StP HQ / Punk Rock RV Park (1 Viewer)

Matt Derrick

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So this thread is for discussing an idea I've had for many years now, that I would like to share with the community and get some input on.

This thread is for discussing an extension of the Squat the Planet website into real life by starting a homebase/headquarters for the StP community in the form of a physical location with full time live-in residents, as well as accommodating a rotating cast of visiting travelers.

The core idea

The location would take the form of a plot of land that would be turned into a residence while also giving a space for other projects. The residence portion would take the form of what could be best described as an RV park, where residents long term and short term alike could come and go as they please between travels. There would also be more permanent structures in place, such as teepees, tents, yurts, and possibly more advanced alternative building structures like shipping container houses, etc.

Amenities would include shore/house power, potable water, public showers, a travel-specific library, mail boxes, and others.

The space would also be designed to have an open performance area/stage, campfire hangout spots, a bar for special events, and other areas such as gardens and a blacksmith shop. Other ideas are possible based on what the residents want to pursue.

Apologies for the vagueness at this point, but location, monetary and social logistics are all things that will need to be discussed in this thread, and as we work things out, i will update this first post with the latest information that is decided upon; eventually, the goal here is to have an exact outline of the project and what we hope to achieve and why.

At this point though, I just want to get the discussion started so feel free to post your input, concerns, and ideas for how we can make this a reality.

Who would own/run the space?

The idea would be that the land would be owned under a land trust with a board of directors essentially, so no one person owns the land. it would definitely be owned and run collectively.

How are you going to pay for this?

In terms of getting it paid for, I am open to ideas, but my main focus might theoretically be a kickstarter of some kind, where we could sell weekend visits/parties at the land to raise money for it. we did this when I created an indigogo campaign for east jesus and it did pretty well.

For the most part though, financing is still under debate/research.

Similar projects

Just to give you an idea of what I'm going for here, I'm going to list a few places that I feel are at least somewhat similar:

Where would something like this be located?

Locations are still up in the air since I just haven't found that one perfect place that would make me want to settle down long enough to make something like this happen. That said, some considerations would be:
  • Kansas City, MO (KCMO): I keep hearing there's a lot of punk houses here and a good community. Not sure about land prices though.
  • Tucson, AZ: I hear rumors of a burdgeoning anarchist/punk/activist community here and there's lots of BLM land in the area. Suggested by @dumpsternavel in this post.
  • @TheUndeadPhoenix has suggested some of the more remote areas of Pennsylvania.
  • @NewMexicoJim has suggested some cheap land for sale between Albuquerque and Belem, NM; more info and a photo in this post.
  • Morgantown, WV - " Morgantown area still has cheap land in the hills and it's relatively close to Pittsburgh"
  • "there is cheap land around Taos/Tres Piedras NM as well. Taos mesa is somewhat of a all diy houses built in the desert, mostly punks and hippies before them, being there since the 80s. sounds like your project would fit right in. just buy a few acres and all good to go"
While not totally impossible, it seems like both the east and west coasts are probably going to be out of the question due to land costs and other factors, but if someone wants to prove me wrong, please do so. For now, I'm mostly concentrating our search on somewhere in the mid west / four corners areas, preferably along a major train route (again, to make it easier for folks to visit).

I'm avoiding areas that are overly remote (no matter how cheap/free they may be) due to logistical hurdles and the fact that we'd like to have a space where folks could optionally have jobs to save up for their next leg of travel or finance projects in the space itself.

For now, I'm asking any travelers that are interested in this project to keep a look out for good locations that might meet these requirements. If you come across something let us know!
 
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We sell all kinds of other stuff in our Etsy store!

Tengu91

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Wosley, SD
I'm all about this idea! Not gonna lie; I'm mostly commenting to give support and to get notifications on this thread as it grows. I'm about to crash for the night, but I'll definitely come back and try to contribute to the brainstorm in any way I can. Good on you though, @Matt Derrick!
 
Joined
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Arkansa
Missouri & illinois are cheap & remote but close to major cities in southern Illinois Easter. Missouri. Weather is mild in South Western/ eastern & no building codes in most counties. Owner financing is also a option & a valid foot in the door. Plus marijuana is medical in both States for the hemp enthusiasts.
 

