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05-19-2009, 03:34 PM
I have been working on an idea that started out as a retirement village but seems to have evolved into an "intentional community" or "small town" idea.

I've become aware of a movement toward tiny houses... from 100 sq ft to 1200 sq ft and thought that a community of these small homes would be a great idea for retirement... but there is one big issue... as the community members age, what happens to them and the community?

Sooooo I thought about a community of like-minded people. People who believe in autonomy and independence but also in God, family and community.

I have found a piece of land in East Texas that would serve this purpose EXTREMELY well. It is in the country so there is no zoning. It is 45 minutes from the DFW area. It has a deep well and septic system already in place, electricity to the property but not to individual lots. The land is large enough to provide spaces for up to 70 of these "tiny houses" (each on a 50'x80' lot) with an additional 2500 sq ft per household for food production. In addition, there are ponds for irrigation, groves of old lovely trees (perfect for recreation area) and space for raising animals such as goats and chickens. Along the road there is space for individual and/or community businesses such as a small restaurant, craft store, thrift store, bed and breakfast, etc. I believe these would all work quite well as this land is only 3 miles from one of the largest open air flea markets in the USA.

My idea is to purchase the land as a group... a non-profit organization, and divide it into the above lots. We would have to chose our neighbors carefully to assure that we have people with a variety of skills. I'd love to see these houses built like old time barn raisings...builders who can plan and organize, the big and strong doing the actual work on the buildings and the rest of us doing what we can to support them, just like people did as they expanded westward along with the railroads. We need people willing to work the garden plots, people willing to give their time to help the older folks "age in place" rather than have to seek other housing when their health fails. People who would be willing to barter within the community for/with their skills/servisces/products.

Another aspect of this community should be a commitment to a sustainable lifestyle to some extent. I'd like to see wind and solar power being used to keep electricity usage inexpensive. Organic gardening and low household chemical use would also be important.

The cost for the property split between 65 households would be approximately $3000 each including the closing costs. Individual homes would be provided by each individual family, although as I've stated I'd like to see folks bartering for some of their materials and helping each other build the homes to keep the costs way down.

If you'd be interested in this kind of community in North Central/East Texas, please let me know. I'd like to share ideas and information with you also. Please pass this along to others who may be interested... including retirees or those close to retirement.
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Barb Moore

05-21-2009, 08:27 PM
Wow, that's a neat concept. I don't live in TX, but would love to hear how this progresses.smileys/smiley20.gif

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