Mr. David Lee Hoffman Letter to Supervisor Dennis Rodoni, July 12th, 2021

David Lee Hoffman, CDO
Post Office Box 10 Lagunitas,
California, 94938

July 12, 2021 Supervisor Dennis Rodoni
3501 Civic Center Drive
Room 329
San Rafael, CA 94903

Dear Dennis,
This year marks my fiftieth anniversary living here in the San Geronimo Valley. I still wake up every morning in awe of the precious beauty of this place. It’s been a wondrous and magical journey. But it also appears like this is the year that journey could end. Just how that plays out remains to be seen…

Prior to settling in the San Geronimo Valley, I had spent ten years living on the road out of the country. I lived my life carving my way through untraveled paths that took me to every hidden nook and cranny of the world in search of something I wasn’t even sure of. But slowly, bit by bit, mile by mile, year by year, it began to reveal itself to me. It became clear the world was in trouble and needed ways for its people—particularly those not favored by fortune—to live healthily and happily in a sustainable way. At a time when perhaps these concerns were not at the forefront of the world’s attention I became compelled to devote my life to experimentation and the gathering of knowledge to build, with my own hands and with my own resources, systems and processes to provide actual, practical help to deal with these existential challenges.

I choose Lagunitas as the place to put my ideas into practice. The Last Resort is a living model of sustainability. I’ve done it. It exists. And it works. Life attracts life. When I see snakes, frogs, lizards, and butterflies in the garden amongst my healthy and delicious veggies, I know everything is working properly. I have regular visits of Great Blue Herons and Egrets. We even found two new species of frogs this year on the property. As I write this I’m listening to the chatter of Acorn Woodpeckers outside my window. Their nesting population is now expanding (thanks to a Douglas Fir tree I had specially prepared for their new residency and my viewing enjoyment!).

I’ve put in the years and the blood and the heartache to create what I consider to be a gift for the future. It’s my desire to infuse young and inquisitive minds with a sense of hope, enjoyment, and inspiration.

Perhaps most important, I am hoping all my accomplishments can be the strong shoulders for the next generation of thinkers and innovators to stand on. I’m not alone in feeling The Last Resort is a vital seed that should be allowed to survive, to germinate, to grow.

I have devoted my life, labor, and resources not to enrich myself. I live simply and humbly. And now I humble myself out of a deep concern for our planet’s future and pray the fine minds and clear thinkers of the County and Court will find a way to innovate a creative solution to this mess so that we all may benefit.

We know that life on our planet as we once knew it is failing fast: food security, drought, unprecedented record heat waves, wildfires, species extinction. The list continues to grow with dire urgency. If The Last Resort is sold by the Receiver and leveled for a quick profit, only the Receiver, the developers, and a handful of others will benefit.The tragedy of this waste and destruction would be beyond madness.Please do the right thing and help follow the recommendation of your own Architectural Commission who voted unanimously to preserve the property intact as having historical significance.

When we last met, you told me you thought Steve Kinsey made a mistake by pushing for the Receiver to take over my property. If you still feel that way, this would be a good time to right a wrong.

My structures will likely be standing centuries after conventional homes are long gone. But it’s not the outward form of the structures I praise; it’s the silent systems in place that makes the property sustainable. The systems’ success has far exceeded my expectations.

I live in comfort the year round, grow my own food (cooked mostly by the sun), and have a small successful home-crafted cottage industry business that provides a steady, sufficient income to pay for all my basic living expenses (and is set up to do so for decades to come). All this is accomplished on a very small carbon footprint. This is what sustainability looks like.

Clearly I have broken the County’s law by not having the County’s permission to do what I have done. I accept a loss and understand theCounty must prevail, even if only as a deterrent to warn others of the consequences of unpermitted construction.

For years everyone was telling me I need a lawyer to make a deal with the County. I followed that advice and now after nine lawyers and spending more than $500,000 I am in a worse position now than ever before. The judge has now ordered me to vacate next month so the Receiver can proceed with the demolition and sale of the property.

