Monastery expansion proposal

Forum to discuss and coordinate the expansion of the CDS and the redevelopment of existing territories.

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Rose Springvale
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Re: Monastery expansion proposal

Post by Rose Springvale »

Arria, the very fact that you have made all the decisions about this project makes it a private project. Yes there are public buildings on other sims. But the sims were not created for the buildigns, they were created for the sims! What if we want to have a ski lodge? shouldn't someone other than you and your friends get input on the use of CDS Land?

You were as angry as i was when the last sim was "decided" for us. All i am asking is that if this is NOT a personal project, stop making it personal.

I did not mean to imply the monastery supporters did not buy in LA. It was my understanding that your 6 people were new people. If they are in fact current residents, then we will have even more land glutting the market and hurting ALL our value in CDS land. It was my understanding that there is only one or two "New" people in LA .. that all the other land has been purchased by current residents. if in fact these are people who will relocate, then i am even more adamant in my opposition. Look at the maps... our roman sims are not doing well. I know of three more people who would like to sell land, but just can't justify it with so much for sale already.

I honestly do not see public use of the monestary. I think it is considered your project,and always has been. I don't have any problem with that, when it is paying it's own way. But if it is to be public, then the public should have a chance to discuss it. How will the use differ from the kirche or the amphitheater? What makes it more NGO than my office building or the Outsider Art building or the school? All those are used for public exhibitions and classes or events, but no one suggests taht they should be on public land.

I am one hundred percent in favor of your project, just not as a CDS project. Because in fact, you've already outlined exactly who has done the planning, will do the terraforming, selling etc. Am i the only one who sees the issue here?

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Arria Perreault
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Re: Monastery expansion proposal

Post by Arria Perreault »

It was my understanding that your 6 people were new people.

This is my hope: this a chance to attract new people, artists, people working in the domain of virtual museum or virtual library, ..., who are interested to collaborate with the Monastery. This is the reason why I propose to buy the new plots. This project may not be a competitor of LA. Potential clients are different and we have time.

I honestly do not see public use of the monestary.

It's already the case. This is a place for meetings: the RA came twice and you have even organized a presentation of candidates for an election. Many people come there to rest, walk, visit (like the Schloss). This is also open for anyone for projects (like the Amphitheater). The Monastery has no residents. Anyone can come in at any time.

I think it is considered your project,and always has been.

In fact, I just try to give energy to the Monastery and to the project, but anyone can come and propose. We can discuss all the project. I have never considered the Monastery as mine. It is not mine, it will never be mine. We were five builders. We have got donations and help. We have welcome designers, artists who has used it.

For me, it is important to set the building on a public land. I have thought to this since a long time: this is the only way to protect it from destruction. What will happen to it, if all the involved people leave CDS and SL for some reasons? These things happen ...
I don't intend to "make a sim for the Monastery". I have just tried to connect two things: Monastery and GMP which proposes landscape void sims. It is a wise use of void sims. The Monastery is really in-theme ...
As I am hardly online these times and never in-world, I will give more details and arguments later. I read with pleasure all remarks, inputs, per IM or in this forum.

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Re: Monastery expansion proposal

Post by Cindy Ecksol »

Arria Perreault wrote:

In this project, it is not question to give land to rent for free to any NGO (or person ...). The Monastery will be a public infrastructure on this new sim. The presence of residents in others make possible to have infrastructures and nice building like the Schloss and the church in NFS and the theater in CN.

Here's the problem, Arria: the way you would like to have this project run, it is neither fish nor fowl, neither private nor public. On the one hand, you would like to design and control the building of the entire project. On the other hand, you have dumped on the Guild (in your previous posting in this forum) the responsibility for fulfilling the conditions of Phase I. On the one hand, you want the community to finance the project and treat it like any other sim, but on the other hand you are expecting the RA (in the name of the community) to set aside the usual process of budgeting and review vis a vis how this new sim fits into our current fiscal situation so that you can go ahead and build.

