Seeking to Join a Founding Group, or Start a Founding Group, Starting an Intentional Community in Oregon, Washington County or Clackamas County

Greetings,

Myself and my husband are seeking to either join a founding group already in process or start a founding group, for an intentional community/ecovillage/cohousing community in Washington county or Clackamas County in northwestern OR, that isn’t in the “big city” aka Portland. We want land that is in a nearby city to Portland for ease of access to work/resources/recreation, but with breathing room and less crime and more mixed opinions/ways of doing things (these are “purple” counties politically).

My core values for community are:
Personal liberty.
Collaborative cooperation.
Personal responsability.
Respect/kindness.
Connection with the earth.

We want to be with other creatives, people who value the togetherness time and the need for privacy/space, understanding and wanting both. People who care about their fellow humans and see all of our intrinsic value, and who love being in closeness with nature. A mixture of people with a mixture of skills and interests, with a mixture of life experiences, and a mixture of opinions, as long as they’re capable of agreeing to disagree of course.

I’m thinking the land we hold would be anywhere from five acres to 25 acres, or more? (depending on what we want to do re. farming, gardening, having chickens, goats, minicows? fishing? small-scale hunting of waterfowl?, foraging?, etc. I imagine us all collectively owning the land as an LLC or nonprofit or private landtrust where we can own our own homes, and some people could rent as well since creating affordability is important to me as its the thing I see missing from most intentional communities which excludes some amazing folks. maybe some could rent to own? I imagine us having a variety of dwellings, from “stick-built” houses, to tinyhouses, to modular houses, to yurts, even a communal house where individual rooms or sections are rented out, and some stuck-together townhouses, if that’s what folks want. I don’t just want one type of dwelling type, so folks have choices, options are very important to my core values, see personal liberty. It can be hard to get zoning permission for such variety, but if we buy multiple parcels next to each other and cobble the land together then it could allow for more variety, and I know sometimes one can get a varience (zoning exception) for unique projects).

We would have common spaces as well, commonhouse/building so we can do things together and have our decision-making/planning meetings, some meals, game nights, whatever., Also workshops? playground? gardens, other communal spaces, sportsfield? etc. based on what others want.

I imagine us having events both for ourselves and for the general public (concerts, classes, artisan markets, whatnot) and revenue from those can help us pay our expenses for the community, as well as monthly contributions from us who live there, maybe people who can only afford their rent or house payment can volunteer extra time working on the property/projects instead of monthly pooled expenses payments?

Growing food would be important to our community, vegitibles, herbs, food forest, other permiculture gardening techniques, etc., maybe even smaller scale farming if folks want to and we get lots of land, ?

One need I have is for us to be within public transit range, hence being in the Portland metro area, either that or we need to have a rockin’ ridesharing system, maybe a super cool community shuttle bus?, for those who can’t drive, because not all community members will be able to, as we welcome those with differences (disabilities) along with typically-abled folks. I thus would love it if we could try to make things at least mostly accessible, ramps, groomed gravel trails that are chair-possible, even if it can’t happen right away.

I want a robust community, so I’m thinking that, eventually, we’d have something like 30-ish homes/dwelling units, that way we don’t get too insular and we also don’t get too unwieldy for decision-making processes.

If you live in the area, or you’re moving here soon, and this sounds like something you either want to create, or you’ve already started and you’re looking for cofounders/cocreators, then please email me or facebook message me.

I’m Riona Abhainn on facebook.
My email is:
rionathesinger@gmail.com

Thanks all and May It Be that you have a wonderful and bountiful 2023!

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I’m interested! I’ll email you soon, but that’s the perfect location for myself, my son and another person that are looking to do something very similar to what you’ve outlined. Look forward to hearing from you!

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I read your introduction, you sound like a cool person so far, feel encouraged to email me so we can chat further.

Update: This week I’ve connected with 8 different people who are interested for their households, I will set up a time for us to meet soon to talk together, but I decided, with the encouragement of some of them, that talking to them individually would be best first, to see if our visions for community are cross-compatible/could work together. That way we know whether we have the potential to work together or if we should split off and start our own projects, encouraging each other along the way of course and perhaps resulting in a network of communities, woot! Super excited, as 2 of these phone appointments are already set up and one person who is skittish of the phone is in an ongoing dialogue on facebook with me instead.

Everyone’s going to hate me, but we had our first cofounding meeting, … and I’m afraid this is too much for my husband and I, buying land and also paying to build infastructure, and the actual building of it, with multiple cobuyers, who have decided they want to buy in spring, which is right around the corner and I was expecting a longer wait-time before getting land. My husband and I are qualified for some neat first-time homebuyer grants and options, but as far as we’ve learnt those aren’t usually applicable in collaborative land acquisision with other people. We don’t have enough for a downpayment, even with others, so hence the need for a grant. Not to mention that, while we’d be good community joiners once things are going, I don’t think that with my neurodivergent brain and the ways it works, plus my husband’s socially demanding job, we are capable of being “on” 24/7 in the way that cofounders should be, constantly working together and making things happen without much breaks.

A land-based community is the community of my dreams, but in reality I’m thinking we should move through the process with the first-time homebuying program and buy a modular home in the local Resident-Owned Community mobile home park, the bus goes there, which is very important for me, and its a type of intentional community as each person owns their house but everyone collectively owns the land of the park and there are governence and decision-making protocols and lots of community events etc. Is it perfect? No. Is it exactly what I want? No. But its an attainible goal for us in the next year or two.

We want community but I guess that, even with enthusiasm and tons of research, we aren’t cut out for founding. And now I have to tell the others and I hope they’ll understand and still want to be friends. After all who knows, maybe in 15 years we can buy a house in their community and join them again if we’re able at that time.