How much money would be a fair and reasonable punishment for all the fines and penalties? I would have thought $60,000 (nearly twice what I paid for the property) would have sufficed. This is the amount Paul Smith, lawyer seven, had worked out with County Council Tom Lyons. But suddenly Lyons got replaced with County Council Brian Case who took that offer off the table.

The County has already received $240,000 of my money to pay for delinquent taxes levied from my construction transgressions. Apparently this amount is insufficient. The County is insisting on an additional $1.2 million dollars! If I don’t pay by next month, I will lose my property that I owned and lived on for 48 years: my home, my garden, my workspace, my livelihood. Will this really happen on your watch? Do you really want to see me being made homeless over this? Would this not be considered “cruel & unusual” punishment?

I lived the Great American Dream; I worked hard, paid my taxes to the government (Federal, State, & County totaling more than $690,000 and counting), and achieved success. But it’s especially disheartening when one is trying to do what’s best for the health of our planet (and personal health as well) by following laws of nature, only to have them conflict with those laws made by politicians.

Dennis, can you and I meet again at this 11th hour to see if there is any possible way to avert the unthinkable? We can talk over tea at my tea shop (I just extended the lease for another year), 7282 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. Of course I’m happy to meet at your office as well. I was going to suggest including Brian Crawford from CDA but saw he has since retired. Maybe Tom Lai?

Sincerely,
David Lee Hoffman, CDO
Interim Curator of The Last Resort
415 488-9017

“In my professional opinion, there is sound evidence that this is a property-an integrated collection of structures and spaces-of potential cultural importance.”
— Mark Hulbert Preservation Architect

“I was amazed and delighted to see a bit of the Himalaya so artfully and lovingly built in West Marin. I urge the Board to approve a resolution giving County Historic Landmark status to the site.”
— Sim van der Ryn former California State Architect

“The Last Resort Lagunitas constructions at 2 Alta Avenue and 230 East Cintura Avenue in Lagunitas represent one of the few existing art environments in northern California.”
— Jo Hernandez, Emeritus Director of SPACES (Historic property archival research organization now part of the Kohler Foundation)

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Sierra Club Letter of Support

Aug. 21, 2019

Supervisor Dennis Rodoni, Marin County Board of Supervisors
Judge Paul Haakenson, Marin County Superior Court

RE: The Last Resort/The Lagunitas Project

Dear Supervisor Rodoni and Judge Haakenson:

The Marin Group Sierra Club, representing 6600 members in Marin County, supports the reinstatement of the Marin County Architectural Commission resolution that all 36 structures on the 2-acre property of David Lee Hoffman in Lagunitas constitute a cultural and historic landmark of local importance.

The work of David Lee Hoffman’s architectural, ecological vision, The Last Resort, stands as a living model of what we can and should be doing in order to live in a truly sustainable way on the earth. As a representation of the “Back to the Land” movement of the 60’s, it is an outstanding example of regenerative design, and in line with directions that communities are calling for in efforts such as Project Drawdown Marin.

In the spirit of “waste is not waste until it’s wasted”, The Last Resort is an environmental model of sustainable and harmonious living. It attempts to assimilate both natural methods from the past with modern know-how to create a living system that effectively demonstrates possibilities of thriving in a non-polluting healthy environment. Its mission is to discover and perfect practical low-cost sustainable methods for waste management, water re-use, and food security. To this end, a unique integrated bio-management system has been successfully developed.

While the land use of The Last Resort property is unconventional, we acknowledge that unconventional approaches will be needed, in order to overcome the global environmental challenges facing humanity.

Under normal circumstances, the Sierra Club would be inclined to challenge property use that involved over-building. In this case, whatever its origins, we now feel that there are vitally important overriding considerations in favor of preservation.

In the case of The Last Resort property, we feel that there are two main overriding considerations in favor of preservation:

1. On The Last Resort property, Mr. Hoffman has demonstrated a nearly closed-loop cycle for waste treatment and food production, on a very small property. This is anextraordinarily powerful and unique working example of sustainability, from which, we believe, many individuals and land-use designers can learn, to the benefit of humanity.

