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  • Writer's pictureColleen Dick

Co-op Wars or Friendly Coopetition?

Updated: Apr 13, 2023

So Funny!!! Back in the Spring of 2022 Utah Business Magazine asked if they could feature an article on "Rainbird Village." It was published July 1, 2022. Seeing it, one of our dear friends, Jesse Fisher, wrote to the editor of the magazine and started the Coopetition. The editor commissioned an article about the OSR development in West Central Utah, "The Riverbed Ranch." Jacqueline Mumford was the author of both articles. While Rainbird Village is decidedly not a "modern commune," Utah Business Magazine can be forgiven the rather logical mistake. What we are doing at Rainbird Village is unique. Almost any words that you might use to describe it, would direct thinking toward something already in existence that falls short or misleads the understanding of what we actually will be doing. See the Rainbird Village Article

The Riverbed Ranch is indeed on the ground and building up and we love what they are doing. I'm not sure if we can catch up or not, but it will be fun trying. See the Riverbed Ranch Article

The similarities are obvious between the two projects. So, what is the difference between them? Riverbed is more of an agricultural and land cooperative and the homes and businesses are mostly under personal ownership, and the members also have voting rights in the cooperative. Rainbird is a municipal corporation and while the members do not own their homes and businesses outright, they do own a fractional percentage of the entire village. Why do we do it this way? It makes it easier for people to leave, if they need or want to, while at the same time, it preserves the integrity and purpose of the village. Our villages will also be master-planned so as to maximize the efficiencies of scale in building sustainable, energy-efficient, systems-oriented homes and other buildings. It will allow for more harmonious appearances among the buildings. There will be flexibility in floorplans and individual preferences, without eye-sores or inappropriate positioning. Fractional ownership of the entire village will allow for an increased integrity of the common areas and facilities, such as the maker spaces: tool libraries, wood shops, metal shops, commercial kitchens, and so forth. Stewardships are assigned according to interests and talents of the residents. Rainbird is not a homesteader community, it is a production-based business in village form. It will indeed be interesting to compare and learn from these two grand experiments as time goes on. Stay tuned!

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