Location - 17 Miles Due East of The Center of Atlanta, GA  Google Map
Size - 52 Acres - Stage I Hamlet Village - 35 Persons   Larger Stage II Village - 80 Units or Approximately 200 Persons 
Village Hamlet - 5.2 Acres, Agriculture - 8.0 Acres Total,  Wildlife Habitat - 38.5 Acres
Water Resources - Well (over 100gpm), Wesley Branch Creek, Stone Mountain Creek and Yellow River
Hunter/Gatherer Habitat -  Numerous Deer, Wild Hogs, Turkeys , White Oak (acorn flour) and Red Oak, Hickory.  Wildlife ranges from
  over 1,000 adjacent acres of adjacent habitat.
Development Status - 3.5 Years Into Planning Stage
Principle Developer - Lacy Thompson, Jr.
Principle Site Planner - Greg Ramsey - Village Habitat  
       Note: This Doc Being Actively Revised 11/19/2011-11/20/2011
Goals:  Collapse Aware Resiliency At The Hamlet / Village Level - The "Internal Economy"

     The European Village model has provided an extremely high quality of life for millennia, long before the industrial or oil age.  The French villages of Vaugines and Cucuron in the Luberon were studied and relevant aspects implemented into the plan.  While most  attempts at resiliency are focused on individual homesteading arrangements with a local economic interaction,  the goal of this project is to create a larger scale integrated economic model capable of meeting all critical needs internally.  
    Dmitry Orlov has stated in "Reinventing Collapse" that the necessities of Food, Shelter, Transportation and Security became the preeminent concerns.   When collapse occurs, the birds and squirrels won't be aware of it because they are not dependent upon the economic system.  In twenty years even under the best possible collapse scenario being helplessly dependent upon an external system for your water, food, energy, shelter and other necessities will look incredibly foolish and shortsighted.  The strategy of parking your economic surplus in the stock market and sitting on your ass expecting your portfolio to "work" for you is going to look ridiculous and morally dubious.   It's going to look far smarter moving forward to invest in community and part ownership in a farm , transportation and community infrastructure that can provide the necessities as well as your electrical energy.
Security
   There is safety in numbers, ergo the village approach.   The property is at the end of a  dead end street .  Such locations are poor targets because if the police or other help get to the top of the road, nearly a mile from the Stage 1 Hamlet, there's no where to go by vehicle.   On the north east the property is bounded by Stone Mountain Creek and on the east by the Yellow River.  The property to the northwest is Stronghold Christian Church (70 acres) and
to the south a 90 acre parcel owned by Steve and Nancy Edwards.  The property is gated with multiple sensors capable of detecting automobiles as well as closed circuit TV and motion detectors.   The surrounding neighborhood is a safe stable area and few people are aware of the property because the gate is kept closed. 
Food
   There are a total of four food growing strategies.  In a addition to organic agriculture, permaculture is the primary model. The grass / animal techniques of Joel Salatin as well as the Vermiculture and Aquaponics techniques of Will Allen at Growing Power are in the process of being implemented. 

  A Pedestrian Oriented Village/Hamlet With a Community Owned Fleet of Lease on Demand Vehicles ( Approx 1 vehicle for every  4 driving age residents ) Parked at the Entrance of the Village.  All Internal Streets are Pedestrian / Bicycle / or Low Speed Electric. 
   A Community Owned and Managed Agricultural Operation Incorporating  Multiple Leading Edge Agricultural Paradigms Including Permaculture (Carbon Farming),  Organic Gardening,  and Ideas Pioneered by Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms and Will Allen of Growing Power.   The Goal Is  to be a Net Exporter  or (In Dollar Terms)  I.E. More Than Self Sufficient.   Resident-Owners Benefit From Higher Quality Produce at Reduced Prices and Control Over The Destiny of Their Food Supply.
   A Community Owned and Managed Village Center Including Village Deli, Coffee Shop, Mailing Center, Community Center and Commercial Mixed Use - Live/Work and Rental Space Geared Exclusively To the Internal Needs of the Community.  You Might Call It "Life Support" Because That Is The Goal.... To Support The Lives of the Community - Owners.   The Goal Is To Provide Support Within The Village  of  Essential Services and Eliminate 90% of  the Need For the Use of Automobiles.  
 