Regarding the Guild, Moon has stated pretty clearly that the Guild does not really have time or energy to work on a new sim right now. That's a manpower issue mostly. But there IS a way to solve it. YOU are a member of the Guild, so you could ask the Guild to accept the project with the understanding that YOU (not Moon) will be responsible for developing and presenting to RA ALL of the plans (after approval from the full Guild of course). Note that this will require a balancing act: the Guild will have to be willing to delegate this responsibility, and you will have to be willing to take it and to create a cooperative environment both within the Guild and between Guild and RA that will allow the project to happen.

Regarding the RA, you are going to have to fish or cut bait. If you wish to have this project developed under NL 8-2, then this becomes a CDS project with the Guild taking the lead, not a Virtus project. That means that every exception from the rules (Monastery not paying tier, for example) will have to be negotiated and approved. It also means that no one can be excluded from assisting with the build: as with LA, if there are Guild members who would like to volunteer for certain pieces, openings should be made for that. On the other hand, if you are willing to develop the project under NL 8-4, while the end result is the same (CDS acts as estate owner for the sim, manages resale of plots, etc.) you have much more control over the building process. You will still have to submit a plan, but to the Chancellor, not the Guild. You will still be responsible for satisfying the Chancellor and RA that the plan is sound financially and fits into the community's fiscal picture appropriately. But Virtus will take the lead on actual development with no involvement from anyone else (including the Guild) unless you invite such involvement.

As things stand now, this is an NL 8-2 project with "Phase I" approved by the RA. That essentially dumps the ball into the Guild's lap, asking them to do a whole lot of work that they have already stated they do not have time for right now. It is possible that the Guild may be willing to allow you to take "project management" responsibility for creating all of the details and running them through the RA as required under this Act. If you are ok with that (and with the involvement of other Guild members who want to participate in the build) then the project could move forward. BUT I hope you take time before the meeting to have a long talk with Moon about this approach. She leads the Guild and must be willing to cede some authority to you for this purpose. If she is not willing to do that (primarily because it may set a precedent that she is not comfortable with or place her in a position where she may have to spend more time than she has available right now to provide oversight...or perhaps for other reasons that I can't think of) OR if you are not willing to do most of the Guild's work for this project, then you will have to wait for the Guild to have time to take up the matter. There are other Guild projects on the table that have been set aside for months in favor of the GMP and then the building of LA. Those projects deserve time too, so if you cannot work out a way to add the additional resources necessary for this new Guild project that the RA has created to move forward, then it will simply have to wait for its turn on the agenda.

Your other option right now would be to go back the the RA and request that they re-approve the project as an NL 8-4 project. There would have to be some exceptions made, but because Virtus and not CDS would be taking on the primary "development risk" you would have a much freer hand to apply any resources at your disposal in a time frame that pleases you. This is how everyone seemed to think that the project had been proposed, and as late as Jamie's October 12 posting in this thread, I have not heard that disputed. As Jamie has pointed out, there still may need to be some discussion about particular points that could be waived (primarily the up-front payment of 4 months of tier and a negotiation over the question of what will be "public (no tier) space" vs. "private (tiered) space" in the finished sim and at what rates), but if you are willing to provide the funds for the sim purchase up front, I don't see any serious roadblocks here.

In either case, the end result will be the same: an open-space sim that is part of CDS with four "private" plots and a public Monastery build. The big question is how we get from your plan to the finished project. Who will be involved/responsible, and how long it will take are the primary variables.

Cindy

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Re: Monastery expansion proposal

Post by Rose Springvale »

Arria Perreault wrote:

In either case, the end result will be the same: an open-space sim that is part of CDS with four "private" plots and a public Monastery build.

I still take issue with this assumption. I do not think the Monastery should be a public build.

Moon can speak for the Guild, but it has never been run the way described here. Perhaps there needs to be a hybrid Bill to deal with NGO sims. Maybe that is where the focus should be, rather than trying to convince us that even though it walks like duck and quacks like a duck (private development) it is really not a duck.

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Re: Monastery expansion proposal

Post by Arria Perreault »

Cindy Ecksol wrote:

On the one hand, you would like to design and control the building of the entire project.

I don't want to design and control the entire project. There is still a lot of open question. I have prepared with Ulysse a proposal for the relief of this sim, with the mesure of the AM sim and of a potential one behind. There are still many options to discuss: the exact position of the Monastery (at the same level than today or more in the middle. The plots can be in a small village or separated. I don't intend to solve this question alone. That's why the normal process with the Guild seems to me the best one.

