new community but I am confident we can find some great people to work together on this.
The MBMHC will have a focus on providing community education/performance/gardening space; sustainableland use; affordable housing; supporting cottage industries; protecting heritage and heirloom livestock and vegetables, particularly those good for small farm/permaculture methods; conducting research on participant and environment health; testing new technologies for a greener world; and eventually a foster child home and a continuous care retirement community. People here will believe in working hard, playing hard, and giving back so we all have more. We build each other up and act out the positive changes we want to see in the world.
Yes: the nonprofit status is still up in the air for now. And yes: there are a lot of legal hoops to jump through, and we will cross all of those bridges when we come to it. I happen to have found some land that has made me want to start into this sooner than I had originally planned.
It is 166 acres less than an hour drive from downtown Seattle (like parking for a Seahawks game in an hour, seriously!) that is subdividable into 16 lots. Each lot would cost approx. $62,000 (damn! That's like 6k an acre!)
It would be a group decision how to proceed, but I may have a local private investor to get a loan from. Ideally it would be great to have 25% down (yeah... still only a $15.5K down payment on 10 acres!) but there may be some flexibility. Each owner could also rent to people who were community participants to supplement their income and share work. It wouldn't be a 30 year if we went the private investor route, but it should be a fairly quick pay-off anyways to minimize interest costs and since it is such a low amount for what you get.
Let me know if you are interested in buying in or participating in any way (community efforts or a renting member)... you can also read a little more about the MBMHC ideas at my blog