It is going to be warm soon. I need a place to lay down and sit under my ceiling fan. At the moment I have my home configured a little oddly. I moved my living room furniture into a space that makes slightly more sense as a dining room. There is a nice chandelier in there, but no ceiling fan. My house doesn’t have air conditioning. It is a pretty traditional house, which assumes that cooling is done through air circulation and shade. My dining room space really isn’t designed for air circulation. That means that laying on the couch in the afternoon will be a little warm. My solution is to have a lounge bench in my actual living room space.
My actual living room is configured as a work space while my brother is living with me. I have some seating in there now, but it isn’t the lay-down kind. Lately I really need the nap and lounge space. It really needs to show up under the ceiling fan so I can paint and nap in the same space. Actually, now … the two activities don’t seem that compatible. Well, I have to make it work.
I am hoping to get something like this going. Pretty much a bench … but can be used to lay on or lounge. Throw a few pillows on the sucker and it will do the job. I just need to find a way to do it inexpensively.
Luckily I found a bench cushion supplier on Amazon that customizes that part of the construction. I should also be able to pick up some inexpensive legs too. I may end up making two of these. One for my living-room and another for my back porch. The couch I currently have made out of cinder blocks and pallets isn’t quite happening.
Trying to figure out my landscaping. I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by very little. Just a bunch of sagebrush … or really chamisa. I don’t really have to worry much about upkeep and maintenance. Though it is a little samey. So I have been trying to plant some trees and bushes. The trees have mainly failed. I do have one that is aware it is spring and is creating little leaves. The other three little trees seem dried up and ready to call it a short-short life.
Last year I planted some wild flowers. They did really well, though it was a little odd to have them just sprouting next to my porch. They just jumped out of the ground in an improvised slash in the gravel next to my house. This time around I am hoping to have them spring from a slightly more considered position. I am making planters. Notice I am not purchasing planters. Those suckers cost at least $600. I am making my own out of trash and a couple bags of Quickcrete.
I learned a couple things that probably should be shared. The first is that while I was using relatively solid planks to create the forms. For ease of disassembly of the interior form I used hot glue to hold the pieces together. I didn’t want to struggle with releasing the interior forms. I couldn’t use screws because there wasn’t access to unscrew them once the forms were in place. The hot glue worked pretty well but failed while hammering the sides of the form to release air bubbles and get the concrete to settle.
The second thing I learned was to accept a little cracking. I didn’t wan’t the concrete to set too solidly before I removed the forms. I may have been a bit premature, but getting the forms out was a bit of a priority. The concrete is still very fragile a few hours after initially setting it. Pulling out the mold did cause cracks to form. Though cracks would form to a slight degree, even without disturbing the form.
For the second planter, I did use some wire mesh to stabilize the concrete. It really hasn’t shown itself to be incredibly groundbreaking. We will see if it holds the little block together. I also probably shouldn’t have planted the troughs as soon as I did. The soil and seeds went in the next day.
The next task is to create a little fountain. Creating this will take a bit more time. I want it to have a slightly more refined look. May have to use melamine board to give the concrete a nice smooth finish.
I may make a simple bucket version of a fountain first. Just to keep things easy. May also just use a solar water pump.
2×8 Fascia 18’-0″ (2 pieces): $29.98 per piece // $59.96
2×8 Blocking 16’-0″ (2 pieces): $19.98 per piece // $39.96
Simpson H2.5 Hurricane Tie (14 pieces): $1.48 per piece // $20.72
XPS comes in 2”, 1.5”, and 1” thick pieces. The thickness you get depends on the width of your joists. If you have 2×6 or 2×8 joists, then using 2” panels and layering them is ideal. Each XPS 2” panel is R10, so if you have three, then you have a value of R30, which is excellent.
The city of Bend has introduced a new program called the Pre-Approved Accessory Dwelling Unit Plans program that streamlines the process of building an ADU. This program allows property owners to use pre-approved building plans that have already passed Building Plan Review and meet building code, reducing the amount of time city staff spend reviewing plans and eliminating the time and cost of designing an ADU from scratch. The goal of the program is to provide more diverse housing types throughout the city, with the program expected to evolve over time. The city currently offers one pre-approved plan and more options are expected to come in the future.
The Taos Land Trust is an organization established to preserve and protect “family land” in Taos. This type of land refers to properties that have been handed down through generations, often agricultural in nature, but may be left unused or undeveloped. The organization’s objective is to prevent the loss of generational wealth and the control of the community over their land. This essay will examine the value of Taos Land Trust, its objectives, limitations, and alternative solutions.
Paragraph 1: The Importance of Preserving Family Land
Preserving family land has significant economic, social, and environmental importance. Economically, family land contributes to the generation of local revenue through agriculture, tourism, and recreation. It also provides long-term financial security to the owners and the community. Socially, family land serves as a cultural heritage site that is integral to the local community’s identity, heritage, and traditions. Furthermore, it provides a sense of community and belonging, strengthens family ties, and promotes social cohesion. From an environmental perspective, family land plays a crucial role in preserving biodiversity, protecting wildlife, and mitigating climate change. Therefore, the Taos Land Trust plays a critical role in preserving the economic, social, and environmental value of family land in Taos.
