Eldridge - Wayne Hsieh

The Future of Eldridge

Eldridge Village, A Complete Community

A powerful, coherent vision can help elevate the goals of the project above niche interests. Funders, progressive developers, and community volunteers are often attracted to sites that have a compelling vision. This compelling vision can help bring significant resources to the project and help it avoid potentially divisive local politics.

Sites of significant acreage without a central, coherent vision are often parceled off to various, unrelated users. At best, this new development misses an opportunity to create something that is greater than the sum of its parts. At worst, a divided strategy can result in lengthy negotiations over boundaries and resources, slowing or sometimes halting a project entirely.

— “SDC Transformation Study,” Potrero Group

In this critical time of intense global pressure of rapidly growing population, shrinking land and resources, and dramatic earth changes due to climate change, the sudden availability of the beautiful Eldridge property can be seen as an opportunity to do something wonderful, a gift to the community and a fulfillment of some of our most cherished dreams. But due to its rarity and beauty, it can also become an object of our personal ambition and subject to exploitation for personal and/or corporate profit.

Purchased with taxpayer money in 1890 for $53,000, the property…

is now worth millions, and millions more could be made from a shining resort with pool, gardens, horses and all amenities for the pleasure of the elite. But even theirs will be a vanishing pleasure when global warming kicks in in 30 years; and nothing we have done so far, in the four decades since the first warnings were brought before the public, has done much to arrest its fearsome progress.

We want our beautiful county to remain the same. Ducking the realization that it is already much changed, we focus on keeping at bay the lesser but significant threat of commercial development in the service of tourism, bringing more empty dollars to the already rich, evicting the poor working classes from their meager tenancy on this planet and increasing the untended ranks of the homeless while ruining the planet for the rest of us.

At Eldridge, we have the opportunity to demonstrate that the dreary course of destruction rolling relentlessly toward us can be reversed.
Our times call for the progressive implementation of a new paradigm for living together peaceably on this verdant planet. Here in Sonoma County we are blessed, not only with good soil and glorious scenery but with creative, artistic and intelligent people who are committed to envisioning a better world and who have explored new ideas like new economies, local food networks, explorations in consciousness, organic diets and healthy living.

We know that a “better world is possible.”

The question is how to summon the political will, which can only come from the grassroots.

This proposal is an offering – an attempt to initiate a process of sincere, person-to-person discussion and sharing. What can we do with 834 acres that will unify our community and replenish our earth?

We suggest that Eldridge Village become a model eco-community based on a new way of living on our sacred planet. We  envision Eldridge Village as…

To continue, please Download Our Proposal >>  (11Jun2018 .pdf 128kB)

image credit: W. Hsieh CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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