Concept/Proposal…please critique

Before opining on this, please first imagine that you ‘want’ a cabin or a place to relocate off the grid….you can be old or young but probably not likely mid thirties to late forties (those folks are typically on the treadmill and running as fast as they can).

If you are old, you are thinking (maybe), “I would love to have a little retirement cabin somewhere…maybe move there… something small….”

But, because you are getting on (55+) you are also maybe thinking, “Oh, man, I don’t even know where to go, what to do, it likely costs a fortune, I might hate it, and who needs wood-chopping, anyway!”

If you are young, you might be thinking, “I’ll never get a foothold in this urban market.  I hate the city, anyway, it’s too expensive.  I’d love to be a hippy-back-to-the-lander but that’s just plain silly and, anyway, I have to work and can’t afford that lifestyle either.”

So, that is the dilemma facing our two groups…..and so….here’s the concept:

Offered up is a lot on the ocean.  NOT huge…..maybe 50 x 100′.  The lot will have water, sewer and a deck (that will already be built by the local community so that it is ready to be used).  Attached to the deck will be a shipping container.  The prospective buyer will pay say, $20,000 down for the ‘package’ and they also enter into a LEASE for the lot for twenty years.  Cheap payments.  Maybe $1200 a year (just enough to keep the water and sewer going).

The idea is that the container will hold your tools and your tent and camp stove and be able to provide the young/old couple a ‘foothold’ in the area.  Young people will use that ‘foothold’ as a stepping stone to buying their own property somewhere nearby but having a home-base as they slowly build that ‘permanent or retirement home’ they envision.  Alternatively, some young people might choose to build a more permanent (but small) structure and simply ‘live small’ in the waterfront village.

If someone wanted the lot and NOT the deck and container, that would adjust the price downward but there has to be some up-front commitment to ‘making something happen’ so the deck and container idea is really just a way to give people a ‘leg up’.

Yeah……there will be maybe ten or 15 such lots in the area which is say, 6 or 7 acres….the rest will be common area….

Older people might adopt a winter/summer schedule and live half-time OTG using the original ‘basic package’ as their summer home.  Maybe upgrade to a nice Yurt?  Or they may have a small, better structure built (or they build it) and they simply live OTG in the village not requiring longer tenure because they are already old.

And, of course, any variation on that basic concept will be considered.  Leases can be broken if the lessee eventually builds elsewhere.  OR extended if a couple of 55 year-olds figure on staying for more than twenty years.  All flexible.  All adjustable.  All for the purpose of building a small village as inexpensively as possible.

And there are builders on the island should you wish to ‘farm it all out’.

“Dave, why imagine this sort of thing…?”

Because we NOW have six or so acres on the waterfront and we (the community) are ‘imagining’ it’s potential use/development.  I like the idea of a small village.  Some might prefer a park or something else.  It won’t be my decision.  It will be a community one but we are all going to propose something.  I will propose this.  No idea where this is going but I thought I’d ‘float my idea’ to the outside world as well to see if it has appeal to anyone else but me.

If the idea is considered a bad one, please tell me why.  And, one last thing: don’t fret about the details….this is JUST a conceptual idea….

7 thoughts on “Concept/Proposal…please critique

  1. Sounds like a very good idea.
    20k is affordable for most( half a new car these days) and having a place to “hang your hat” while checking out the terrain is a must.

    Would there be a “water taxi” for the “newbies” ?
    I’m just thinking that access might be a bit of an issue for people just starting out especially via boat.

    Also, would you have a “covenant” to get people moving on their own construction
    ie. You cant just set up shop in the “subsidized” container and do nothing but visit for the next 20 years.
    You have to buy and build……not be a “subsidized squatter”


    • “And, one last thing: don’t fret about the details….this is JUST a conceptual idea….”

      Still, yes, of course. Cheap water taxi. Absolutely. Help in getting a boat together…absolutely…the motive: to build the community and THE relationships.

      Yes. There has to be some kind of covenant to get off your butt but, at the same time, we are not the society where everyone has to have the same coloured curtains and crap. If some old couple lived six months every summer in their fully functioning Yurt and were NOT pigs…that would be fine (I think).

      OTG’ers are not cut from the same cloth but they are all independent and individual to a large extent. Characters, if you will. Having said that, they are all respectful of one another and leave each other alone EXCEPT when the community needs otherwise. So, policing and monitoring folks will be at the bare minimum.

      Maybe we give an ‘opt out’ option in the lease…? Like I said, up for discussion and other ideas.


  2. I like it, David! It’s a really good way of stickin’ your nose in and getting a leg up for young couples who need to start small. It’s also a good way for older folks to down size. Quadra Island has the same idea for Quathiaski Cove. It’s called the village plan and it will allow people to rezone larger lots into smaller ones, build small houses and allow “densification” of the Cove so we can provide more housing options for people who are begging to move here! Older people on the island could sell their larger house and end up with a smaller lot and house which you can walk away from and spend some holiday time in warmer climes.


    • Thanks, Paul. But this blog has been up now for a couple of days and only one has commented as a ‘possible’. That means this is NOT getting out (most likely) or is NOT being well-received….I do not have a BIG readership but I thought it might get a few more comments. This is kinda dinko market research….


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