Bruns Eco Village - Brunswick Heads

“Real, sustainable community change requires the initiative and engagement of community members.”

Helene D. Gayle

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Questions, Comments & Answers - Ongoing Pathway

Below is a compilation of the various questions about ongoing pathway for Bruns Eco Village. If you have any further questions please send them to askbev@brunsecovillage.com.au.

(Last updated 13th Nov 2017)


Questions about financial aspects

Q1. What happens to our BARN $1000 if the BEV Community never gets off the ground?

The fee is not returned. We recognised that there are still risks associated with the project, and that is why we are matching your contribution dollar for dollar if the project is successful – to balance risk and reward.

 

Q2. Will this BARN contribution be capped at $1000 or will we be asked to pay more in the future if costs blow out? What happens at the October 2019 review date? Is our membership in BARN is revoked, or do we possibly have to pay more money?

The costs that we have calculated (which will be supplemented with other collective fundraising activities) coincides with the anticipated land transfer date of October 2019. If the transfer has not occurred at this point, a meeting with BARN members would be called to consider the next course of action, and to collectively develop a plan for covering any further expenses prior to land transfer.

 

Q3. What happens to our $1000 BARN contribution if we cannot raise the money/finances needed for the Stakeholder Contribution when the time arises? Will BEV be able to assist any of us if we need financial assistance to raise the Stakeholder Contribution (after we are a member of BARN)?

Good question. Since the fees raised are to cover costs associated with the journey from here until the purchase of the land, there is no scope for the fee to be refunded at the time of the transfer.

If the stakeholder contribution functions as an investment, then this investment (or contribution value) itself may serve as security for you to obtain a personal loan from friendly lenders.

We recognise that the stakeholder contribution is substantial, and we’ll prepare some templates for alternative funding arrangements. However coming up with the required stakeholder contribution remains the responsibility of each resident.

 

Q4. We appreciate that you have kept the financial input at this point down to $1000, rather than $1333 and also that there is an offer to match it if and when someone leaves. How will the money be raised to cover the $2000 if someone leaves?

Exiting residents will receive their stake from incoming residents. The stake will rise in line with the formula, and be transacted through the BEV entity. The first part of the formula includes the $2,000 mentioned here.

 

Q5. Is it an unnecessary financial strain on BEV to offer to match the $1,000 if someone leaves?

This was a measure that the meta circle gave a lot of consideration to. We felt it important to acknowledge the risk and determination that each early adopter BARN member is taking and reward those members in kind.
In line with dynamic governance and if necessary, this measure can be reviewed at some time in the future.

 

Q6. Can a change to the contribution amount to be considered, e.g. $500 applicable when DA is approved, or $500 now and $500 when DA approved? Monetary value is different for all and may not be a solid measure of commitment that the meta circle thinks it is.

We put a lot of thought into choosing an amount that would be manageable and worthwhile. We do not anticipate that $500 would be enough to get us over the line. Even a $1,000 may not fully get us there, and we anticipate needing additional and alternative fundraising sources.

We encourage anyone who is struggling to come up with $1,000 to explore the NILS interest free loan from Byron Community Centre. Repaying that loan over a year equates to $19.23 per week, or a mere $2.74 per day.

 

Q7. Has the Meta Circle considered options to help otherwise enthusiastic potential village residents to raise the $1,000 BARN fee?

The MC is keen to provide the opportunity for potential members wishing to offer this financial assistance to fellow Barn members and we hope to ask these potential Barn Angels to identify themselves at our Barn launch on Saturday, the 16th of December.

 

Q8. Why are stakes / shares set at the household rather than the individual level?

In our early thinking around the BEV model households appeared to be the obvious fundamental unit, with the redeemable bond being similar to a tenancy bond. As the BEV financial model has evolved, and the concept of a stakeholder investment has emerged, we are needing to consider if perhaps it makes more sense now to think about individuals as the fundamental unit.

However any change here would not alter the fundamental relationship between the BARN fee and the stakeholder investment.

 

Q9. Rather than stakes, could residents simply loan the BEV entity the money for the land purchase, with the money returned via principal and interest payments (i.e like a mortgage)?

BEV is a financially tricky project to deliver. There are high and lumpy upfront costs in the early years, and a small, but consistent revenue stream drawn out over many years in the future. Broadly speaking, the revenue from years 5 to 25 is about equal to the costs accumulated in the first 5 years.