Ecological Footprint.
    Of all the measures of our ecological "footprint" on the planet, perhaps none is simpler and more useful than simply the amount of dollars our lives inject into the external economy.   The automobile centric concept of suburbia is perhaps the most energy and time wasteful and wildlife habitat destroying design one could possibly create.   The automobile is the third largest expense the average family faces consuming approximately 16% of  household income,  ahead of food at 11%.  
    Most things that are good for the environment, consuming less energy, eating locally grown food, greatly reducing automobile miles driven, because they are more efficient, should be better for our economic welfare as well.
     It's the design premise that precisely because our current suburban model is so wasteful, that there is a tremendous opportunity to design a far more efficient  model incorporating the ancient and time proven pedestrian Village models and combining those with the exciting new paradigm shifts occurring in agriculture, along with the latest energy saving housing designs, to create a modern day village with a far higher quality of life at an expense that is less than the designs we currently have in place.
Community As Investment.
    The best investment is one that improves your quality of life and lowers your direct cost of living in the process.   Instead of the food budget being only an expense, it is now an investment.  The farming goals of the community are to provide fresher, healthier, more flavorful, environmentally responsible,  and generally lower cost produce than is available through the current supermarket avenues.   Over time with rising energy costs the economic benefits should increase as food costs are rising far faster than the overall rate of inflation. 
     A community operated deli provides time saving value added prepared produce and profits from the internal operation are reinvested in the
community support systems and rebated back to the community proportionate to your purchases..... the more you use the services, the greater your
costs are reduced. 
   

          Stage I  - Hamlet 35 Individuals - Community Owned Farm - Deli / Restaurant / Pub /Theater / Transportation / Workshop 

The pictures below are not from the Village. It hasn't been built yet.  They are illustrations of the spaces that I feel must be included even at the Hamlet level to support a healthy human social and spiritual existence. 


Community Night Life

 


Commune With Nature and Zen View


Places To Support Daytime Community Social Interaction

 


More Night Time Social Interaction - Dining, Coffee or a Drink With Friends


Community Theater



A Quiet Place To Read


A Cozy Nook
 


A Library and a Quiet Place To Read


Deli , Coffee Shop , Pub 

Stage 1 Village Hamlet Centered On Present House Location


 

The Economics of Interdependence

      Let's start with the current situation.  Below is a breakdown of the expenses of an average American family from a government report.  

Income Before Taxes  $49,430      
Number of People per Household 2.5      
Number of Wage Earners 1.4 $16.97 <Hourly Income
Average Number of Vehicles 2      
         
Total Non Tax Expendatures $40,675   Running $19,772
Item Total % % Total $ / Person
Housing Total Inc Utilities $13,282 26.9% 26.9% $5,313
Presumed Federal, State, Propt Taxes $8,755 17.7% 44.6% $3,502
Transportation Total $7,759 15.7% 60.3% $3,104
Food Total $5,375 10.9% 71.2% $2,150
Pensions Life Ins - Social Sec $3,899 7.9% 79.0% $1,560
Health Care $2,350 4.8% 83.8% $940
Entertainment  $2,079 4.2% 88.0% $832
Apparel and Services $1,749 3.5% 91.5% $700
Cash Contribuitions $1,277 2.6% 94.1% $511
Miscellaneous $792 1.6% 95.7% $317
Education $752 1.5% 97.2% $301
Personal Care Products / Services $526 1.1% 98.3% $210
Alcoholic Beverages $376 0.8% 99.1% $150
Tobacco $320 0.6% 99.7% $128
Reading $139 0.3% 100.0% $56

     One can easily see that food is one of the least expensive items.  The bulk of the expense is in housing, taxes, and transportation.  
       My goal is to come up with a new model that is:
            1) More Financially Secure
            2) Reduces the work day from 8 hours + 1 hour drive time to
                 4 to 6 hours with no drive time..... giving time for social activities and
                 other personal pursuits.

    Let me use a personal illustration.  I am an entrepreneur who works from home.  With a full time secretary the salary I was paying was over $36,000 per year.   My biggest personal expense was a mortgage for $465,000.  My monthly mortgage payments were over $3,000 per month.    I was astonished to find out that if I put the cost of that one employee as additional payment towards principle, that I could pay off my mortgage totally in only 6 years!  
       What to do to cover the bases labor wise?  I have some extra space I am not using. ( Don't most houses! )  By fixing up a small apartment   

Goals
1) A Broad Range of Implementations From Extended Family Home to Community
2) Preference Towards Simple Models Compatible With Single Family Zoning Ordinances
3) Advantages:
    a) Security - Physical and Economic