Completing my first PDC I'm really thinking about non-profit and/or intentional community.
I'm far from socialist, I'm actually a private person. I have an ego, but I'm open to others. But when thinking of eco-village, what is it really like?
On one hand it's a hard concept, coming from nothing (poverty essentially) as a kid, working hard, buying that plot of land I dreamed of (I dreamed of any land outside of a city, quiet, with no ambulance or shooting lol), only to essentially "give it away" to the cause (which is everyone).
Does setting up an IC, village or non-profit mean the founder has no rights to it? I understand the decision making process is done as a community typically. How would I make sure my family maintains a roof over their head?
Who handles the ultimate finances such as taxes, mortgage etc? I'm assuming everyone is entitled to community upkeep, maintenance, helping with training or whatever duties/fees are established, not for profit but for benefit of community.
I'm just come to the realization that if ever I want to expand to what I truly want to accomplish (even if 10 years down the road), I can't do it all alone, doing as a community is the only way as I work full time, have kids to care for and income only stretches so far.
Seems to me that every community would answer these questions in a different way.
Where I live (Lafayette Morehouse), our land is owned by a corporation we created. This is to protect the land and the community. The founders have no particular or special rights. One person is our book-keeper and there is a group of three people who do the day-to-day money management. All new proposals are subject to our 'one-no-vote' decision process.
Many of us live in each building. We make sure we have a roof over our head by making sure our family business succeeds and that maintenance gets done.
If you haven't already read it, I recommend Diana Leafe Christian's book "Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities" - it goes through lots of issues like ownership, decisions, money in very practical detail. Don't forget about the importance of zoning - be sure your property is zoned for the number of people you want.
I know an Eco-village where they each own the land that constitutes the footprint of their house, the rest is "commons". If I were to make an Eco-village in my valley I'd either sell of portions of my land, or I'd rent out some of it (with restrictions), or let people live on my land - and then they'd have to live under my rules (which aren't that strict, but there none the less). I'm not much for communal owning - been there, done that and don't want the t-shirt...
There are upsides and downsides to communally owned land. Everyone here has " ownership" of their own structure but not the land it's on, like a mobile home. There are no deeds (which is causing issues for an absentee member that want to sell her structure but no one here wants to buy it, and she can't find anyone interested in both paying her price and living with the rest of us... Giggle). The founder has no special rights or privileges, but since he's been here longest, and he's oldest, and he knows most about maintenance... He gets a lot of deference.
The land trust protects us all, because the land can not be inherited if someone dies, or sold, or clear cut... It has to be used for the community into perpetuity.
That's a big comfort since I know of communities that have been destroyed when someone died unexpectedly, and the kids inherited/sold the land off. Or someone got serious ill/injured and needed money for medical expenses...