BEV’s challenge is to survive these first 5 years.

In our funding model we are exploring a mix of debt funding and equity funding, but we are not looking to standard mortgage arrangements where we pay back principal (the main amount owed) and interest. Principal payments in those first 5 years simply make the burden too heavy.

Debt funding will likely be similar to bonds – that is, the bonds pay you the stake holder a certain interest stream, and then mature (pay back principal) at some point in the future. This is effectively the funding option being offered to residents via the ‘stake’.

The key difference is that the interest payments you receive cannot be extracted from your stake (which effectively means forced reinvestment), but at the same time, you may exit the community at any time you choose (as opposed to investors who must wait until maturity to get their principal back).

We feel there is equivalence here.

 

Q10. Will the return of a stakeholder’s stake / share be dependent upon a new applicant being approved to join BEV and paying the necessary money, or will there be a reserve pool to cover this occurrence?

The intention is that the stakes will be transferred through the BEV entity, and that the BEV entity will have enough to cover the transfer. Exiting residents should not have to wait for new residents to come on board before taking their stake back.

However, there are limits here. For example, if 250 residents all decided to leave in the same week, then we would have a liquidity problem. In this case, exiting residents may have to wait a period of time. However, we consider this scenario unlikely and manageable in any case.

 

Q11: Isn’t the financial concept presented in the document still based on the 'old paradigm' of buy @ $X and sell at $X+?

We hear your point on this and this decision was not made lightly. It is a huge challenge to build alternative systems within an inherited system. At some point, we still have to connect with the modern market economy. That is, we still have to pay outside providers in Australian currency, residents still need to raise money for their stakeholder contribution etc.

The intention here is to create a bridge between the old world and the new – to create a system that can engage with the outside economy, but is also able to create a strong, defendable community model, internally moving away the from private ownership of land. The concept is also designed to reward early adopters.

 

Q12. Can you please clarify 7a & 7b under ‘The Pathway’. It says that an increase in value will be tied to both land value and wage increases. Is there a formula to indicate to what degree it will be tied to land value and to what degree to wage increases? This would help shed light on how the homes are to be kept affordable.

The annual rise in land value is 7%. The annual rise in wages is 3%. The intention is to provide a balance between these rates in order to provide value to each household’s stake while keeping the homes affordable. No figure has been fixed as these two values may rise at different rates in the future, however based on these current rates, the rise in stake value would be around 5%.

 

Q13. Wouldn’t tying the property to the land value make it unaffordable for people in the future who don’t have a lot of money?

Yes tying the property to the land value alone would make homes unaffordable for many people. The intention in seeking to strike a balance is to recognise the work of early adopters without disadvantaging those who wish to leave BEV in the future.

 

Q14. What formula have you used for the examples you gave on returns for those who leave in the future?

The illustrative examples are based on the stakeholder receiving an annual 5% increase in the stake / share.

 

Q15. If someone joins now and someone joins in say 10 years time, will the person who joins now have paid more for the land and infrastructure than the person who joins in 10 years?

No, not in principle. The idea that the stake increases in value is to ensure that it holds a consistent price relative to other structures in the economy, namely wages and land prices. The intention is that the burdens involved in joining the community remain equivalent over time.

Early adopters will have the advantage of choosing their cluster and being involved in the design and build process.

 

Q16. Regarding the BEV Inc Ass 50/50 cost sharing with the Dalys to deliver mutually beneficial services. What are these mutually beneficial services?

These are services such as exploring what legal structures will best serve the Co-op in the future, determining how the funds will be raised to build the village infrastructure and more. Although this is not the responsibility of the Daly’s, both parties benefit from the advice and therefore share the costs evenly.

 

Q17. What is the “meta circle comms” mentioned in the cost share diagram?

This refers to all communications carried out by the meta circle. This includes ongoing communications with professionals regarding the development of the BEV project and ongoing communications with VDP participants.

 

Q18. In the costs – please explain where the $120,000 derived from the first VDP intake is represented within the costs? I.e. if the total costs to 2019 are $200,000 is that lowered by deducting the original $120,000 VDP from the $200,000?

We are treating the VDP as a separate ‘business unit’. That is, funds raised via the VDP are there to deliver the ongoing stream of VDP trainings. The VDP is also responsible for it’s own costs.

The $200,000 projection reported does not include costs associated with delivering the VDP.

