Review this page only if you are seriously interested and are near to making a final decision about creating a local version of your own or if you want to join one of our four ClimateSafe Village models. If you are browsing or want to get a beginning sense of who we are and what we are doing, we strongly recommend you explore the new ClimateSafe Villages website to more easily introduce you to the many benefits of these unique and now necessary communities.
Please click here to go to our new, far less complex ClimateSafe Village website to start exploring the many positive possibilities.
Both the entry application process and exit process should be available to all potential new ClimateSafe Villages members before they join. This promotes informed consent and a realistic view of all aspects of eco-community life.
The application processes for each of our four ClimateSafe Village models are found on this page in the section that describes each model. In addition, the ClimateSafe Villages Bellingham headquarters application process is found on this page. Our current ClimateSafe Village exit policies and process description are found below.
Last Updated 5.23.23
There will be many different reasons that ClimateSafe Village members leave the community. Some individuals will have unexpected personal situations requiring them to leave the community for long periods or permanently to remedy those situations. The community will ask other individuals to leave because of serious infractions of our internal Social Contract or additional health safety or security rules.
This document provides an overview introduction to how communities will deal with this process. Each independent ecovillage will provide a complete listing of such guidelines as those guidelines are developed.
Remember that the ClimateSafe Village program addresses four different models: 1. urban, 2. rural, 3. hybrid, and 4. virtual. While some policies will be general and apply to all types, many specific policies will differ for each model and each ClimateSafe Village due to location or other factors. This document will present example policies for the general case and each ecovillage type. In the future, each independent ClimateSafe Village will adapt these policies as appropriate.
General Policies for all ClimateSafe Villages
There are many reasons a member might leave a ClimateSafe Village. These can be grouped into three categories by who initiated the move: 1. the individual, 2. the ClimateSafe Village, or 3. an external cause.
For a decision made by an individual, some examples are the individual:
- decided to move to another community;
- disagree with coordinators or other community matters;
- found that the ecovillage culture wasn’t what they really wanted;
- weren’t ready for the increased level of community involvement;
- weren’t prepared for the increased level of personal responsibility for the ClimateSafe Village;
- couldn’t find members with similar interests;
- couldn’t adjust to the change in culture from the outside world;
- couldn’t adapt to the educational focus of the ClimateSafe Villages.
Some additional examples are:
- others in their family decided to move;
- failing personal health beyond the ecovillages ability to help;
- financial problems;
- employment issues
For a decision made by the ClimateSafe Village, some examples are:
- the view of the ecovillage that any of the conditions in the list above were occurring, but the member wouldn’t or couldn’t acknowledge them;
- the member did not understand or wouldn’t take action to understand the provisions of the Social Contract;
- the member did not understand or wouldn’t take action to understand and obey the laws of the surrounding Climate Safer Ecovillage
- The individual committed a serious crime inside the community, and law enforcement had to be notified to apprehend and remove them.
For a decision forced by external factors, some examples are:
- The individual committed a crime and was removed from the ecovillage by law enforcement;
- The individual died or was hospitalized for long-term care;
- A job change forced a move to a different location.
Policies for Urban ClimateSafe Villages
Some examples of a member leaving a ClimateSafe Village that would specifically apply to urban communities are:
- A home eviction of the member forcing relocation. For an urban community, the community would most often not be involved in covering housing costs.
Policies for Rural ClimateSafe Villages
Some examples of a member leaving an ecovillage that would specifically apply to a rural ecovillage are:
- A medical condition arises that requires treatment not convenient in or near the ecovillage.
- An unexpected breakdown of some utility that is vital to the ecovillage. An example would be the contamination of the water supply.
Policies for Hybrid ClimateSafe Villages
A Hybrid ecovillage has the advantage of members living in an urban or suburban area but within commuting distance of a rural eco-community.
Some examples of a member leaving an ecovillage that would specifically apply to a hybrid ClimateSafe Village are:
- The shutdown of ferry service between the two communities, with no plans for reopening. The hybrid ClimateSafe Village might switch to urban status in such a case.
Policies for Virtual Communities
Some examples of a member leaving a ClimateSafe Village that would specifically apply to a virtual eco-community are:
- Loss of internet connectivity
- Change of work commitment that no longer provided time for ecovillage involvement.
- The virtual community might be forced to block or ban that member because of severe, repeated violations of virtual online eco-community rules.