Cindy Ecksol wrote:

Regarding the Guild, Moon has stated pretty clearly that the Guild does not really have time or energy to work on a new sim right now. That's a manpower issue mostly. But there IS a way to solve it. YOU are a member of the Guild, so you could ask the Guild to accept the project with the understanding that YOU (not Moon) will be responsible for developing and presenting to RA ALL of the plans (after approval from the full Guild of course).

I completely agree. I am member of the Guild and also Chair of the Faculty. In the last two projects of sims, I know that Moon and Sudane have worked a lot. But they have already a big experience. Building new is also an opportunity to share these knowledge with other people. I really would like to see how we terraform an new sim. I would like to participate actively to every part of the process. I am ready to do a lot of work, but I appreciate also to work with others. The building of the Monastery was a team work and many parts of it (maybe the most impressive) were buy other builders than I (see the list in the Monastery). I think than our community need that other people are able to build new sims, in order to share the work. So I am ready to engage me, to do a lot of work, but also to do it with all the interested people.

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Re: Monastery expansion proposal

Post by Patroklus Murakami »

I've carefully read the contributions in this thread, the relevant laws and the transcript of the RA meeting twice now because I wanted to be sure of the facts and the opinions presented before posting. It's really clear that everyone involved in the discussion is honestly making constructive comments with the best interests of the CDS community at heart. With this much goodwill and calm, reasoned argument I'm sure we can find a way through the disagreements to a solution that benefits the CDS as a whole.

First of all, the RA has made a clear choice. They have voted to use NL 8-2 "In-Theme" Expansion Act to start the process of expansion to a 5th sim, our first void sim. This is really good news, our first void sim! We have talked about these for over two years (since they first appeared in SL in fact). I recall CDS 'oldbies' such as Diderot Mirabeau and FlyingRoc Chung discussing how they could be made to be self-financing way back when :) We have included them in our draft plans for expansion and now we are on the verge of getting one. That will be a(nother) landmark for the CDS; I really hope we can make it happen.

The RAs decision is not final by any means. When we designed the Act we put in several stages so that expansion could take place quickly under this law but with oversight from the Executive and Legislative Branches. No sim will be purchased until the RA have received further details, particularly regarding finance, which enable a decision to be taken. From what I have read, the RA seemed to be keen to make progress with this proposal under existing legislation. They have set the ball rolling but, critically, have not given carte blanche for this expansion to take place without further approval. The key thing is that the RA have not stalled progress by avoiding taking a decision. That in itself is a really positive development in the CDS :)

The focus for action now moves from the RA to the New Guild but there is, perhaps, a little more work for the RA to do. Under the terms of the Act "The RA would commission the New Guild to produce a rough plan for the new sim(s) following broad guidelines laid down by the RA for (i) the rough number of plots (ii) the range of sizes of plots (iii) price and affordability (iv) single/double prim (v) rough balance between public, private and commercial land (vi) any specific public builds e.g. the ampitheatre (vii) any other infrastructure that can serve the interest of the community and territory." The answers to these questions are, as I currently understand it:

(i) there are to be seven plots; six of them for private citizens and one public plot which will house the Monastery
(ii) the range of size of plots has yet to be determined but my interpretation of the RAs will is that they are happy to entertain proposals from the Guild on this one
(iii) the RA has not provided any guidance (yet) on price and affordability
(iv) the RA has not provided any guidance on single/double prim or other multipliers to use
(v) it's not totally clear, but the balance seems to be that there will be one public lot and six private ones, no commercial land
(vi) the specific build is the relocated (and presumably remodelled?) Monastery
(vii) no other infrastructure specified

It would probably be helpful for Virtus to bring forward a plan which addresses these points as a 'straw man' for the RA and New Guild to consider. This would help to flush out some of the other issues raised by those who have been critical of the RAs decision and the way in which this proposal has come forward (though I note that no one is accusing anyone of bad faith, it looks more like there have been different expectations about the way to do things that have led to confusion).

