Dharma Rain Zen Center - Stillpoint
Property Search Update
Our offer for the 14-acre parcel of land on NE Siskiyou
was accepted on February 2. The exciting news that our offer was accepted
triggered the beginning of due diligence activities to thoroughly investigate
whether this property will work for us. The categories of due diligence include:
The due diligence period will last through the end of May,
at which point the Board will meet to review all due diligence findings
and decide whether
we should proceed with buying the property.
The Board would like to thank those who have very generously given substantial
time and energy toward this effort. Both sangha and non-sangha members have
been involved, and many of them have donated their time and expertise. This
has been invaluable in providing much-needed professional skill and expertise,
as well as providing a broad range of perspectives and input.
Sangha members are: Kakumyo Lowe-Charde, Gyokuko Carlson, Kyri Kengan Treiman,
Jerome Genki Madden, Scott Teijin Grim, Mike Gyoshi Kaplan, Jeanna Annen
Moyer, Valerie Kaishin Kelly, Suzanne Michalik, Diana Shin’yu Vitells,
Eric Johnson, Michael Howell, Dylan Sokai Lamar, Chuck Eishin Powers, Linda
Bebernes, Alison Dunfee, Jeff Stookey, Sallie Jiko Tisdale, Mark Sosetsu
Stauffer, Rob Ki’an Holt, and Richard Fumyo Mishaga.
Non-Sangha folks include: Scott Mills, Robert Price, Gabe Genauer, Gant
Enderle, Karen Reyes, Virginia Bruton, Kirk Smith, John Schultz, Kristen
Wright-Smith, David Bell, Dave Castricano, Jim Anshin Lee, Joel Ehlridge,
Jennifer Kuiper, June Wyrick-Flores, Bill Kehrli, Bob Grim, Colin Murphy.
Thanks to everyone who is helping with these important activities! Here’s
a summary of due diligence categories.
An online survey regarding the property purchase was sent to the sangha
in early February, and closed on March 30. We received just over 50 responses.
Three property information meetings were held in March, and a Board representative
took minutes of those meetings. Survey response results and meeting minutes
have been compiled and sent to the Board. Overall, there is moderate
strong excitement about the property; most reservations concern financing
and environmental issues. The Board is taking all sangha input, positive
as well as negative, into consideration.
The Board is carefully and thoroughly reviewing financial logistics, assumptions,
and projections to ensure the continued financial health of Dharma Rain.
There are several aspects to financing this property, including loans,
grants, life estates on the new property, a phased sale of our current
properties, and obtaining estimates for making the new property habitable
(installing utilities, building new structures, etc.). Financial estimates
and projections will continue to be refined throughout the due diligence
process as we gather additional estimates and information.
Zoning and Neighborhood Relations
We had an Early Assistance meeting with the City of Portland on March 20,
the first official stage of interaction with the city regarding the new
property. The meeting went well, and we received quite a bit of information
from several city departments. Kakumyo will continue to investigate zoning
questions with the city, especially regarding the possibility of establishing
residential properties that we could sell or lease to sangha members.
We've had initial conversations with the relevant neighborhoods, and so far
response to our plans for the property has been very positive.
It is extremely costly to conduct thorough geotechnical testing. Previously,
a firm employed by Wal-Mart to assess the site spent a six-figure sum
to perform geotech testing, including borings and test pits. That firm has
been friendly and helpful, and is looking into donating their test results
to us and using that as a tax write-off. What we have received so far
a site that is still at risk for some settling of soil (but not too much
for the foundations that we are planning), and also that it is not a
earthquake hazard. Once we have the complete reports, we can use it to confirm
our structural plans will be informally approved; this should happen
before due diligence is over.
Our offer has been accepted. We have received a formal contract from the
seller, and our real estate legal counsel is in the process of reviewing
it. We've also received news that the front portion of the site will
be sold soon, and have met with the buyer of the front portion to talk about
issues of concern and cooperation. A Prospective Purchaser Agreement
is underway. This protects us from future liability if environmental
concerns related to the current state of the land arise after the purchase.
We received a draft version of the environmental report from a consulting
firm. The review shows that methane is the primary issue and no other
issues have been found, but testing has been incomplete. There are three
- vapor, water and soil contamination. The vapor is very well documented,
and DEQ controls for developing the site will mitigate those risks. There
are no pathways for exposure to water or soil contamination except during
construction, but further testing of soil and water samples is planned.
The aquifer is well protected from the site, and our development will
be designed to help prevent water from passing through the landfill.
For More Information
If you have questions or would like more information about the property
or the due diligence process, please feel free to contact
the Center, or
contact any member of the Board.
For those who have specific concerns, there is a standing Board meeting
agenda item for member concerns. The next Board meeting is Thursday, May
10, from 7-9pm at the Sangha House.
Please contact any Board member if you would like to attend one of those
meetings to express a concern.
Thanks to all who have provided input and feedback on the property search.
Additional updates will be sent as more information becomes available.