Utopia Springs
Summary


SAGEWOOD SPRINGS LLC, RURAL COMMUNITY PLAN, GREAT VALLEY CALIFORNIA

COMMUNITY INTRODUCTION
The Sagewood Springs LLC main office will be in Sacramento CA, and an office at Sagewood Springs once it is built. Sacramento is centrally located in the Great Valley and among the most rapidly developing communities in the USA. It's a great place to live, raise a family, farm, do business and base new projects.
Sagewood Springs, a California Limited Liability Company, is a western land development company to be formed in 1999. Sagewood Springs is a small town plan with associated housing, business, farming and ranching. It is a member-owner-resident planned community of 640 acres. It will provide housing, employment, food, community and social services for over 640 people in a rustic western town and farm setting, but with LLC capitalist structure, scientific land use design, modern technology and techniques.

BASIC ASSUMPTIONS

The basic assumptions of this plan are to integrate the best of the past, present & future into a coordinated long term plan of optimized growth, utilizing existing development, governmental, financial and scientific plans and programs within this new sustainable, prosperous, environmental LLC community & friendly CA lifestyle. California's many rich resources, development problems and diverse population make integration not only possible but mandatory. They cannot be dealt with piece-meal any longer. We must have a plan that helps people get back into a harmonious relationship with the land, not as elite unnatural urbanites, nor yuppie consumer suburbanites, but as real townfolks, working together to build the land and a way of life.

PLANNING STRATEGY

The Planning Strategy is to take a prototype square mile, which is the most prominant feature of valley real estate and development, and use this typical layout to build a community that can be at the optimum scale, "tileability", and an example for most future developments not only here, but the nation and world wide.

PROGRAM SUMMARY

Sagewood Springs has a unique integration of housing types, density, massing and openess that meshes not only internally with the rest of the business, agricutural and ranching activities, but also with the neighbors, nearby communities and regional setting. It is a very comprehensive scientific approach to development.

LAND USE ASSUMPTIONS

The main assumption is that land has a certain optimum carrying capacity which should be of primary concern in layout and development. Even with new techniques and construction capabilities, the land can only support a certain amount of plants, animals and people, plus a certain level of productivity that can be prosperous and sustained. This plan uses one person per acre as its basis for all land use, not only here, but as a model for other areas, whether highly developed or undeveloped lands. It follows all existing rules & regs.

POLICY ISSUES

Governmental Policies have attempted to place rules, regulations and guidelines into effect to make modern development satisfy many special interests, social concerns, practical matters, and environmental impacts. This has created a situation where it has become virtually impossible to make most types of projects qualify for both gov't. approval & business financing. A plan that takes these opposing interests and makes them harmonious is great challenge. Many of the issues then fall into place in this new development paradigm.

PLANNING ISSUES

Developer and Gov't. Planning must work together to make revisions to existing regulations where these revisions can be shown to have community, enviromental, scientific and business merit. This is where some general plan amendments and variances need to be worked out once the overall concepts have been agreed on. We all have to get along, make compromises based on overall merit and work together to build a future.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Encouragement of new develpoments that incorporate this plan's assumptions, engineering, community, business, environmental and other details is vital to get financial backing for new projects that make real substantial breakthroughs in land development. The overwhelming regulations discourage optimum planning of most large scale plans, driving up costs and creating piece-meal solutions that taken en total, lead to the unsustainable mess we have seen elsewhere in many developments. Lets make life easier for all.

DESCRIPTION

Although the town will appear as an old fashioned western town, many of the features were simply never a part of any one town, but scattered across the landscape in a hog podge of corporate and private plans. This plan has traditional streets of houses, Main Street, agriculture, ranching and utilities etc. arranged in an optimized and coordinated functionality that solves many of the problems we are facing. It has the rich agricultural base, small town atmosphere, democratic principals, business plans, and environmental features each scaled and arranged for the site, its inhabitants and visitors. The charm of the old west is fast dissapearing, but has been fortunatley been preserved in places such as Ferndale and Columbia CA etc. to give us a good idea of the feel, values and history. It can be reborn again with a plan like this. People getting back to the land in a scientific, prosperous, harmonious, environmental, friendly, social & democratic way.

