StP HQ / Punk Rock RV Park (1 Viewer)

marmar

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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. View attachment 54349

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
 
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Matt Derrick

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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

i will add that to the list and do some price researching, thank you :D
 

dprogram

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I lived in KCMO for over a year. Cool town. A bit more expensive than what I was used to being from the mid-south. The only negative is the temperature. I was housed up with a job and apartment. Temps dipped into negative 15. The snow sucks too. There is cheap land but I'd focus further south - negative temps?! can't do it. I hope this dream comes to fruition one day. I will visit.
 

jimi

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Oh fuck this could be sick. Depending on where it is I may eventually be able to contribute organizing/co-op running skills, and potentially a little money! Would definitely need to meet up and spend some time with everyone involved in person first before investing myself though.

I just got crazy lucky came up on about 10 grand. I was thinking about doing something somewhat similar but smaller scale, but I can't do it on my own and didn't have any other partners I trust or who have anything to contribute. So I've opted to pour a bunch of the $$ into getting my van livable and traveling again for at least a few months, then seeing what I want to do... I need a break from responsibility and my insular community for a little bit. I could certainly benefit from a home base other than the student co-op I live at now. I've been on the board of directors of a 3-house/70ish person 501(c)7 housing co-op for most of the last 5 years, in quite a few positions; president, treasurer, membership, etc. Gone through some legal shit too.

Even if I end up not deciding to be as heavily involved as where I am now, I'd be more than happy to advise if needed.
 

Matt Derrick

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Oh fuck this could be sick. Depending on where it is I may eventually be able to contribute organizing/co-op running skills, and potentially a little money! Would definitely need to meet up and spend some time with everyone involved in person first before investing myself though.

I just got crazy lucky came up on about 10 grand. I was thinking about doing something somewhat similar but smaller scale, but I can't do it on my own and didn't have any other partners I trust or who have anything to contribute. So I've opted to pour a bunch of the $$ into getting my van livable and traveling again for at least a few months, then seeing what I want to do... I need a break from responsibility and my insular community for a little bit. I could certainly benefit from a home base other than the student co-op I live at now. I've been on the board of directors of a 3-house/70ish person 501(c)7 housing co-op for most of the last 5 years, in quite a few positions; president, treasurer, membership, etc. Gone through some legal shit too.

Even if I end up not deciding to be as heavily involved as where I am now, I'd be more than happy to advise if needed.

nice, those are definitely useful skills to have and something we could use. since we're kind of in the theoretical/scouting phase right now, i'd say putting that 10k into something you can use for a long time (the van) is probably the smart thing to do. invest in something that's going to last you a while. you can always bring it to the park when it gets started.

really what we need right now for the next stage of this is people willing to scout out possible locations or at least report back with places they've been that might be a good fit. I'm not against squatting land either if it seems logistically possible.
 

jimi

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nice, those are definitely useful skills to have and something we could use. since we're kind of in the theoretical/scouting phase right now, i'd say putting that 10k into something you can use for a long time (the van) is probably the smart thing to do. invest in something that's going to last you a while. you can always bring it to the park when it gets started.

really what we need right now for the next stage of this is people willing to scout out possible locations or at least report back with places they've been that might be a good fit. I'm not against squatting land either if it seems logistically possible.

Yeah of course, I couldn't invest all that anyway, just a little of whatever I would have left over after using it for my own plans.

When I was daydreaming about this, I was looking into stuff on the west coast. Ran into several 5-ish acres of land with a structure going for about 200-300k near the Olympic peninsula in Washington. A couple around 150k. I know there's land for cheap in southern Oregon too, but my parameters were that I would like something isolated, in the PNW, with plenty of trees, and no more than a 30min drive away from a major city. Dunno if you were planning on trying to have the money outright, but from what I understand from talking to friends with property, it's much harder to get loans for land without a dwelling, most people just by them with "cash". Be aware of local codes and stuff, a lot of time they'll start fining you right away if you don't get the land up to code immediately and it and it can be a huge pain in the ass. If you're looking at raw land, know about setting up power and wells/sewer in that area. Some areas are real shitty about people "camping" on their own land. Nosey neighbors can also be a huge issue.

PNW might be out of the question due to price. I'll be traveling to Lexington KY in October, and was hoping to stop at cool community spaces along the way if covid doesn't prevent it. I'll ask around for advice if I get the chance. Lemme know if there's any place you'd like me to stop and check out and I'll see what I can do.
 

