Updated: Avalon Springs in California

Letters / Opinions

An incredible opportunity to acquire an ideal place for a sannyasin community.

Avalon Springs

 

Update 12.3.14

1) new website: www.AvalonSpringsProject.org

2) A nonprofit religious organization has been formed and a funding program has been set up. The nucleus of a housing group has started to take shape. Meanwhile, the construction folks have viewed the property, met with the county, and gone over the buildings with a fine-toothed comb.

3) Final fundraising phase.

The team writes: “We have an opportunity to create a community where people can live, create a space we can visit on weekends or during annual festivals, and create a buddhafield where also a whole new generation can meet Osho in full energetic flow. This is our opportunity to say thank you to the Master, who has given us so much. He said his work would flower in America, and this a step in that direction. See on the website how juicy it can be for us to make this happen if we work together.”

 

Property
Artist’s rendering of the eco-village that has been approved by the county.
 

Update 19.10.2013

In a letter sent out to many in our caravanserai on October 18, 2013, we hear that the project has received a lot of attention and support. Presently a different group has surfaced that might be willing to initially fund the purchase and a presentation will be made shortly. However, this is only a possibility.

The situation is wide open for a solution and to structure a joint purchase in a way that really works.

A page on Facebook has been established (facebook.com/AvalonProject) available for all to visit for news, questions, creative solutions and ideas, etc. Hopefully this site will help bring clarity to areas that have been sources for misunderstanding.

“We are passionately staying with and evolving this process because we sense that a sanctuary for Osho’s lovers can truly happen here… that this particular property is offering us a very unique and rare opportunity for an Osho Retreat Center and Eco Village in a magical and serene natural environment, graced by the priceless occurrence of natural mineral springs and waters.”

 

Beloveds,

A group of sannyasins in California, who are acting under a nonprofit foundation for the project, has found a very unique property available in a beautiful pristine rural area of Lake County approximately 2 hrs. north of San Francisco and near the Napa Wine Country.

Presently called Avalon Springs and operating as a hot springs spa and retreat center, the property offers us more than we ever imagined would be possible to find in one place. It is situated on a 318-acre piece of lightly wooded hilltop land full of meadows, oak and pine trees and besides the profound magic of the land, the wells of natural mineral hot springs, and the stillness and beauty present there, the property offers invaluable resources in the way of infrastructure, an already in place retreat center and spa, existing buildings that are amazingly suited for our needs…as well as planning permits, drawn plans, and renderings for a 30-home eco-village and more.

The existing planning approval also includes additional rooms for visitors and an “event hall” suitable for a Buddha Hall. The present owners are in foreclosure and the property is available to us for a purchase price far below its value. The current planning has cost over $ 1 million dollars and took six years to attain. Besides this, the owners spent additional money and years of work on restoration. All this will be passed on to us and make us able to begin further remodeling and construction immediately. The way this land has come to us, as well as the current owners’ strong desire to help in any way they can, all seems like a strike of magic.

However, because we just learned of the foreclosure and potential sale a few weeks ago, we only have a very short time to raise the funds. Approximately $2.2 mill needs to be paid by Oct. 15. An additional payment of a little over $800,000 needs to be made in January to get clear title to the property.

If we are not able to make those payments, the property will go to auction a few days after Oct. 16, where the full auction price must be paid in cash. (If the bids are not high enough, the lenders can take the property to sell by listing.) After Oct. 15 everything is up in the air.

Until then the current owners, who deeply love the land, want to pass it to us, because they believe we are the ones meant to have it.

Can we let this opportunity go by? Osho has said his work would flower in America… We have decided to believe in miracles and put it in the hands of existence to see what happens…

Right now we need angels in the form of people who feel called and ready to help financially with the purchase, and we are offering it up to our sannyas family at large…as we feel this can become an oasis for so many…

Time is very short for this, and we need to proceed in a way that complies with California’s protective securities laws. This may involve hiring a very expensive securities attorney to find a legal way to structure this so everyone’s interests are protected.

Because we have zoning approval for an eco-village, we understand that the purchase price can be repaid over time by the sale of interests in the village homes and there are several other creative solutions as well, but we need a way to pay off the overdue loans on the property now.

We have done as much “due diligence” in the past few weeks as we could, checking the zoning, reading reports on water and related items, setting up business plans to check feasibility, as well as negotiating a purchase price and establishing a relationship with the current owners. We are working with professional lawyers, civil engineers, builders, planning and zoning experts, in our community. Also, the founders of the highly successful Eco village in Ithaca, NY are generously offering us their support and guidance on all matters associated with this aspect.

As the number of team members are limited and currently intensely focused on collecting pertinent legal and financial information prior to the deadline, we need to hear as soon as possible from people with the financial resources or legal or financial skills for dealing with this kind of situation.

We are asking everyone else to please have patience and hold off from contacting us until after October 15th, since our whole focus needs to be on setting up the purchase.

Team members available for contact:

Sw Yogena: djmatt(at)pacbell.net
Ma Prem Sangeet: sangeetduchane2(at)aol.com
Sw Deva Sangeet: Sangeet005(at)sbcglobal.net
Ma Prem Nidhi: Nidhi(at)Creativexpression.info

For more information about the land and about other structures approved at the retreat center please visit: www.avalonsprings.com

We would probably not do all the development planned there, but that website shows the potential we would have to choose from.