Typical Exit Process methods
The purpose of conducting a formal exit process includes the following:
- Seeking an eco-community benefit from the exiting person's skills, knowledge, and prior experience. If their experience is positive, they may keep ties with the eco-community.
- Determining how the eco-community can support the exiting person's transition out of the eco-community in the most positive ways, fully recognizing their contributions.
- By policy, the eco-community should always try to conduct the separation process on good terms. This may not always be possible. The case above for criminal activity is an example.
- The eco-community should always try to understand the reasons the individual is leaving. A discussion should always be held by a coordinator who can make it clear to the member and who the member can accept as having no intent to blame the member for anything. Using a Personalized Democracy principle, in such a discussion, there are NO adversaries. Both people are joining a process to search for answers, to search for truths from which both parties can learn and benefit.
- Provide as much time as possible before the member exit to have the discussion. Follow-on discussions may also be planned for future times after the member leaves.
- Announce the member's departure to the community in the most positive of ways and arrange the next steps for anyone who will be taking over their responsibilities. Reward the leaving member, if appropriate, to conduct a special effort to transfer knowledge. This might include, for example, summaries of their projects and deadlines.
- Allow time for the departing member to train their replacement or other members who will assume their efforts. If there's not enough time to do this in person, request instructions in writing.
- If the departing member will leave a community-owned home or a privately owned home with no person remaining that has lived in the house, ask them to help prepare a history of problems with the home and leave it in a clean and suitable condition so that other community members could move in soon after they leave
- Document the departure with a letter of resignation or termination.
- In some cases, provide a going away event where community members can thank them for their contributions and wish them the best in whatever happens next in their lives.
Dealing with real estate that you have purchased within the ClimateSafe Village when exiting the ClimateSafe Village
Some individuals will want to start building their own net-zero climate-safe homes once we have purchased the eco-community land and completed an architectural design for the eco-community layout. We will allow this to expedite community construction while we are still fundraising for these communities. Still, these private home builders must acknowledge in their land lease contracts that these homes may never be sold or rented to non-members.
They will also guarantee these privately built homes can not be used as collateral and a sizable asset on any loan outside of existing community members. Additionally, they guarantee they will keep up with all appropriate local and state taxes so that the government cannot seize the home.
It is essential to keep the original and any subsequent community land purchases intact and contiguous over time and not subject to being broken up by leaving members or other outside situations. Only this way will the community maintain its wholeness and integrity and fulfill its purposes. A community-managed nonprofit organization will probably make all land purchases, and the lands will be put into a land trust where it is specified that this land can only be used for the community mission-aligned purposes of sustainability, conservation, and education.
We will soon be developing specific real estate contracts that deal with anyone who has built a home on community-owned land and is leaving the community for one reason or another. These contracts generally state that the community will buy back the house at a fair market value, excluding the land and unique neighborhood values the ecovillage collectively already owns.
The contract will specify that the community will make monthly payments on the home based on a market rate 20 or 30-year mortgage repayment plan.
Any privately built home on ecovillage land will be based on a 99-year lease contract. The land lease contract will include all the restrictions on using and resale of that home. All land lease contracts will contain provisions about maintaining the privately built home to community standards and fair and reasonable procedures for the community to take emergency possession of the home if the member fails to pay local, state, or federal taxes on the property and the house becomes subject to outside or governmental seizure. The land lease contract will contain provisions about paying the monthly community homeowners fees set by each community to cover such things as snow removal and upgrades and repairs to community infrastructure, buildings, and local ecovillage taxes, etc.
Privately built homes will always have to be sold back to the community under the terms of the lease agreement to maintain the contiguous land integrity of the ecovillage. However, privately built homes on eco-community land may be rented out to potential and provisionally approved members who want to live in the community on provisional status or for short-term retreats for permanent eco-community members from other areas.
We anticipate a steady demand for retreats or provisional member housing so that community members may temporarily leave their privately built homes and still have an income source.
These 99-year leases will allow you to pass the homes to your heirs. Still, these homes can only be occupied by accepted or provisional eco-community members.
If the individual has privately purchased some other large piece of community equipment ( a snowplow, community transport tractor, etc.) valued over $3,000, which has contributed to the community use, and now seeks some form of compensation for it, on their exit, the community will repurchase this equipment at fair market value for its current used condition and make monthly payments which are deemed affordable to the eco-community for this unexpected repurchase.