BUSINESS

This new way of doing business will solve many of the significant problems of current business systems, and many social ills of regular communities, such as low occupancy, disorganized work force, separation of work, home, family & food. The land and buildings will be fully utilized in an sustainable and organized fashion. Full employment, proper population density, friendly people working together to build a better life for each other, along with environmentally friendly designs and systems now available, will solve many of the problems faced by many communities today. This can create real equitable wealth, prosperity & security.
It will function quite differently. The new legal structure provided by LLC's enables townfolks to be owner-members of their businesses, homes and farms instead of leasee-renter-employees. The LLC structure will make possible the utilization of skilled teams of professionals who will be highly motivated to accomplish the goals of the community and the company. A company town, but of, by and for the towns-people.

LIFESTYLE

There exists a tremendous need for more fullfilling lifestyles, for more integrated systems of working and living together. The many new technologies and materials make building and operating a planned community an exciting transistion forward into the 21st Century. Almost all developments have historically been in six category styles: Religious Isolation, Business Laize Faire, Right Wing Authoritarian, Left Wing Socialist, Environmentalist Village and Sport Country Club Complex. Each has elements of the fundamental realities for sucessful development, but each also fails to take into consideration the other's truths & merits. A plan that selects out the best of each, rescales and recombines them can achieve a new level of lifestyle and prosperity, of values and security as never before. It will be one step closer to the Garden of Eden & Utopia.

POPULATION GROWTH

Many people are moving out west from several directions. These people are looking to become a part of traditional western style communities, but in actuality these are few and far between. This has forced most to live in dense urban communities like Las Vegas or Los Angeles etc. Once this new opportunity is funded, it would be filled rapidly. By setting a new exciting example of how to develop the west, many similar style developments will spring up. The pioneering spirit is alive & well and this is an "Idea whose time has come".
There are millions of potential members and no competitors use this new LLC legal structure. Many large tracts are available and its just a matter of selecting the best places to start, taking into consideration location, water, soil, utilities and price. The historic square mile survey system has many advantages and makes design of most projects much simpler. Project affordability for members will be better than existing developments and businesses. The security of the investment is good for financiers and members.
Sagewood Springs will be a fresh start-up project. Although similar projects could reorganize many existing small towns, it is usually easier to organize and build it from scratch. The LLC structure can prevent encroachment from outside companies and protect members and their livelihood. It can also expand by adjacent "tileing" or replication to nearby sites. Large scale networking will be possible among these towns.
Organization: These people can be recruited with adds and matched up well within the LLC framework. It has nay advantages over the random assortment of people seen in most other communities. It also has a secure place for kids and elderly, unlike corporations and many other community styles.

CONSTRUCTION FINANCING

Sagewood Springs will require at least fifty million dollars. This will include construction financing, land reclamation, utilities, business, housing and farm start up costs. Refinancing of construction loans into regular mortgages once construction is completed will lessen monthy payments greatly. The first crops and business incomes will come later in first years. Restructuring of debt and equity can be an ongoing process.
Some seed funding is needed to complete plan designs, land search, recruitment of members and regular office expenses. Sagewood will need some initial operating capital, beyond just construction financing, for business, farm, community inventory and operating materials. Total financing for this type of project can include both debt and equity financing. All equity shares will have a buyback option to maintain LLC member ownership. Debt repayment should not present any unusual difficulties since this is a standard project except for the LLC aspect. The initial financial partners will recieve a good interest rate on any debt financing and will also recieve additional returns from appreciation of their equity shares. The construction loans will be refinanced and paid off after completion of the projects. The equity returns will accrue until the option is exercised by the members in five years.

PHASING

Sagwood Springs can be built in less than three years by the members. The first milestone will be acquiring the property, which should take less than six months. The second milestone will be plan approval which can take six months. The third milestone will be the groundbreaking on Main St. Buildings and other life support systems, such as the farm and utilities. Meanwhile, townfolks will could live in non permanent housing, trailers etc.. Homes will be built along with other developments. First Floor use will be in Phase 1, while finishing of Second Floors will be in Phase 2. See Phasing Maps for infilling of properties and features.

PLAN HISTORY

Sagewood Springs has been in development for ten years off and on. It was originally planned to be a tourist attraction type venture, then redesigned to be a regular town development, then as an experimental town. It has since been redesigned to be a fully integrated LLC community, and not just a business strip, school town or Disneyland. Its evolution into a 'Company Town' came about by realization of the full potential of LLC's to be the basis for rural town development & for a transition to a new kinder gentler capitalistic democracy.
The pictures of the historical structures are to give inspiration and design ideas for finish architectural plans. They depict some of the best of the past pioneer and utopian ideals and the potential for a great future.

