Caspar Community Board Meeting :: 30 April 1999

present: Mary, Susan, Patty, Vince, Hunter, Meridian, Judy, Michael: a planned 3-hour meeting

Approval of Minutes: April 2, 1999, Regular Board Meeting

Coordinator's Report
Submitted by Pat Ackley

Thirteen of the twenty pages of the Calling List (Newsletter mailing list) have been distributed. Four of those pages have been completed and returned. There appears to be little success in encouraging those called to send a contribution. Those that stated they would be sending a donation will be receiving a letter, with a return enevelop, confirming that information.

By the end of next week, past donors will be receiving a letter thanking them for their past support and requesting continued support.

Auction items are coming in. We are receiving items from a number of faithful Caspar supporters. There are still tickets available. Each Board Member is responsble for 5 tickets. Advertising will begin the second week in May. Ruth Dell'Ara and myself reviewed the Albion River Inn and the potential logistics of the Auction, including the auctioneer, Kelly Peterson, and the Caspar String Quartet. We need to acquire a sound system for Kelly. If anyone has access to a sound system appropriate for her use, please let me know.

     The Coast Conservancy Grant: They were contacted via email, again, on April 21, 1999, just asking for the courtesy of being informed of their determination of a $6,800 submitted January 19, 1999. There have been many contacts, but no answers.
     The Turner Grant: This has been a group effort, Michael Potts, Patty Madigan, and myself. I will be finishing this grant application by the end of next week. The amount we will be requesting will be a little less than $60,000.
     The Gates Foundation: I am attempting to determine if Caspar would be eligible for a grant to create a library with a computer and internet access. California is one of the eligible states for 1999 and the community has to be at 10% poverty level.
     The Lied Foundation: This a far reach, but sometimes those grantors that look the most impossible can be sparked into action by something about your particular project hitting a personal and familiar cord in them. I will be giving it a shot.

The newsletter is currently in the hands of the set up artist/designer. The targeted mailing date is May 12th.

To strenghten Caspar's partnership with Coastal Conservancy, Mendocino Land Trust, Trust for Public Land, and the State Parks, a meeting was organized following the meeting with Senator Wes Chesbro and State Parks Director Rusty Areias. Those individuals in attendance were: Greg Picard, State Parks: Julia McIver, Coastal Conservancy; Roger Sternberg, MLT;: Andrew Vesselinovitch, TPL; and, representing the Caspar Community, Patty Madigan, Judy Tarbell, and myself. Discussion centered around how we could work together collaboratively to gain the best advantage for each of our individual projects.

     Santa Rosa Press-Democrat -- Saturday, April 17th, issue on Gorse and Caspar.
     CC Spoke at the Mendocino Coast Audubon Society's Board Meeting on April 26th. Have been asked to attend the Jewish Community Board Meeting at 5 PM on May 7th. I have been invited to speak to the Mendocino Lions Club on May 7th at 7 PM.
     Caspar is in need of a brochure. Now with the tourist season beginning, we could spread our message farther and wider through the use of a brochure.
     For local information, we need a sign board of some sort in front of the office. This could be available to anyone in the community, within reason, who may have announcements. It could be another community-building devise.

We are beginning to create very good and current lists. Who should these lists be available to? This question is for office information.

Financial Report -- Vince Taylor
Month of April $5,270, $4k from one foundation donor; out ???? [Pat has these figures] $2573 in account, known May $2800 + $500 in incidentals.

Habitat for Humanity
     Special guests: Chuck Greenberg, Horace Mann, new Habitat for Humanity Board member. ( 964-7453)
     Habitat for Humanity works with working families to create "affordable" housing (in FB $85-100k) -- the mortgage is calibrated to ability to afford; 25% of income (close to half of rent in FB) -- roughly $350/month for whatever term works, avg about 22 years, no interest. For people who don't have down and can't get bank financing. Income gates: income from $14-19k/yr for family; must be willing to do sweat equity "We're trying to weave community" so folks "in the pipeline" work for 3-4 years before they get their house: must invest 500 hours, and most who stay in the program do much more. "The community puts something in, and the family puts it back."
     In FB minimum lot is 6,000 sf; on a 12,000 sf lot, you can put 2 houses on 1 lot -- but for only one owner. County worse: 12,000 sf to allow 100' separation between well & septic. "I suggest you incorporate cluster housing as part of your own general plan. You're up against a very complicated set of laws, regulations, and custom. What you're up against is modifying the general plan."
     A coop is regulated as "a security" and so is regulated by the SEC, and you have to do all the paperwork.
     Horace: now is the opportune time to revise and update the general plan, because the County is in the throes of updating it.
     Chuck Greenberg: "Our houses fit in to the community. We provide a simple, basic, well-built house that can't be identified as ‘the Habitat house.'"
     "We could do rehabs, the primary mission is ‘new home ownership' but other affiliates have done rehabs. We may be going into a cycle of a new home every other year, and rehabs in between."
     "Habitat for Humanity would probably not be able to participate in an option. Our cash flow is usually committed to building, and our land purchases are funded by the bank loan."
     Horace would be the liaison between Habitat for Humanity and the CC.
     Habitat for Humanity holds rights to buy property back if they've been in long enough. The problem comes when they have more than half the equity, but "the whole idea is to create a situation where the homeowner's children won't become our applicants."
     HM: investigate County's block grant for rehab; occupants must participate (and are paid a minumum wage for their work).