Timeshare Private Built Homes
There is a possibility when we start various fundraising programs that, we might allow members to build private homes and do that with others as timeshares. In these timeshare homes, the funders could spend specific times of the year with us or rent their space to other members only. If we allow this, we will create a contract similar to our 99-year land lease contract. All timeshare homes will also be responsible for paying a monthly ecovillage membership expenses fee as described elsewhere.
Timeshare Private Homes Exit Policy
In addition to the private owners disposing of timeshare property through their channels exclusively to another member of our eco-community, there are three options to exit the timeshare or curtail monthly timeshare obligations:
1. Gift Deed Over your property to the ClimateSafe Village
2. Rent your property in the ecovillage’s retreat and provisional member housing program.
Gift Deed Over your property to the ClimateSafe Village
The Property Coordinating Group of the ecovillage must first accept the gift of this property.
a. The owner must be current on all assessments, fees, fines, taxes, or any other charges associated with the account of the property to be gifted.
b. The owner pays all title transfer fees unless the ecovillage is willing to pay this.
Rent your home property to the ClimateSafe Village for their retreat or provisional member rental program
The Property Coordinating Group of the ClimateSafe Village must first accept responsibility for the rental of this property, and both parties sign a contract that spells out all the terms and conditions.
1. Owner properties for rent will be promoted on the ClimateSafe Village’s members-only website.
2. The ClimateSafe Village will provide administrative assistance in the rental process.
3. The Owner, in collaboration with the ClimateSafe Village, will set the rental price and the minimum days of a rental, if renting for less than a full week is offered as an option. The ClimateSafe Village will have the final determination of a fair market retail prices that includes both the home value and the value of the community lands and services. The ClimateSafe Village and the owner will come to a mutually agreed split of the rental fees where the ClimateSafe Village's percentage will also never be lower than 30 percent, which would cover the minimum for administering the rental.
4. The owner must be current on all assessments, fees, fines, taxes, or any other charges on the property to be rented.
All other rental terms will be in the owner's ecovillage rental contract.
Additional exit information relevant to living within the reality of the external society: criminal acts
While the ClimateSafe Village program attempts to adopt practices that eliminate the problems of the outside world, unless the program grows to the scale of a nation, it will always be subject to the laws of the surrounding society. While the ClimateSafe Village will do as much as possible to counter adverse conditions outside of the ecovillage, complete protection is impossible. So an actual condition of the ClimateSafe Village Social Contract is that all members must comply with external law.
A standard of practice that generally occurs is that the ClimateSafe Village will be asked to allow external law enforcement free access to patrol the ClimateSafe Village. So the condition that members must comply with external law implies that members support this practice and use ClimateSafe Village methods to make it a positive practice.
The issue of crime
The condition of external law also implies ClimateSafe Village’s response to another factor: crime. A basic tenet of the Social Contract is the adoption of Personalized Democracy. Because of its structure, almost all conditions that lead to “crime” in current society will no longer be present. This means the ClimateSafe Village itself is not expected to require or have a significant “police” component. However, if an ecovillage member does something seriously harmful, it will probably also constitute a crime by the standards of the surrounding eco-community. In such a case, an appointed ClimateSafe Village coordinator would be expected to notify the appropriate external law enforcement for action.
The issue of breeches of the Social Contract
Concerning breeches of the Social Contract that do not break external law, Personalized Democracy directly addresses this in its structure. That is, PD eliminates ALL practices of “negative” reinforcement to address social behaviors. For example, the concept of “jails” and “prisons” no longer exists. (This, by the way, is a practice well-known to modern society in Scandinavian countries.)
Instead, the basis for addressing social behavior is through “positive” reinforcement. Principle 4 of Personalized Democracy states: “Rewards in proportion to social contribution.” Through its collective productivity and surpluses, the ClimateSafe Village will always seek to provide a “livable” level of “basic life support.” Most members will enjoy a lifestyle well above that level. Their contribution to the ecovillage society will determine that level. If a member breaches the Social Contract, support for that higher level would be reduced, and social privileges would be withdrawn.
Other Pages in the ClimateSafe Village Guide
Procedures and Policies for Exiting Our ClimateSafe Villages or Applying for Membership
The ClimateSafe Villages Issues FAQ of frequently asked questions for only issues directly relating to ClimateSafe Villages issues
The ClimateSafe Villages Climate FAQ of frequently asked questions for every question you have about climate change
Click here for our ClimateSafe Village online guide master table of contents