Fuzzypeach

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Tacoma, WA
I'm down. We've been wanting to set up a place like that for decades. However, we like WA. Nothing says there can be only one location. The People's Project in SD is similar. The biggest hurdles are purchase price and zoning laws. A bit easier in more rural locations for both. However, having lived in a tiny Town the politics and BS is problematic. Even if you don't live in a town proper, word gets out and you've got Bible Thumpin' God Fearin' rednecks that don't want "one of them hippie communes" around. Since all of the government posts are occupied by their relatives, they will do what they can to block it.
 

MetalBryan

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Miami, FL
Reaffirming my interest. If you end up choosing Kansas City, I've got family & friends there so it's a soft landing for me.
 

Breck

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Stuck in the rustbelt
Do yourself a favor and check with local laws first. There's a park near me that has a lot of hippie festivals and it's pretty much a commune. They have constant problems with local government trying to shut it down using every excuse in the book. They have been successful so far keeping them off there backs. I would start looking at the place in Tennessee that has been working for years and maybe get some input from them. These types of free living usually get lots of visits from ABC organizations. You will definitely need your own security. I have wished for the money for such a place for 20+ years after visiting a punk house in Baltimore and seeing what they were doing with a community center there. I wish you the best of luck. If you ever figure this out I will definitely help in anyway I can.
 

Matt Derrick

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Do yourself a favor and check with local laws first. There's a park near me that has a lot of hippie festivals and it's pretty much a commune. They have constant problems with local government trying to shut it down using every excuse in the book. They have been successful so far keeping them off there backs. I would start looking at the place in Tennessee that has been working for years and maybe get some input from them. These types of free living usually get lots of visits from ABC organizations. You will definitely need your own security. I have wished for the money for such a place for 20+ years after visiting a punk house in Baltimore and seeing what they were doing with a community center there. I wish you the best of luck. If you ever figure this out I will definitely help in anyway I can.

Which punk house in Baltimore? I used to live in that city. But yes, local laws and housing associations are on my list to check for any property we would be considering.
 

Breck

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Which punk house in Baltimore? I used to live in that city. But yes, local laws and housing associations are on my list to check for any property we would be considering.

Wish I could remember the address.. that community center run by a bunch of punx was the greatest thing I'd ever seen at that point. All I remember was the community center was around the corner from where we were staying and the punx had weekly meetings to discuss what they did and to pony up their own money to keep it running. They had free daycare for working single moms, potluck dinners, library, and help for struggling people in the neighborhood..
 

Groundscore

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Aug 13, 2019
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Southern Arizona
Those amenities sound fantastic. Hopefully zoning laws and permits won't get in the way.

The idea of a blacksmith shop is ingenious - not only is that a great skill to have, so are any that can be shared among travelers.

I remember some of the early days on the 'net where I learned some basic HTML; anything I couldn't figure out on my own I learned from some others on a discussion board, and the unofficial rule was to pay back by helping to teach others what you learned before you moved along. That kind of camaraderie and willingness to help others is rare these days...

Any place that people can come together and actually share knowledge and skills is a great place, as there are a ton of skills that different travelers posses that would be great to pass along to others. Perhaps something along those lines could be added to the name, to keep people from thinking it's just an RV park and a place to use/abuse like so many these days.
 
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I feel like having a fixed address for a platform that Prides itself on no fixed address lacks creativity as well as jeopardizes authenticity. I feel any sort of land could be used to cultivate food for special events and monetary divisions applied to structures and tools and housing could just as easily be spent on mobile equipment that would serve the same purpose. Plus adhering to the remission statement. That kind of compound would transform the light-hearted social platform we have into a concrete and tangible form of evidence that some crazy people could turn into a source of fear for a community. The ideology is not bad, however unjustly applied labels offer probable cause for certain other groups of people 2 make tragic and atrocious responses. There's Waco's I mean wackos everywhere in theory it's a great idea however the application I think would be detrimental to the simplicity of travel. I've always said that most effective way to travel and never be noticed, is light. It's good to be prepared but I feel it would be greedy to set up a house when you already have a home theoretically. I just don't want to see this thing get messed up. Jackal logic.
 
