|OUR PRESENT AND OUR FUTURE
The operational side of Naturist Legacy Inc. has proven to be a very
complex process. It's not possible to explain that complexity using just
a few words, and so this article will be longer than usual. We concluded
that we'd rather be criticized for the length of our article than for failing
to keep our members fully informed.
Our Structure And Main Purpose
Naturist Legacy is not a club. It is, in fact, a membership-based non-profit
(non-share) corporation. No one "owns" Naturist Legacy Inc. It is governed
by a board of directors (elected by its
membership), who are in turn governed by the corporation's by-laws (approved
by its membership)....
The first and primary duty of Naturist Legacy Inc. according to its
by-laws is to acquire land and then to hold that land in trust for naturist
use — forever. Those by-laws were purposely written in such a way that
once the corporation acquires land, it's almost impossible for it to resell
that land. Under law, Naturist Legacy Inc. is regarded as a legal "person,"
and thus has the legal right to transact business like a natural person.
However, unlike the person who founded what became Crocus
Grove, or the persons who later turned Crocus Grove into a textile
campground, a corporation cannot unexpectedly die, and it cannot inexplicably
change its mind.
So then, barring an utter catastrophe, the land
now owned by Naturist Legacy Inc. will forever be a location where
members can be socially nude anywhere on the property away from public
view. The corporation cannot change its mind and kick the nudists out.
The board of directors cannot change their minds and kick the nudists out.
Whatever is built for nudists on this land will remain available for nudists
on this land. Period. For the very first time in the 42-year history of
organized social nudism in Manitoba, our community has achieved true permanency
through Naturist Legacy!
Naturist Legacy's primary goal is to forever eliminate the risk of
ever losing our nudist location again. While forever is a very grand goal,
we think that our current business model meets that objective as far as
any one method is capable. To achieve this kind of security, we must own
land outright. Having a mortgage would be a liability and pose a threat
to our permanency. Prepaid membership fees allowed us to raise the money
necessary to achieve the goal of land ownership with no liabilities attached.
So long as the corporation pays the property taxes, insurance and required
utilities, this land will always be ours.
Prepaid membership fees will also fund the further development of our
land. In order to meet the principle of having no debts to outside lenders,
any improvements to the land will only be made based on actual cash of
our own in the bank. No money, no development. It's that simple.
Each year, prepaid membership fees will be credited back to the member
until their account is fully depleted. The yearly billings of new and existing
members who are not able or willing to pay forward will fund ongoing operational
expenses. Many members have paid their estimated membership fees up to
five years forward. Some have paid over twenty years forward. The more
that members pay forward, the faster and better we can develop Naturist
Legacy Park. Again, it's that simple!
We all need to be reminded that it took the founders and early members
of Crocus Grove decades to develop the old site. They started by just gathering
in the bush with no water, power, sewer, clubhouse or pool. As money became
available, they built. It was a method that worked, and we will be employing
that same method. Granted, we have found a way to speed things up somewhat
with our pay forwards so that we will have utilities, bathrooms and a pool
in year one. The rest, however, is up to the generosity of the membership,
both in terms of their financial contributions and in terms of their desire
to come out, roll up their sleeves and help build the park from the ground
The RM Of Brokenhead
When the founders of Crocus Grove began their construction and development,
rural land was still essentially the "wild west" in terms of zoning by-laws
and building codes. Mostly they just didn't exist. In those days, people
pretty much built whatever they wanted, wherever they wanted, however they
wanted. Times have changed since then. Dramatically so, in fact. Land and
development is now very heavily regulated. Our challenge is to find ways
to live within those regulations.
Our extensive land search taught us that our single best chance for
rebuilding and being successful was in staying in the RM
of Brokenhead. We are a "known commodity" to them. Discussions held
last summer with officials in a neighbouring RM offered us a clear demonstration
of how difficult it would have been to start over elsewhere. Add to this
the fact that we found a near perfect
piece of land in the RM of Brokenhead in terms of tree cover, soil
drainage, elevation, proximity to a good paved highway, still within an
hour of the city, and close enough to the old camp for members who were
"trapped" there to move over to us or to visit conveniently. Buying this
particular property in this particular RM truly was the right thing to
We have been in communication with the RM of Brokenhead since before
we purchased our property. We continue to communicate with them. They are
aware of what we are planning to accomplish. We have disclosed details
to them both verbally and in a written prospectus. It's important to note
that we are not facing any by-law or zoning issues in the RM of Brokenhead
that we would not have faced in any other RM located within a reasonable
driving distance from Winnipeg.
The initial advice received by us from the RM was that we should begin
our development like the founders of Crocus Grove began theirs — small,
slow and quiet. We have taken that advice to heart and continue to work
at finding ways to "fit" within existing zoning and regulatory frameworks
in such a way that our development can proceed at a reasonable pace, and
at a reasonable price. This requires strategic thinking and diplomatic
consultations — none of which are quick or easy.
Our 80 acres of land is
zoned "A-80 Rural and Agricultural." This zoning may influence how
we develop our land, but it will not be something that halts basic development.
We may eventually apply for Conditional
Use permits for certain things, and at some point we may even pursue
a full re-zoning if it would be in our best interest to do so (the old
camp was rezoned "Seasonal Resort" when it was sold to the current owners).
Rezoning is a long and costly process, however, and so by necessity it
would need to wait until we are better established and in a position to
afford such an expense.
We have taken great care in this article to explain what we expect
our starting over to look like. If you haven't done so already, we invite
you to read the history of Crocus Grove posted on Naturist Legacy's Web
site [no longer available there, but available
here]. We believe that our progress will be swifter than Crocus Grove's
was. Nevertheless, we don't want anyone to be under any illusions concerning
what life will be like at Naturist Legacy Park during our first few years.
Our park will be beautiful, and it will be nudist — of that everyone
can be certain — but it will initially lack many of the comforts and
conveniences that so many of us have taken for granted all these years.
That will be the reality of things for a while.
We are very excited about what the future holds for Naturist Legacy
Park. We hope that you are, too. We own a fantastic piece of land perfectly
suited for our life as nudists. We're confident that we'll make a very
good start in developing that land in 2011!...
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