MANAGEMENT

Sagewood Springs will have local member management, which will be reviewed and voted on regularly. It will also have all skilled personnel working as a team. Children and elders can be supported in a traditional fashion. Sagewood is a unique opportunity to create a very healthy lifestyle and a prosperous community. No need for a non profit experimental project, since so much experimental work has been done recently. Regular corporate structures are still struggling with development bottom lines, employee problems, product quality, shareholder demands, healthy work environment and sustainability. The LLC structure can manage and reduced significantly all these problems because members have real democratic control and a real stake in their career, home, family, farm and future. It is a different kind of optimization based on respect for democratic principals, human values, scientific plans and community teamwork, not just the goals of a few.
Sagewood Springs will be managed by the LLC Organizing Staff until the members vote in the Town Managers. A team of up to 20 Managers can handle all the corporate, land, financial, and community projects. Each person running for manager election will be able to present their qualifications to the members to decide. If no one is qualified, additional qualified members will be recruited for vacant positions from outside the community, much as done currently.

PROFITS

There are new ways to build business, housing and communities in a coordinated and profit generating way. Overhead is kept to a minimum by close organization and teamwork that cuts down on outsourcing for many things. It is self contained and supportive which gives much added security and confidence that things will get done right. The town will be able to provide great personal service due to small size and friendly town atmosphere. Quality will be very high due to expert trade and craft people who care about their work. Overall performance will be much higher than comparable disorganized towns or individual business ventures. Member accounts not only give each his fair share, but also fair advantage, incentive and liquidity.
Capitalist profit incentives have proven themsleves, but now its time to spread the wealth in a democratic way, while maintaining a strong social and community structure where wealth is recycled and not extracted.

MEMBERS

The main limitation on this type of development is the usual start up capitalization problem. If fully funded by members, only well off members can join. With some outside financial assistance to get started, members can be drawn from a much wider range of incomes and a "Country Club" type rich-only or a "Communal" type poor-people village can be avoided. With this population diversity, all mangement positions should be continuously filled. As overall education, hands on training and familiarity with the operations spread throughout the town in a campus atmosphere, qualifications and skills of members will increase greatly, and the community construction and financial skills needed for future developments will expand exponentially.
Hopefully, attrition of members will be more from moving on to form new similar towns, rather than from giving up and moving back to the city. The LLC has excellent provisions for adding and changing members.

ENVIRONMENTAL

Other limitations include general environmental constraints, nearby competition from regular urban businesses, depletion of non renewable site resources such as minerals and groundwater. This plan can enhance not only the new plants, animals and people, but also the existing natural situation by enrichment of the soil, food sources, microenvironments and other features that will make the land much richer than if left undeveloped. People can coexist with nature, develop it and create abundance for all life. Existing Open Space & Conservation Elements are well provided for. Existing Riparian Areas can be conserved and enhanced with additional plantings and water. Some relocation or replanting of existing trees may be needed.
The simple utilitarian designs of housing and businesses allow for much interior customizing while maintaining beautiful, standardized, efficient time-proven exteriors. Maximum heights will be well under the 35 ft. max. and the seismic hazards of tall structures avoided. Most Sections already have perimeter streets which can be finished with heavily landscaped scenic parkways. Traffic patterns are simple and will reduce the overall traffic greatly since commuting is virtually eliminated. Rail use can be enhanced regionally to provide more east west routes and access to the National Forests and other nearby Public Lands. Noise levels can be minimized by proper walls & soundproofing. A significant decrease of demands on County services is a big plus.
The Zoning Matrix is not much different from existing towns, and actually more organized than most. The Consistancy Matrix for this Rural Town is exceptional and quite diverse. A Negative Declaration on all Environmental Issues is expected and compliannce with all laws is assured. The one issue that is beyond onsite control is regional flooding, but some hazard mitigation is possible.

LONG RANGE GOALS & OBJECTIVES

The main goal is to develop this new system fully on at least one site. Our hope is that it will set an example of how to solve many community problems and how to create a sustainable prosperous community using the best of the old and new. This square layout can be modified for different terrains and shaped parcels, but it takes substantial additional engineering and capital to make it more 'organically' contoured and designed.
This plan can be adapted to many similar regions, and LLC's are now available in the USA and 60 countires. The long range growth and expansion objectives are to develop many such towns, to reorganize existing towns, to share these techniques with others, and to help fully develop ten thousand communities valleywide and one hundred thousand worldwide within 25 years. This type and intensity of development is definately needed here & worldwide. It will provide an important alternative to existing haphazard developments. We believe that someday we will look back and ask, "Why didn't we get together and build this sooner?"



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