Committee Reports
     Traffic Brigade -- Patty Madigan -- report deferred to Community Meeting

     Bylaws -- Patty Madigan
     Motion (VT): "Postpone the approval of bylaws and election of officers scheduled for the 9 May meeting for one month." sec: Susan 4 yeahs, 2 nays, 1 abstention

     Community Services District -- Meridian Green -- briefly: set boundaries; map to come
     Fundraising - report deferred to Community Meeting

Trust for Public Land Update      Email received from Andrew Vesselinovitch April 23, 1999: "Over the next week, could you think about how much money Caspar Community could raise for either the headlands or the village and how much time you would need? Please be conservative. This will help me in discussions with Caspar Cattle (as well as with Corey) when I return."
     Question for us: How much and how soon can we raise money for open space and developable lands?
     Patty's proposal (see below)
     Hunter's proposal: a lottery for one of the home sites.
     Michael's proposal: we can raise what we need; various neighborhood-oriented corporations to develop diverse opportunities: ag/commons, CSD (water, emergency services), high-end residential, affordable residential, light industrial "park", cluster-housing
     Option ($300k) might be needed in as little as four months (MG's out-of-the-blue answer)
     Mary: the money isn't out there; our people don't have any money right now.

Questions for Andrew:

  • How long could an option be?
  • What's TPL's time frame for bringing this project to conclusion?
  • What is the least amount he needs?
  • Is this investment money or donation?
  • Who ends up owning what?
  • When and how would the money be required?
  • Who controls survey and appraisal?
     Patty's question for us: what is the simplest thing we can do?
     Meridian's question: do we want to own the water, the old school house, the recreation land, the agriculture, a location for a firehouse? (Judy says, slough off what we can to other districts: the recreational land to parks and recreation.)
     Motion (MG): "We resolve to specify, acquire, and develop lands as a community for emergency services, water, community center, and open space." sec: JT 6 yeahs, 1 abstention
     Motion (MP): "We resolve to work as a community to raise funds, to foster land acquisition entities, and to attract stakeholders as necessary to secure control of the Caspar Cattle Company lands." sec: VT : unanimous

Executive Session

respectfully submitted by Michael Potts


Proposal for Local Fundraising Campaign
to Secure the Caspar Cattle Company Lands

Submitted by Patty Madigan

     In order to assure local determination of the future of the community, the local residents, and their support network, will organize and contribute toward the goal of purchasing the land, or transferring ownership to a responsible conservation partner, within the option period of one to three years. The following strategies could apply to accomplishing this goal:

  1. Organize each neighborhood into precincts to plan and fundraise towards securing the parcel closest to that neighborhood. This way, those residents most impacted by viewshed, traffic, noise, or increased density have the option of raising the funds to keep the property unchanged, or to develop the portion necessary to pay for the purchase, then exercise a conservation easement on the remainder.
  2. The option negotiated between the landowner and Trust for Public Land would be a rolling option that would first secure the headlands and riparian, then the duck pond, and each precinct option that is ready to offer a secured purchase. For an example, the large field behind the Shul could be a partnership between Pacifica, the north end of downtown Caspar, and a conservation partner. The partners will determine the best stewardship plan for the parcel, raise the down payment, and secure the financing to pay off the property. Lands currently used for grazing could qualify for the Agricultural Land Stewardship Program--whereby the owner is reimbursed for the difference between preserving the land in agricultural use versus developing the land.
  3. All residents, and their support network will be asked to contribute toward purchasing the headlands and riparian, the old school for a new community center, and a water district. This could be accomplished through an assessment if a community services district is in place. It will also help galvanize all the precincts into a unified Caspar.
  4. If a precinct/neighborhood does not rally to take responsibility for the Caspar Cattle Co. land closest to their residences, within a six month period, then that property would be available for the community at large to secure. If neither the community nor the precincts secure the parcel, then it goes on the market. By preserving the current zoning, only limited development could occur (RR-20 or RR-10 in most cases).
  5. By organizing into neighborhood precincts, Caspar residents create a support network. These neighborhood groups would be further connected to the community through the CSD, community center, and open-space stewardship. Partnering among precincts would be advantageous to obtain funding from government, foundation, or conservation partners. Also, dissent would be minimized, or focused in a more manageable form. The Caspar Community will provide support to all precincts.
-- Patty Madigan

{CM 4/11} {BD 4/16} previous meetings : next meetings {BD 5/14} {CM 5/9}

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: : posted 4 May 1999 : 15:32 Caspar (Pacific) time : : printed with 100% recycled electrons!