One of the issues, rightly identified by Rose, is whether the Monastery should be a public build or not. I'd like to hear more about why it shouldn't be. I recall that there was an objection a while back about holding RA meetings at the Monastery as this could be seen as a mixing of religion and the state which many would object to. Is this one of the reasons? If so, I would be interested to hear more. I had always viewed the Monastery in the tradition of being a repository of knowledge and culture. Clearly there is a religious background to the growth of Monasteries but these have never been put at the foreground of the Monastery project as I understand it. It would be different thing if it were to be a Jesuit Monastery run by a religious organisation for example.

There is a precedent for having a public build run by an NGO as pointed out in the RA meeting. The MoCA Act established a public build - the Museum of Contemporary Art in Neufrestadt - the maintenance and operation of which is outsourced to a private group - the MoCA NGO. Would a potential solution to the problem presented here be to have a similar arrangement whereby the CDS government outsources the maintenance and operation of the Monastery to a private group with the option to switch groups if they don't perform? I am very confident that, due to the energy and enthusiasm of Arria and other Virtus supporters, Virtus would be picked to perform this task but the option to award it to others would surely reassure those who might be worried that this is not truly a 'public' build.

I'm sure there's more to say but I've gone on at length already. I think there's a really positive opportunity for us here and we should capitalise on the energy and enthusiasm for the project. I have had very little time to be in the CDS recently but I'm excited about it and thinking about what a revitalised and expanded Monastery could do to provide a home for culture, philosophy and the love of knowledge in the CDS. That sounds to me like a really good next move for the CDS.

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Timo Gufler
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Re: Monastery expansion proposal

Post by Timo Gufler »

The Monstary plans sound exciting. But there is an issue that have not been discussed much yet. What shall happen to the old monestary? If it moves to the new sim shall AM be left without a special building all the other sims have?

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Re: Monastery expansion proposal

Post by symokurka »

What shall happen to the old monestary? If it moves to the new sim shall AM be left without a special building all the other sims have?

Humm i would rather prefer a ski resort area. When you'll see AM covered with snow you'll understand why.... :D

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Re: Monastery expansion proposal

Post by Moon Adamant »

Hello all,

Just for clarification on the position of the New Guild on this issue.

As you may read in our Charter, the NG is not dedicated to the discussion of political issues, those being such as 'shall this sim be public or privately developed?', etc. The NG waits for a decision from the appropriate body - the RA - on these political issues and understands that decision as a specification.

Otoh, you can also read in our charter that the NG's mission is to provide expertise and technical advice in all matters concerning territory - and, reinforced by the PD Act - even in cases where the sim is privately developed.

So in conclusion, the NG is ready to accept a political decision by the RA on this matter. A decision was already voted of sim #5 being a public sim. This means that the Board of the Guild takes predominance, organizing the project through its usual way of workgroups. If the decision would have been to use the PD Act, then it would have been the BAC's task to monitorize the joining of the privately developed sim to the CDS territory.

Hope this clears some doubts. The NG will continue to observe the development of the discussion.

Moon

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Re: Monastery expansion proposal

Post by Rose Springvale »

I hope the NG will look at this plan in connection with the GMP and make a recommendation on at least the location. The monastery was to have moved to the sim directly adjacent to it. Now, because of the "view" issue, which we will have anytime we have two sims at right angles to one another, the monastery proposes to take the sim next to AM and LA. It is no secret that many have wanted a ski area for some time, with a lodge for events and even retail. This particular sim would be well located for that.

Incidentally, the "view" issue won't be solved.. just moved up the mountain. We will see the underpinnings of NFS from the new sim, exactly as we see AM from LA now.

My understanding, to answer your question Timo, is that the current Monastery parcel, being private land, will be sold privately. So what happens to that parcel will depend on what the new owner wants to do.

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Arria Perreault
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Re: Monastery expansion proposal

Post by Arria Perreault »

East or west of AM is the same for me (even I hardly see the end of a ski slope near a roman town ... ). In the GMP, it is originally in the other side. I have seen that this gap is a problem now, mainly to sell the plots in LA which are near the border. The view is very strange (we see under AM). This problem will less affect the new sim, as the upper part will be mainly nature and forest. No resident will be affected by seing under NFS.
I don't know when the next void sim will come and I have just proposed that we use this opportunity to solve this problem. This point can be still discussed in my point of view. The plan of the sim can be reversed without problem (as it was previous thought for the other side). It is just a question of coordination of the expansion.

