What about DENSITY? Are we trying to squeeze in too many people?

We want to show you where Zoning is playing fast and loose with the numbers.  Now it's not their fault, this is the way they do the math, but it's flawed nonetheless.

OK, here is the map of what we have requested:

Property Map - Adjusted Proposal

Zoning calculates density based on the number of houses (dwelling units) per acre.  The property belonging to the Church is 67.72 acres.  The area that we are having to rezone - because the County Code can't get their head around how a Church might be residential - is 6 acres.  In that 6 acres we have planned for 27 dwelling units.  

If you take 27 dwelling units and divide by 6 acres that puts our density at 4.5 dwelling units per acre.

Zoning has taken all the properties within a mile radius divided the number of dwelling units by the number of acres and calculated a local density of approximately 3.5.  So the argument could be made that we have a higher density than the local area and shouldn't be approved. 

BUT ... that's not exactly true. There are neighborhoods to the South of us that are 5.0 per acre or higher. It's only to the North where the lots increase in size. 

AND ... our argument is that our TRUE density is less than 0.4 dwelling units per acre. 

"How can that be?" you say. 

Well, our density is only 4.5 by using this strange lens that the Church is only locating these houses on six acres, rather than seeing the obvious truth that the Church has 67.72 acres upon which they are placing housing in one corner.  It's no different than many of our neighbors to the North who have a home placed near the road and large agricultural or wooded area behind the house.  THEIR whole property gets calculated into the equation, not just the footprint of the house ... but OURS is getting left out!  It's only through this artificial lens that our ENTIRE property isn't considered.  In fact, the residential area IS the Church as much as any other part of the land. It is ONE property with one title with one purpose, not split lots.

If you have a single family home on 40 acres and you want to make room for a house for your daughter and son in law, you go to zoning and split the lot or set aside a one acre plot for their house.  Now you went from a density of 0.025 to 0.05.  But if we take 67.72 acres and want to build 27 little cabins on it, we have to shove them all into one corner and then ONLY consider the acreage on that corner into the equation, even though the village will have parks, recreational areas, trails, greenhouses, parking and other stuff OUTSIDE that imaginary boundary. 

If you take the TRUE size of the property owned by the Church and divide by the number of housing units we want to put in, you get:

27 dwelling units divided by 67.72 acres = 0.398

(And if you consider the 20 acres INSIDE the cave, we have 27 dwelling units divided by 87.72 acres which is a density 0.308 per acre!)

That (0.398) is ELEVEN TIMES LESS than what the County has calculated.  And we believe, the most fair way of looking at this. 

Looking at it from the other direction, if we were to rezone the ENTIRE property (67.72 acres) and we were to match the density that Zoning has calculated for the surrounding one mile radius (3.5/acre) then we could build 237 dwelling units and be perfectly inline with the local neighborhood.

That's 237.  That's like about 1,000 people.  Think about that for a moment.

We're asking for about ONE TENTH of that. 

But ... we do already have permission from the engineers to build our proposed buildings above the cave. And the back 37.72 acres is zoned agricultural and we could rezone above the cave without disturbing the C-3 zoning inside the cave, and if we have to connect to the sewer (running through our property) anyway, then it's feasible we could just ammend our request to eleven times what we've already asked for!

But then we wouldn't be an ecovillage, we'd be a subdivision.  And we wouldn't be a congregation, we'd be a small town. 

So it's better if you just smile and let us have the piddly little amount we're asking for.  ;-)