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MetalBryan

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I don't want to put words in Jackson's mouth so please forgive if I misunderstood, but I think what they're getting at is a larger problem... one that whomever commits to this idea in a substantial way (legal paperwork, finances, time invested) is going to have to face as a caretaker. A permanent fixture for StP is going to attract all kinds and any StP "host" to this land is going to be responsible for them at least as far as optics are concerned. You're also going to get a collection of dominant personalities (those who see this through and won't just walk away from problems) playing gatekeeper (coming from a sense of ownership) to everyone new coming in, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. In my experience there's a fine line between maintaining a continuity and bullying.
 

Matt Derrick

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i know our human nature is to look at something like this and instantly think of all the things that could go wrong, but all i can ask is that people reading this try to look at it the opposite way and accept that i HAVE thought of just about everything that could go wrong and at least have a general idea as to how to mitigate it; just because i haven't posted it here yet doesn't mean i don't 'have a plan for that'.

so yeah, let's assume we have the majority of problems worked out and approach this from a more positive view and discuss how to make this all work?
 
D

Deleted member 13433

I deleted myself
Matt, I'm a little late to the party... but are you thinking something along the lines of what Dial House was about in the U.K. ??
 
D

Deleted member 13433

I deleted myself
Yes:

Now, I'm a little biased because I grew up with listening and getting into Crass during the early 1980s, but this to me seemed like a real good idea.
Hope posting links is ok.... this place has been around since the 1970s !!
 

Matt Derrick

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Yes:

Now, I'm a little biased because I grew up with Crass during the early 1980s, but this to me seemed like a real good idea.
Hope posting links is ok.... this place has been around since the 1970s !!

yeah i saw a little documentary about that place a few years ago. i've always loved crass so it was interesting seeing where (at least one of) them lives.
 

NewMexicoJim

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There is cheap land south of Albuquerque near Belen bordering the National Forest. $500/acre and no covenants or restrictions. Valencia County is auctioning land for back taxes too so it could be even cheaper. Belen is a major railroad hub, Abq is close enough for a commute and has a growing film industry. Netflix is investing $1 billion and there are many contract jobs for extras. Down side is getting utilities and water, windy and dust storms in spring. Abq has issues with crime but many people love it there. Summer and winter are usually mild. New Mexico has some really beautiful country for hiking, camping and exploring.
Land.jpg
 

obey no one

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on the move
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i love the idea, i really have never worked in a cooperative group that i felt really worked. i eventually stopped doing that kinda stuff, because it was always just a bunch of people arguing, talking and never actually doing anything. i would much rather just show up and someone says we need this hole dug, here is a shovel, dig it, then sit through 10 meetings of 20 people arguing about the best most way to dig a hole and how to fairly divide up the work of digging holes. just give me the fucking shovel and i will dig them all while you sit around talking about it.
so most of the time i just do projects by myself, just easier, and the shit gets done. I will say that all of my projects, and all the projects i've been apart of always fail for the same reasons.
money / rent. if you buy the land this takes care of rent, you still have to pay property taxes but this is very affordable. all my early projects failed because they eventually grew to a point where they because financially unfeasible, because they didn't generate any money and i couldn't afford to keep them going. the one that lasted the longest and got the biggest was printing, and happened because it generated an income, which made it possible to expand and continue.
the other big problem in anti authoritarian projects is lack of a good way to get past disagreements, and people constantly trying to fight for status and leadership roles (in groups where there are supposed to be no leaders).

there is lots of cheap land. i love the area around flag. i had hoped to find a job and buy land in the area but it just didn't work out. I-17 & I-40 meet there, lots of cheap land around valle & ashfork, zoning laws are not really the greatest, but lots of people in the area seem to be ignoring them.

i was kind of looking at land in pershing county nevada near lovelock. it's cheap, there is lots of work between fernley and reno at an industrial center, winters are doable off the grid, summers aren't too bad. no state income tax. it is off the I-80. not sure about zoning, have not researched that yet. i do know in some counties in nevada there are little to no restrictions.

new mexico sounds interested, haven't looked into it much, but it is an area on my list of places to go.
 

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