Matt Derrick

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Yeah I hate to say it, but any place with strict building codes would probably be out of the question. That's why states like Missouri would be a good candidate since they don't tell you what to do on your own land. Obviously any place with an HOA would be unacceptable.

As for money spent, I honestly can't see us raising more than say 50k for just the land itself. I could be wrong, but for those wondering what our budget is, it's probably going to be 10-50k at most. Obviously the cheaper the better and the more we'd have for spending on housing/infrastructure.
 

jimi

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Yeah I hate to say it, but any place with strict building codes would probably be out of the question. That's why states like Missouri would be a good candidate since they don't tell you what to do on your own land. Obviously any place with an HOA would be unacceptable.

As for money spent, I honestly can't see us raising more than say 50k for just the land itself. I could be wrong, but for those wondering what our budget is, it's probably going to be 10-50k at most. Obviously the cheaper the better and the more we'd have for spending on housing/infrastructure.

Okay huge flood of questions, sorry! A lot of these might not be things anyone actually can answer, just things for anyone who wants to be involved in anything like this at any point to consider, not tryin to stress anyone out though!

Are you thinking just land then? No dwellings or utilities right off the bat? I would suggest planning to hook up utilities at least eventually, especially water, solar might be ok for electric depending on where you settle on, but may be less reliable in the winter. Building dwellings, setting up utilities, and depending on your area, building pretty much anything, may require permits and inspections, and dealing with cities can be a hassle. I don't have a ton of experience with this but it'd be good to look into if spending the extra money up front will be cheaper than the cost of installing these things and dealing with the city down the line.

Waste management is a big deal to think about, both trash and human waste. Lots of rural spots use septic, but if you have a really large group of people residing on one property, you'll need to maintain your septic system more often. If you're considering a location with septic, make sure it's been inspected and is in good shape. A brief google search estimates that the largest common septic tanks, used regularly by more than 10 people will have to be pumped about once every year or 2. Waste removal or dump fees can also add up quick. Check out the nearest dump and waste management companies of wherever you're interested in.

Do you expect to form a core group of people who primarily stay at the property and maintain it? How many people do you think is a good minimum/maximum to be staying on the property at all? Is this a spot where people can settle as long as they'd like with little commitment, and would people who stay a certain amount of time be expected to contribute in a different way? What are the nonprofit's legal and moral obligations and commitments to those who stay on the property, and what are theirs to it?

You said you want to start a land trust and maintain a board of directors, do you have folks committed to this or have people in mind for the founding board yet? How big do expect the board to be and what positions will be needed? Will the board be elected, and if so, how often, by what process, and by whom? They will need to be prepared to be legally liable for the project and dedicated to making it work. It is important to identify your organizational structure early on and make sure all parties' legal rights and responsibilities are communicated clearly.

How do you hope to pay for supplies, maintenance, taxes, utilities, emergencies, etc?

I won't even bother getting into the more social organizational questions now heh.
 

Matt Derrick

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okay, well, im not trying to be dismissive when i say that the answer to 90% of those questions are, "we'll tackle them when we get there". But until we find a location and figure out how to secure it, almost all those questions are putting the cart before the horse, so to speak. i'm not against discussing them, but im also not worried about answering them before the main agenda items above are resolved (location/financing).

mainly, i don't want folks to get turned off from the project just because we haven't planned for every possible eventuality beforehand; i've seen far too many projects die that way. we know what we want to happen, and we're going to prepare best we can, but we're going to move forward in baby steps instead of worrying about things that are 10 steps ahead of where we need to go next. For example, when it comes time to form a board of directors, we'll do that (including how many people, etc) when it's time to do that.

Of course, that doesn't mean we can't discuss it, I just think folks that are interested in participating in this project will have to be comfortable with not having solid answers to a lot of those questions until we are at that stage of the project.
 

jimi

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okay, well, im not trying to be dismissive when i say that the answer to 90% of those questions are, "we'll tackle them when we get there". But until we find a location and figure out how to secure it, almost all those questions are putting the cart before the horse, so to speak. i'm not against discussing them, but im also not worried about answering them before the main agenda items above are resolved (location/financing).

mainly, i don't want folks to get turned off from the project just because we haven't planned for every possible eventuality beforehand; i've seen far too many projects die that way. we know what we want to happen, and we're going to prepare best we can, but we're going to move forward in baby steps instead of worrying about things that are 10 steps ahead of where we need to go next. For example, when it comes time to form a board of directors, we'll do that (including how many people, etc) when it's time to do that.