View Larger Map

You can also visit via Google Earth (13333 Big Canyon Road, Middletown, CA) and drop down into street view to see the actual land. The garden and greenhouse are in the area where the village will be located.

If you feel otherwise inspired and moved to join in this adventure please know that you are invited and welcome …and that and if you have questions about the project we will do our utmost to find a way to update you with info as soon we are able. We can possibly do a blog if someone out there can help us set that up.

In the meantime, please let the excitement build and enjoy exploring the following info and available links:

Please pass this news on to everyone. Let’s see how quickly it can get around the world.

Much love from
the Avalon Springs Team

 

Here below is more detailed information about the land and the project:

We envision a self-supporting, intentional and ecological home for Osho’s teachings in America, a community, village, and meditation-based retreat center… a gathering place for lovers and friends.

“The Team” is currently functioning cooperatively as an administrative body and envisions this structure based on team/oversight, group consensus, awareness, love, equality, and mutual respect. We are holding the community structure open, to allow it to develop organically and become an unfolding co-creation of those who join. We expect that a variety of teams will evolve and expand as the different areas of operation are created.

We have been looking for land for several years and learned that it is very rare to come across an offering like this. As an historic resort, many acres of this land have commercial zoning, which allows for residential development as well. At the same time, the land is located in the middle of an area zoned for rural use. This combination of zoning, which allows commercial development, yet guarantees a quiet, private rural setting, is very rare anywhere in the US. That, combined with planning approval that would meet our needs for years to come, is completely unique.

This zoning means we can have commercial activities like food service, hotel service, and sales at the retreat center, with an intentional community across a quiet country road, and simultaneously live in a beautiful, serene, clean rural area.

The property and its surroundings allow for many ways of living together with intention and sustainability. The community itself intends to grow its own organic food, drink natural spring water, raise chickens for eggs and produce its own honey, etc., build cottage industries, and generate multiple ways to earn income, both through the Retreat Center, restaurant, general store and more.

We also envision an Elder Home, a Hospice facility and a school for kids.

The retreat center will provide a meditative and creative container and gathering place, as well as offer a wide variety of healing modalities inspired by Osho and others. And we will be able to host our international group leaders and gather with our community, both locally and worldwide, for events and annual festivals…something we have missed for so many years.

The surrounding area offers ample opportunity for people to join the community, if they wish to be more private yet close to the retreat center. Real estate and houses are still very affordable in Lake County and multiple options are available. Very close to Avalon another smaller retreat center, Ettawa Springs is currently offered for sale. A combined five-property piece of land totaling 117 acres, five cabins, a campground, and more is very suitable for spacious co-housing. It also has commercial zoning for a resort that allows residential development.

For joining Avalon itself we also envision seasonal meditation retreat shares, memberships, low cost work-study programs etc., to make it as available as possible.

Lake County is a beautiful rural area said to have the cleanest air and water in California and is home to Harbin Hot Spring as well as many friends and spirited people known for healing and innovation. Watsu water therapy, for example, was developed here. The Avalon property itself is permeated with stillness and privacy and is know by locals as healing grounds previously frequented by the Pomo Indians, with naturally occurring mineral waters coming out of the ground throughout.

Available on the property right now is a large-scale Meditation and Healing Retreat Center including natural healing hot springs and spas with 25 guest units with beds for approximately 37 (and approved expansion to more than double this amount).

This area also has a lodge with kitchen and eating area and laundry plus a meditation/group room on the first floor, and offices, rooms, and restrooms on the second.

The current cabins are functional, but need cosmetic work. There are hot and cold tubs from natural springs, with no chemicals, and a treated ambient-temperature pool, shower, and sauna in the existing spa area.

In addition to this the proposed eco-village with 30 homes in various sizes is approved for a private area with stunning views separate from the main retreat and spa. In the existing plans are large veggie gardens/farm and orchards as well as medicinal herb- and flower gardens.

Right now a large greenhouse, garden, chickens, and bees are already in place.

The property of Avalon is presently operating as a healing retreat center and monthly expenses, including five employees are covered through this business model.

We would initially continue this business to cover expenses and then expand to allow our own programs to evolve gradually. We have several experts on marketing groups in the greater Bay Area and doing groups in international Osho centers ready to assist in developing this program. We would add a meditation program right away that would expand with the community and the retreat center and we would also start a work-study program as soon as possible for people to come stay, meditate and partake in the restoration.

The retreat-rental business can continue to operate without building or expansion for a few years, but we must comply with codes for kitchens, fire safety, HC access, and health codes, and we would do some cosmetic work on the lodge as well. We estimate that upgrades to meet codes will cost around $200,000. After that, we can expand up to around 60 new cabins without additional planning permission as we get funding and building approval and we would also expand the spa area, saunas, and hot spring pools.

Links:
About land and approved structures: www.avalonsprings.com
The business plan of previous owners, which does not adequately reflect our goals, but still much info in this PDF file: avalonsprings.com
Photos on trulia.com
facebook.com/AvalonProject

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