Why not have a ski area in AM? The Monastery plot could be used for the lodge. Anyway I confirm that the future content of this plot will depend on the future owner: a mansion house, a romantic mill, a ski lodge, ...

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Re: Monastery expansion proposal

Post by symokurka »

In the GMP, it is originally in the other side. I have seen that this gap is a problem now, mainly to sell the plots in LA which are near the border. The view is very strange (we see under AM).

Arria, Rose, Moon, if I'm not wrong:
- GMP is just a guideline (has never become an "official" RA paper)
- GMP is just a "reasonable" guideline for territorial development
- GMP indicates void sims with Alpine theme both east and west of AM, and never indicated which one has to be developed before
- It is reasonably true that the "look and feel" of a square cluster (filling up the hole between AM and LA) would be much better (or less worse) than the other way.

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Jamie Palisades
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Monastery expansion proposal (background)

Post by Jamie Palisades »

Personally, I like this project and would like to see us do it somehow. Even if the RA's approval was rushed and sloppy, the underlying plan still has merit, and may work fine. In this note I am reviewing the legal basis and procedure for the proposed sim acquisition. I just want to make sure we have the rules clear.

Early in the discussion of this proposal, it wasn't clear what form of development was planned. Arria Perrault's early descriptions suggested that the new or proposed group "Virtus" would take the economic risk of the sim. For that reason, I assumed that it would proceed under NL 8-4 [http://portal.slcds.info/index.php?id=217], the "Private Development Act." Now, if that were true, then:
-- Virtus would buy the sim.
-- Virtus would design & map it, with CDS having a right to review and approve its theme compatibility and rent feasibility.
-- The sim is purchased and building can begin immediately
-- CDS would have no immediate risk of unrented space, because CDS would only take delivery and ownershuipo of the sim when it was fully rented.

Some of the details of the plan became more clear when the RA last met. In the last few moments of their meeting, they decided to place this proposal under NL 8-2 [http://portal.slcds.info/index.php?id=214], the "In-Theme Expansion Act". Under those rules:
-- Virtus will work with the Guild on a more detailed sim design & map, and then the Executive and the RA have a right to review and approve its theme compatibility and rent feasibility.
-- The sim is not purchased until final approval, and is purchased by CDS.
-- CDS normally would carry the entire risk of unrented space, just like it does with (for example) Locus Amoenus.

Arria proposed some changes to that procedure, as described in these forums and at the last RA meeting:
-- Virtus wants to move the Monastery from Alpine Meadows to the new void, and keep it rent-free on that land.
-- If I understand it correctly, Virtus will reimburse CDS for the purchase price of the void, and plans to reover that expense from initial sales of the six parcels. So Virtus (not CDS) takes the risks of the *initial purchase*.
-- Virtus will agree to rent all rentable space on the new void, and pay monthly tier until it's rented out. So Virtus is sharing some of the early risk of rental vacancies as well.

It seems to me that the basics of Arria's plan are reasonable, even though they don't fit under NL 8-2. They are different in some ways from, but no more risky to CDS than, the other ways we could grow. So I think we should treat this as if the RA approved an amended form of the NL 8-2 procedure that gives tentative approval to those three changes.

Virtus and Arria obviously are trying to share the risk, and make this more feasible for us. Let's try to make it work. Please see my next note on open issues. Regards JP

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Monastery expansion proposal (next steps)

Post by Jamie Palisades »

Here are my concerns for the completion of the approval of this project.

1. Missing data. Patroklus pointed out correctly [ http://forums.slcds.info/viewtopic.php? ... =15#p12177 ] that the RA' misapplied NL 8-2. Under that law, the RA's initial approval should give nonbinding guidance to the Guild regarding "(i) the rough number of plots (ii) the range of sizes of plots (iii) price and affordability (iv) single/double prim (v) rough balance between public, private and commercial land (vi) any specific public builds e.g. the ampitheatre (vii) any other infrastructure that can serve the interest of the community and territory." We got (i) and (vi). Note: This is NOT data the Guild can create. The Guild explicitly do not make policy decisions. That data should have been BROUGHT TO the RA as feasibility data under NL 8-2 before the RA acted. I don't understand why the RA ignored this, but we still can proceed if the data is supplied.