Of course, that doesn't mean we can't discuss it, I just think folks that are interested in participating in this project will have to be comfortable with not having solid answers to a lot of those questions until we are at that stage of the project.
Gotcha, my bad, just tryin to look out. I tried to start my own co-op project years ago with that looser kind of approach, and as soon as things got real everyone who said they wanted to be involved split. They were down to paint rooms and live there for cheap, but not navigate actually estabilshing it like they said, because they were unaware of how involved it was. I ended up with a legal responsibility I couldn't manage that nearly fucked me over financially for life, so I'm kinda uptight about these things now and don't want it to happen to anyone else haha. As long as you don't go through with purchasing anything you can't manage on your own until you've fully established your nonprofit you'll be good.
 

Matt Derrick

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They were down to paint rooms and live there for cheap, but not navigate actually estabilshing it like they said, because they were unaware of how involved it was.

I'm curious what pitfalls you ran into with that project, if you wouldn't mind sharing them here.
 

MetalBryan

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If Missouri is the target area I recommend a visit to Cape Girardeau. My experience there is dated almost twenty years so I'll be brief, but the consistently inexpensive gasoline stand out in my memory and helped me out when I traveled that area for a couple years. Being on the river was very nice and the town itself is big enough that you're not shopping at a gas station for supplies.

It'ss got easy access to St Louis, Chicago, Nashville, and Memphis. It's far away enough from ozark tourism and the KKK that you don't necessarily feel like you're in southern Missouri. Those small state roads are really beautiful and mostly empty of traffic but you can get to a major interstate in under two hours.
 

jimi

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I'm curious what pitfalls you ran into with that project, if you wouldn't mind sharing them here.
Well I was young and stupid, and I bought a fucked up house in NOLA for $7000 (I borrowed most of it) off craigslist on impulse. Was gonna purchase it then create a nonprofit co-op with my friends to transfer the property to. Had friends in construction who said they would help with repairs. Had friends who said they'd invest in the repairs, help financially, commit to living there... I guess folks thought I wouldn't actually go through with it, or didn't realize the scope of things. I certainly didn't. I was doing weekly meetups/cleanups where we worked on the house. Everyone just kinda... dipped, stopped coming, avoided me, you know. It turned out to be kind of a scam anyway. The property had tons of liens and shit that didn't come up in the initial title search and all that, shit's so corrupt down there. They started fining me hundreds of dollars a day for not having things fixed up right off the bat. Someone came and filled up the dumpsters I ordered with their own construction trash. I was renovating it by myself for months. The city was impossible to deal with. Couldn't sell it. Literally offered to give it away to cool groups if they agreed to take on the fees, but no takers. Eventually I just got super depressed and got into an abusive relationship, started doing hard drugs and gave up on everything, and just abandoned it and left traveling again. Figured the city would just sell it at auction eventually and I'd owe the govermnent money forever. Didn't think it was even still in my name but a couple months ago someone got a hold of me and offered to buy it for $10k on top of what I owed. A fuckin miracle. So yeah that's also how I have money now.

I ended up moving back into the co-op that inspired me to try to start my own in the first place. Right as I moved in it was nearly shut down do to all sorts of problems, social, financial, blah blah, so got invovled with the board, went to court, dealt with the city, and have been grinding my ass off to get it back to it's former stability for 5 years now. Overall, I've been successful. I've learned a SHITLOAD about actually running a nonprofit, it's pretty much been my singular focus and the only thing I do with my time. I've learned a ton about how they can get fucked up as well. There are a lot of moving parts when dealing with property, people, housing, and bureaucracy around them.

My passive dream plan is to start my own co-op type situation, and has been for about 8 years, so I've put a lot of thought and investment into learning about it through my own experiences and talking to other people and orgs. Also got that OCD so it helps.