Revenue from this year’s VDP has been able to contribute to costs this year since

  • VDP costs have been spread across the year, and
  • the VDP team has worked hard to keep costs down.

However, there are no guarantees that it will be able to do this going forward, and so it is not part of our projections.

Half of the revenue generated by the first VDP went towards the cost sharing agreement between BEV INC ASS and the DALY’s. The other half was spent on providing a quality community training. For more information on the Cost Sharing Arrangements please see the BARN and VDP Pathway Document.

 

Q19. Do meta circle members have to be financial contributors to BARN?

Only people who have completed the VDP can become a member of BARN. These same rules apply to the meta circle members. At the moment three of the meta circle (Kelvin, Ella and Tom) are participants in VDP1, Shane is running the VDP and Blair is assisting him. It is the intention of all meta circle members to complete the VDP and become BARN members.

 

Q20. Can the details of the land purchase be clarified?

a) Was there a land purchase in this case by Kelvin & Skai?

b) What was the value at time of purchase?

c) What is current sale price of $8m calculated from?

The Daly’s bought the land in early 2014 for $1.3 million. It was valued last year (mid-2016) and the rezoned value of the land was calculated to be $24 million. They considered selling it for half of this value to the cooperative and realised that even this amount could be difficult to raise so settled on a third of the value which is $8 million.

 

Q21. Would we be better off forming a group now to purchase the land and drive the rezoning and development application process, possibly in collaboration with the Dalys? There is a considerable valuation increase that occurs with rezoning – wouldn’t we be better off keeping this within the collective?

As a general rule, organisation structures that share the rewards of enterprise equally (such as fairshare models and worker cooperatives), are the best fit for Eco Village values. It is our vision that BEV enterprises operating out of the renewable precinct, for example, will be organised along these lines.

There are a number of challenges involved in applying these models to the land ownership and rezoning process. We have identified two issues that make it prohibitive in this case: (1) liquidity and the burden of risk, and (2) sequencing, probably in that order of importance.

Liquidity and the burden of risk

There are a number of costs associated with the rezoning process – legal, planning, drafting, surveying, consultation, public relations etc. The longer the rezoning process takes, the more these costs stack up.

If we show this in a diagram, and take the original purchase price of $1.3m, we could represent the total project costs associated with rezoning (i.e separate to the development of the village itself) like this:

If a cooperative were to form to drive the rezoning process, not only would it have to commit to the purchase of the land itself, but to funding these ongoing costs as well. That is, it would have to guarantee the project’s liquidity.

These ongoing costs are open-ended and impossible to define, since we do not know how long the rezoning process will take, or exactly what will be required along the way. The cooperative would need a clear picture of what they were willing to commit for the life of the project, and be willing to raise additional funds as needed.

The other point is that there is no guarantee that there will be any ‘rezoning windfall’ at all. That is, at some point, if the rezoning process drags on for long enough, the project costs will eat through any increase in valuation.

We can represent that on our earlier diagram:

If the rezoning occurs “early” in the process, then the project costs have been relatively small, and there is a surplus (call it a “profit”). That is, subtract the project costs away from the agreed sales price, and there is some left over.

However, if the rezoning occurs “later”, then the project costs have exceeded the agreed sales price, and even though the rezoning has been delivered, the landholding entity has made a loss.

On top of this, the entire project could be killed off by the legislative bodies at any point in the process, at which point all project costs accumulated to that point will become sunk costs (i.e. costs that have already been incurred and cannot be recovered).

This is all to say that this is not an endeavour without risk. There is no guarantee of any windfall gain, and there is real potential for the endeavour to lose money.

Currently the Dalys are carrying the burden of risk. If the project drags on or is killed, they are the ones who will wear the losses. This is the choice they have made, and a risk they are willing to take because they believe, implicitly, in the importance of the project.

Ultimately, the meta-circle is more comfortable with a single willing individual bearing the risk, than asking the residents to commit to a project with open-ended expenses, and asking residents to carry the burden of risk.

Sequencing

A partially developed collective (even say of 100 people) faces the same challenges of representation as a single willing individual. That is, it is impossible to fully speak for resident interests until all residents have presented and made themselves known.

The VDP process has been our first effort to start pulling the community together. However given this is a large project, even our best endeavours here will mean this process will still take years.

We also recognise there is an attrition rate. People lose interest in the project, or find other housing solutions, if the project drags on.