2. Independent Review. Arria, who has been kind enough to work to bring us this project, is an RA member and Guild member as well as the proposer. Respectfully, it would not be good policy for Arria to do the analytic review of her own project on behalf of the Guild, and then approve her own project as the RA. When we have the data we need, I will ask that the Guild give this project its independent evaluation, before passing it to the executive for review.

3. Chartered NGO. As Arria suggested, Virtus should identify itself and have a charter approved by CDS as an official NGO, before we act on the proposal. If the Monastery is on public land, I expect that any caretakers will have some obligations regarding public accessibility and accommonation of CDS events. I am confident that's not going to be a problem.

4. Free land for NGOs. Several citizens have written in the Forums -- and several have mentioned to me -- their disagreement with the plan to convert the Monastery from an unchartered NGO that pays for its land, to a chartered NGO that does not. Frankly I am not sure about that. The Guild and MoCA are the only other two NGOs who use CDS space, and currently they pay rent. (A small amount, permanently ongoing.) Virtus proposes instead to take a limited-duration financial risk for CDS, instead. (A large amount, for a shorter period of time.) Is that a fair trade-off? It does not seem unreasonable to me, though I will know better when I see a spreadsheet. (I do not believe the plan is to give the Monastery NGO a whole sim to play with ... but rather, CDS would give it space on a sim along with other tenants and the usual public access?) Are we going to hear from the other NGOs about this?

5. CDS Expansion. I do not believe CDS will add any additional new traditional sims (as described here: [http://forums.slcds.info//viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2067]) for some months. Our vacancy rate is too high; the SL land economy has worsened considerably in two months, and seems risky to me right now. It's a bad time for CDS to start experiments with hard-to-predict results -- which describes a traditional unrented sim. That is why I think that different approaches, like this plan and some others we may explore, are the better course for us.


The next steps that must occur under NL 8-2 are: (a) delivery of additional detail on the map, parcel price, rental schedule and design. (b) Guild review, (c) Chancellor review & recommendation and (d) RA review and final decision.

Regards JP

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Re: Monastery expansion proposal

Post by Patroklus Murakami »

Jamie

I don't think it's entirely fair to describe the RAs actions as 'rushed and sloppy'. From my reading of the transcript of the meeting, the RA made a clear choice in favour of using our 'In-Theme' Expansion Act to get the ball rolling and ensure that the Monastery proposal was not held up while we debated which law it ought to be enacted under, dotted all the 'i's and crossed all the 't's. That is fantastic progress in the CDS; in the past we would have held such debates for ages and spun our wheels squandering enthusiasm and goodwill in the process. The traditional complaint has been that the RA acts too slowly and that the CDS takes ages to make decisions! Surely it's a good thing that we are now discussing how to make this expansion happen and the issues we have yet to resolve?

I also want to make clear that I did not say the RA 'misapplied' the Act. I chose my language very carefully in my original post to avoid the use of provocative and perjorative terms. I said that, perhaps, there was a little more work for the RA to do :) There is a difference! But I agree that there is work to be done to flesh out the broad guidelines to the New Guild so that all of the policy decisions regarding the new sim - (i) the rough number of plots (ii) the range of sizes of plots (iii) price and affordability (iv) single/double prim (v) rough balance between public, private and commercial land (vi) any specific public builds e.g. the ampitheatre (vii) any other infrastructure that can serve the interest of the community and territory - have been made by the RA. My understanding of the mood of the RA at that meeting is that they were happy for Arria/Virtus to work up a proposal which would answer all of these points and bring it back to the RA for their approval at a future point in time. It would be great if we could get that today, or at least clarity on these issues, so that there is no hold up.

I agree with you on independent evaluation. We need to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest for "this plan and some others we may explore" (whatever those may be :) ).

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