Paragraph 2: The Challenges of Preserving Family Land
The preservation of family land faces several challenges. One of the primary challenges is the high property taxes that owners may find challenging to pay. Additionally, the owners may not have the knowledge, skills, or resources to manage and maintain the land effectively. Other challenges include legal issues such as inheritance laws, zoning restrictions, and environmental regulations. These challenges can lead to the abandonment of the land, auctioning it off for a fraction of its value, or selling it to new residents or outside developers, leading to a loss of generational wealth and control of the community over their land.
Paragraph 3: The Role of Taos Land Trust in Preserving Family Land
The Taos Land Trust plays a critical role in preserving family land by acquiring the land and holding it in trust in perpetuity. This allows the land to be protected from development and sold or leased to farmers, ranchers, and other community members who wish to continue using the land for agricultural purposes, recreation, or other community-oriented activities. Additionally, the Trust can assist in the maintenance and management of the land, provide financial support, and help navigate legal issues such as inheritance laws, zoning restrictions, and environmental regulations. In doing so, it ensures that the land remains in the hands of the local community, thereby preserving the economic, social, and environmental value of the family land.
Paragraph 4: Limitations and Alternative Solutions
While the Taos Land Trust has proven to be a valuable tool for preserving family land, it also has limitations. One of the limitations is the lack of financial resources, making it challenging to acquire large tracts of land. Additionally, the Trust may not be able to accommodate all the needs and wishes of landowners, leading to disputes and conflicts. Alternative solutions to the preservation of family land may include government subsidies or tax credits to incentivize landowners to preserve their land, community land trusts, and partnerships between landowners, environmental groups, and government agencies. These solutions can help address the financial and legal challenges faced by landowners and ensure the preservation of generational wealth and community control over the land.
In conclusion, the Taos Land Trust serves an important role in preserving family land and preventing the loss of generational wealth in local communities. Through the Land Trust, families can maintain their connection to the land and have a say in the development and use of their property. The examples provided demonstrate how the Land Trust has successfully protected agricultural land and prevented outside developers from taking control of the land. However, there are limitations and challenges that must be addressed, such as the issue of property taxes and the need for continued funding for the Land Trust. By recognizing these challenges and working to address them, the Taos Land Trust can continue to serve its important purpose and help to preserve the unique character of Taos for generations to come.
I have been thinking about a Taos Land Trust for a while. The intention behind it is to preserve or protect the concept of “family land” in Taos. My definition of it is property that has been handed down. Many times this is agricultural land. And in many cases the land is left unused or undeveloped. The property taxes can get forgotten and the land is either auctioned off for a fraction if its value or sold to new residents or outside developers. Ultimately there is a loss of generational wealth in the existing community. Local families lose access to the land and a say in their own communities.
What is a Community Land Trust?
Community land trusts are a type of shared equity ownership where public and private investment funds are utilized to acquire land on behalf of a particular community. The land is then owned by the CLT permanently.
Individuals within the community can purchase their homes, but not the land upon which their houses sit. Instead, they engage in long-term property leases known as “ground leases” with the CLT, typically for 99 years. Monthly fees for these leases can be as low as $100.
While CLT residents are unable to sell the land their homes are located on, they enjoy the same rights as other homeowners. They have full and exclusive use of the property during the lease term, along with standard privacy rights associated with homeownership.
CLT residents also have similar responsibilities as other homeowners, including paying property taxes. However, the assessment of taxes based on the actual market value of CLT property has historically presented challenges for CLTs, which typically use managed values.
Although CLT residents can sell their homes, the CLT has the first right of refusal for each sale, and there is a cap on resale profits to ensure that the housing remains affordable for the next buyer. CLT residents are not permitted to sublet their properties. Instead, CLT leases typically have an occupancy requirement that mandates the property must serve as the owner’s primary residence. However, CLTs allow residents to pass the property lease and home ownership to their children, promoting the accumulation of generational wealth within families.
CLT Benefits and Drawbacks
CLTs offer several benefits to both residents and the larger community. These include:
Preventing home prices from soaring beyond the reach of low- and moderate-income buyers
Providing homeownership opportunities for underrepresented minority communities
Helping to reduce the wealth gap in minority communities by building generational wealth through home equity
Contributing to the revitalization of urban neighborhoods and providing opportunities for minority-owned businesses
Reducing delinquency and foreclosure rates
Granting neighborhood residents control over development
However, CLTs also have drawbacks. One of which is that potential homebuyers may be hesitant to purchase property in a CLT since they do not technically own the land, even though they have ownership benefits similar to traditional homeowners. Overcoming this obstacle requires educating prospective buyers about their rights and obligations, particularly when it comes to intergenerational transfers.
Advancing Racial Justice
One of the methods for reducing the racial wealth gap and helping minority communities build wealth is through CLTs. CLTs enable low-income families, who are often overrepresented among minority communities, to accumulate generational wealth by building home equity. CLTs also provide underserved communities with more opportunities to become homeowners and acquire equity by reducing barriers to homeownership, including lower initial and overall costs.
Recent studies indicate that the average shared equity homeowner incurs initial costs of less than $2,000, which is substantially lower than the 20% loan-to-value (LTV) requirement for traditional mortgages. However, upon exiting the program, members have an average of $14,000 in equity, significantly increasing their household wealth.