Therefore, in terms of sequencing, pulling the community together first, before then purchasing the land and beginning on the rezoning journey would push the timeline for the entire project out beyond what we believe is practical.

 

Q22. Can we get a firm commitment from the Dalys about how much they will reinvest in the community, rather than a signal of intention?

As outlined above, there are no guarantees about what ‘profit’ or loss will accrue to the Daly’s through this process. Given this, it is impossible to ask the Daly’s for a firm commitment. Their willingness to invest $1m or more is substantive and leads the way for other potential investors.

 


Questions about BARN's function

Q23. Referring to Funding Cultural Development it was mentioned that: “BARN will have its own budget (drawn from BARN membership fees) to continue this important work.” What are the specific details of “this important work”?

We believe that strong communities develop their culture and connection from the grassroots up. We will be looking to future residents, through BARN, to lay out what events, practices, workshops, excursions etc are required to deepen our connection and sense of community. We consider community activities to be the important because they deepen our learning and connection.

 

Q24. How do we facilitate staying “in community” from 2018 until BEV happens on the land?

See Q10 above.

 


Questions about Governance Structures

Q25. The Pathway to BEV is a ‘draft’ document. Are VDP participants able to make requests and participate in a meaningful way to the development of the final document? This would be in keeping with the original vision.

VDP participants are invited to offer feedback, suggestions and clarifying questions about BARN for consideration of the meta circle. It is important to note that the final decision making on all aspects of the final BARN policy document is in the domain of the meta circle.

 

Q26. How can those in the meta circle, who have not done the VDP be making directives to people who have finished the VDP, let alone directives that they must pay an additional $1,000 before they can participate in BARN or in an Interest Group after the VDP?

Until the land is sold to the future BEV cooperative, the responsibility for the progression and realisation of the BEV project ultimately lies with the meta circle. There is a clear governance structure that has been laid out and can be viewed here which we are following for all decisions and processes.

Being part of the meta-circle does not offer any scope to fast-track or side-step the pathways into BEV residency. Each and every decision in the meta circle is discussed at length using sociocratic process where discussions are held in rounds. Everyone’s input is considered and consent is arrived at when everyone is happy that we have done the best we can do to arrive at an outcome that will benefit the community. We have not found at any time that the input from the people who have not completed the VDP to be in opposition with the shared values and vision of the BEV community. In some cases their input has brought valuable objectivity.

Any members of the meta circle who have not been able to participate in this current VDP are intending to participate in VDP 2.

 

Q27. Aim A gives the impression that all members have access to attend General Circle meetings, not just their interest group representatives? Do all members of BARN have the right to attend these meetings personally?

No. The General Circle (GC) was created as a Sociacratic way to connect the Meta Circle and the Interest Groups (IG’s). It was agreed that one representative from each IG could attend and that information would flow between the meta circle and the VDP participants through those representatives. So to be clear moving forward, BARN reps will be represented at the GC in the same way, via their single interest group focaliser. After the inception of BARN, only members of BARN can be in the BEV Interest Groups.

The General Circle does not have the capacity to chair a meeting that would allow all members of BARN. A representative was elected from each interest group to allow each group to be represented while keeping meetings practical and manageable.

 

Q28. As “only future residents have access to or input into the work and discussions that shape the BEV community,” should the Pet Policy only be decided later by financial members of BARN? Then a proper sociocratic process could be engaged with from the start of the considerations.

The Pet Policy was introduced to the VDP to allow participants to be involved in some elements of the ecovillage design and also to help determine an issue that needs resolution before the commencement of the ecovillage and land transfer to ensure all expectations of future residents are met.

The PPP circle have been engaged by the VDP participants to develop a policy via a proper sociocratic process that will be reviewed by the future residents and ratified.

 

 


Questions about Interest Groups

Q29. Both One Planet Living interest groups and “all current and future interest groups” are mentioned in the document. Which is it to be?

A number of One Planet Living inspired Interest Groups have merged with other interest groups. BARN will oversee further development of these Interest Groups as well as the formation of any required new interest groups.

 

Q30. Are we being defined by the One Planet Living guidelines? One Planet Living has only been mentioned “in passing” and never actually been explained properly to us. Shouldn’t we all be given information or a workshop on what the One Planet Living guidelines are so that we are properly informed?