I would reeeeeally suggest starting with putting together a solid, invested crew that is willing to work on this over a long period of time. Everything will fall into place from there. I was initially very much in the mindset of "if I build it they will come" myself, but I've seen that create more problems than it is worth in many situations, and have completely changed my view. I'm personally about to head out to travel again in hopes of ultimately finding a solid crew or a spot worth investing in.
 

jimi

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Well I was young and stupid, and I bought a fucked up house in NOLA for $7000 (I borrowed most of it) off craigslist on impulse. Was gonna purchase it then create a nonprofit co-op with my friends to transfer the property to. Had friends in construction who said they would help with repairs. Had friends who said they'd invest in the repairs, help financially, commit to living there... I guess folks thought I wouldn't actually go through with it, or didn't realize the scope of things. I certainly didn't. I was doing weekly meetups/cleanups where we worked on the house. Everyone just kinda... dipped, stopped coming, avoided me, you know. It turned out to be kind of a scam anyway. The property had tons of liens and shit that didn't come up in the initial title search and all that, shit's so corrupt down there. They started fining me hundreds of dollars a day for not having things fixed up right off the bat. Someone came and filled up the dumpsters I ordered with their own construction trash. I was renovating it by myself for months. The city was impossible to deal with. Couldn't sell it. Literally offered to give it away to cool groups if they agreed to take on the fees, but no takers. Eventually I just got super depressed and got into an abusive relationship, started doing hard drugs and gave up on everything, and just abandoned it and left traveling again. Figured the city would just sell it at auction eventually and I'd owe the govermnent money forever. Didn't think it was even still in my name but a couple months ago someone got a hold of me and offered to buy it for $10k on top of what I owed. A fuckin miracle. So yeah that's also how I have money now.

I ended up moving back into the co-op that inspired me to try to start my own in the first place. Right as I moved in it was nearly shut down do to all sorts of problems, social, financial, blah blah, so got invovled with the board, went to court, dealt with the city, and have been grinding my ass off to get it back to it's former stability for 5 years now. Overall, I've been successful. I've learned a SHITLOAD about actually running a nonprofit, it's pretty much been my singular focus and the only thing I do with my time. I've learned a ton about how they can get fucked up as well. There are a lot of moving parts when dealing with property, people, housing, and bureaucracy around them.

My passive dream plan is to start my own co-op type situation, and has been for about 8 years, so I've put a lot of thought and investment into learning about it through my own experiences and talking to other people and orgs. Also got that OCD so it helps.

I would reeeeeally suggest starting with putting together a solid, invested crew that is willing to work on this over a long period of time. Everything will fall into place from there. I was initially very much in the mindset of "if I build it they will come" myself, but I've seen that create more problems than it is worth in many situations, and have completely changed my view. I'm personally about to head out to travel again in hopes of ultimately finding a solid crew or a spot worth investing in.
Of course picking a general location will help with putting together that crew, probably.
 

Matt Derrick

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I was initially very much in the mindset of "if I build it they will come" myself, but I've seen that create more problems than it is worth in many situations, and have completely changed my view.

I understand. Personally, my issue when trying to start projects like this in the past was the exact opposite; basically everyone picking the idea apart because we didn't have an answer for every little possible scenario. Everyone got so bogged down in the details that the larger picture was kind of lost.

I would reeeeeally suggest starting with putting together a solid, invested crew that is willing to work on this over a long period of time.

I'd say we have a group of 3-4 solidly invested people so far. There's been a lot, lot more people interested in helping/participating, but those 3-4 are the people I would count on to make this happen.

Didn't think it was even still in my name but a couple months ago someone got a hold of me and offered to buy it for $10k on top of what I owed. A fuckin miracle. So yeah that's also how I have money now.

damn that is a fucking miracle. good for you!

My passive dream plan is to start my own co-op type situation, and has been for about 8 years, so I've put a lot of thought and investment into learning about it through my own experiences and talking to other people and orgs. Also got that OCD so it helps.

well, it sounds like maybe we can help each other out? seems like you have a lot of experience in the non-profit sector and I believe I have some pretty solid ideas on how to make things work logistically, so maybe we should continue the discussion but maybe take it one subject at a time? what do you think would be best next step in the discussion?
 

MetalBryan

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For now I guess I'm just curious how this could get pushed along.

Maybe there is a gut feeling. Not knowing each other IRL is a big hurdle and maybe that's the one thing that answers all questions.

For the more practically minded, is there a checklist of places that have to be visited to see if they meet general criteria? Having 2-3 places to choose from would tell me as a potential participant if I actually wanted to live in a particular spot.
 

Matt Derrick

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For the more practically minded, is there a checklist of places that have to be visited to see if they meet general criteria? Having 2-3 places to choose from would tell me as a potential participant if I actually wanted to live in a particular spot.

a list has been started in the OP.
 

MetalBryan

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So hypothetically, since I lived closest to PA, I should contact @TheUndeadPhoenix about arranging a visit? Do I relocate to rural PA and get a setup where I am able to host people?

I'm just trying to visualize a next step that makes sense for me but also respects the agenda.
 

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