The One Planet Living guidelines are helping inform some aspects of the Village however this is in combination with other best practice principals from other organisations including the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) and Beyond Zero Emissons (BZE).

In the first VDP workshop, we explored the 10 principles of One Planet Living and created a 10 slice pizza on the floor of the Mullum Civic Hall. We identified something that we resonated with and then stood in one of the 10 slices, that best coincided with that interest. We were asked to move to any interest group that we felt drawn to and were then introduced the 10 interest groups, which represent the 10 principles of One Planet Living.

We also held a Community Information night at the Bruns Memorial Hall on the 6th of July, this year, where we invited Suzette Jackson from Bioregional Australia to present her One Planet Living presentation, as the Australasian representative.

 

Q31. What about future Interest Groups?

The overseeing of all Interests Groups will be transferring from the domain of the VDP to the domain of BARN.

From that point onwards all proposals for forming a new interest group circle and all amendments to the domains of the current Interest Groups, must be sent in writing via email to the General Circle for consent.

A proposal for forming a new interest group circle needs to include the following:

  • The purpose for the circle and how it relates to the VMA’s of BEV
  • The proposed aims
  • The proposed domain

If you want your proposal to be included in the agenda of the General Circle meeting you must send it in writing at least one week prior to the upcoming General Circle meeting.

The General Circle keeps a record in its meetings through minutes and will record when any proposal has received and consented.

The meta circle will not be consenting to the forming of new circles or domain amendments until the completion of VDP1 in December. After this time only proposals coming from BARN members will be considered for consent by the General Circle.

 

Q32. To be part of an interest group or to have access to BEV communications regarding the ongoing project, you must be a member of BARN. 
If someone has done the VDP, is in an interest group and is wishing to join BARN, however does not pay the $1000 instalment in the first instalment period, but intends to at a later instalment period, by not allowing them to continue their involvement in an interest group, the interest group will lose out on their input and the individual will lose connection with the interest group and any other aspect of the project. This seems to be counterproductive as all sides will “lose out” from this situation. Are you suggesting that members of the interest groups who have joined BARN should “police” interest group members as to whether they have paid their $1000 to join BARN and to thus refuse entry to interest group meetings if they have not paid?

Interest group members aren’t expected to police the interest groups. The intention of BARN is to create a space that allows people who intend to live in BEV to work in a focused way on the development of the BEV community. This will involve discussions around the creation of clusters as well as interest group elements that apply specifically to BEV.

While each person needs to make a decision for themselves regarding BARN we can only encourage you to join as soon as is possible so that you get the most benefit from your $1,000 fee. The BARN fee will be $1000, whether someone joins at the launch or with 6 months to go. Joining earlier will mean you get the greatest value from BARN, and that BARN will get the greatest value from your input. We expect that the future co-op will have an administration fee, equivalent to this to ensure that newcomers have no advantage over Barn members.

We know of at least 3 people who took up the NILS interest free loan from Byron Community Centre for the VDP and encourage anyone who is struggling to come up with $1,000 to explore that option. If repaying that loan over a year it equates to $19.23 per week, or 4 cups of Byron chai!

 

Q33. The BARN structure will ensure only future residents have input etc. This excludes dynamic input from outside and valued contributors. The final decisions should be made by the prospective residents, however can we continue to welcome valued input from experts and those who have been in our interest groups?

This project would not be where it is without the input of experts and skilled professionals, like Rob Doolan, Wroth Wall and David Jacobson. We value the input of professionals like these and will continue to engage them as necessary.

The purpose of BARN is to facilitate the co-creation of the village by the people who intend to live there. The VDP has been a workshop made up of people with varying interests - some who want to live on BEV, but also others who would like to set up their own community elsewhere and others again who are interested in learning about living in community and the personal growth that comes from that. BARN will be specifically for those who want to live in BEV only.
We anticipate that new and motivated participants from VDP2 will join BARN next year and will bring a whole new wave of enthusiasm and expertise.

 


General Questions

Q34. Is the name BARN fixed or is there an opportunity to work out our name within the VDP?

Yes it would be wonderful to hear the community’s ideas and suggestions for a name for our ongoing pathway together. We are happy to send out a survey to collect suggestions.

 

Q35. Why are there four windows to apply to be a BARN member, rather than a specified cut-off date? Will having these windows make it all a bit unwieldy?

There is quite a lot of work associated with the release and organisation of a VDP. We are already experiencing this in the lead up to VDP2.
Having specific windows for applications allows us to allocate time and resources to meet the needs of these new people who want to get involved with the VDP and the BEV project.

Having specific windows for BARN applications will also allow BARN members to consolidate and integrate in those periods between application windows.

 

Q36. Can there be a request for some form of precedence to be given to long term locals, in particular some places for those with social housing needs. Otherwise the project could run the risk of becoming a ’boutique eco village’ for wealthy ‘seachangers’ just to fill the required number of participants.

This is something to consider. One of the motivations driving BEV’s affordability agenda is to help people have enduring connection with the land and with the community. Mechanisms that preference locals over non-locals are not currently part of the structure, and would raise many challenges in implementation, but could be something to consider.

 

Q37. Can the intellectual property developed to drive BEV be used by BEV to create other Eco Village Projects?

There are a mix of intellectual property arrangements that BEV is working with. For example, the VDP has been developed by Shane Sylvanspring, using his existing knowledge base and resources. However, other elements, including the financial model, have been developed and paid for by Daly’s and BEV Inc Ass. These will therefore automatically become the property of the cooperative when it forms, and the cooperative will then have the choice as to whether to exercise exclusive rights over the property, or make it publicly available. At the moment the intention is for this information Open Source.

That said, one of the guiding principles of Daly’s and the Meta-Circle is replicability. We are seeking to develop a new way of developing and protecting community within the dying economic model, and we hope that at the end of this journey we may have a workable model that we can offer the world.

This informs the choices we make about BEV, and the way we have been documenting our journey and decision making processes.

 

Q38. It seems that there is an asymmetry of expertise and knowledge. The meta-circle has access to expert advice, but potential residents do not. How can this be addressed?

This is a very important point. The meta-circle does have access to expert advice, (although this expertise is applied to the rezoning and community development process, not to our negotiations with potential residents).

We do recognise that there is an asymmetry there, if only because meta-circle members are constantly engaged in the process, and are a part of all conversations surrounding the project.

We also recognise that an empowered community, particularly in their relationship with the meta-circle, is central to the project’s success.

We welcome your input into what you need as a community to make sure you feel that you’re not being disempowered by the process. Your input does inform our thinking already, but only you as part of the community can tell us if this need is being met.

We also feel it’s important not to give too much energy to the idea of ‘us and them’. This is not the paradigm we’re working with, and we hope that that is felt. We welcome any guidance on how to work with this perception if it is emerging.

 

Q39. Will there be an extension on the submission deadline for BARN questions?

There won’t be an extension to the deadline for the submission of questions. The consultation was open for a month and we have addressed all questions received in that time. We appreciate the time that people have taken to submit their comments and questions and will now do a final review on the document and ratify it.

 

Q40. To avoid confusion can a date and version be inserted in the Pathway Briefing document and the Q&A document?

This is a good idea and one we will take up.

 



Comments & Answers

C1. Even though interest groups may have input, it seems that the meta-circle still has all final decisions which seems contrary to the statement that: “the BARN structure will ensure that only future residents have access to or input into the work and discussions that will shape the BEV community.”

The meta circle wishes to respect the fact that not all participants in the VDP want to live at BEV. BARN provides the pathway for those who have completed the VDP successfully to progress their interest and contribute to the creation of this eco village. Input into the decision making of the meta circle will continue to be received from BARN members.

All final decision-making remains the domain of the meta circle until the coop has bought the property from the Daly’s. Any decisions made from now until the transfer of land have implications personally for the Daly’s and the planning proposal process they are funding.

 

C2. These additional costs were not initially outlined and rezoning is not yet approved. I understand the meta circle’s need for a ‘commitment’ yet participants needs for fairness, equality and transparency could perhaps be allayed by holding off on additional contributions until the land rezoning has been approved. This would provide some tangible result that the project is moving forward.

There is a considerable amount of work that needs to happen to ensure the the community is ready to go as soon as the rezoning happens. This work also supports the rezoning process itself. It is not possible to defer the work or the costs associated. Currently the bulk of the costs are funded by the Daly’s, and through the Daly’s going into debt. This is not able to continue. What we have achieved so far (legal and management structure, conversations with public representatives, investment possibilities, service provision and innovation) has been significant and it is in everyone’s interests to continue with this same momentum.

We agree that it would be preferable to defer fundraising until more certainty can be provided, but this option isn’t open to us.