2. Mr. Hoffman has freely treated the property as a community resource, opening the property to tours by international land-use designers, individuals interested in small scale sustainable land-use, and even local school field trips, as well as offering a meeting space. This is precisely how we feel the sustainability aspect of this property should be regarded – as a living, working model that attempts to demonstrate possibilities for small-scale, closed-loop sustainable living – one that shares its efforts and lessons learned with others, while remaining a real-world residence.

We are very grateful for your recent efforts to reach a compromise that preserves this property as a historic landmark. As the process of working with Mr. Hoffman progresses, we also express the imperative to reinstate Marin County’s own Architectural Commission’s ruling that David’s site is historically important. This would allow the use of the California Historic Building Code asa guideline and protections this code offers. Reinstating the Commission’s ruling is ethical and allows for long-awaited progress in complying with reasonable code  upgrades and an ultimate resolution.

We feel that Mr. Hoffman is a visionary who has pioneered solutions to climate change. These solutions lie in the very structures and systems that would be destroyed if the Commission’s unanimous ruling continues to be discounted or ignored. We believe the demolition of thiswork would be a black mark on the face of Marin County, and a significant lost opportunity to protect and preserve this unique site and its historical import, past and  future. We do not want to lose The Last Resort.

We request that Marin County, through their receiver, reinstate their own Commission’s unanimous ruling, which declared that David’s property deserves local historic status. The reinstatement of the County Architectural Commission ruling would be the final step in bringing closure to the issue of preserving as much of The Last Resort site as possible without interfering with the work of the receiver.

We believe that if Mr. Hoffman loses The Last Resort, we all lose — and we believe that the solution is outlined by the steps presented to you by The Lagunitas Project.

We are truly thankful to have you addressing these issues.

Sincerely,
Judy Schriebman, Chair, Marin Group Sierra Club

MARIN COUNTY GROUP
Protecting the Marin environment since 1968, scmaringroup@gmail.com
2530 San Pablo Ave., Suite I, Berkeley, CA 94702 sierraclub.org/san-francisco-bay/marin

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I Stand With The Last Resort

Dear Supervisor Rodoni and Judge Haakenson,

We immensely appreciate your recent efforts to, at long last, reach a compromise that preserves The Last Resort, David Lee Hoffman’s property, as a historic landmark. As the process of working with David progresses, we must express the imperative to reinstate Marin County’s own Architectural Commission’s ruling that David’s site is historically important. This would allow the use of the California Historic Building Code as a guideline and protections this code offers. Reinstating the Commission’s ruling is ethical and allows for long-awaited progress in complying with reasonable code upgrades and an ultimate resolution.

This is a work of art, as well as a vision of sustainable architecture and living. It exemplifies principles of the Green New Deal and the 60’s Back to the Land movement, bridging the decades with thoughtful, truly intelligent ecological design.

We do not want to lose The Last Resort, nor do we want to lose David  as a friend, neighbor, and contributor to our community.

We feel that David is a visionary who, during the past 40 years, has created solutions to climate change issues that we face as a global community. These solutions lie in the very structures and systems that stand to be destroyed if the Commission’s unanimous ruling continues to be discounted or ignored. We believe the demolition of his work would severely endanger the health, safety, beauty and tranquility of Marin County – and the potential for large-scale solutions that David’s innovation provides.

We request that Marin County, through their receiver, reinstate their own Commission’s unanimous ruling, which declared that David’s property deserves local historic status. You, too, recently stated in your January 31, 2017 letter to the appointed receiver, “Furthermore, please consider this an official request from my office to include architectural and cultural value determinations on the Hoffman property in your final recommendations.”  The reinstatement of the County Architectural Commission ruling would be the final step in bringing closure to the issue of preserving as much of David’s site as possible without interfering with the work of the receiver.

We believe that if David loses, we all lose — and we believe the solution is outlined by the steps in this petition.

We are truly thankful to have you addressing these issues.

We support the reinstatement of the Marin County Architectural Commission resolution that all 36 structures on the 2-acre property of David Lee Hoffman in Lagunitas constitute a cultural and historic landmark of local importance.

Sincerely,

Judy S.
San Rafael, CA 94903

Jeanette Freudenberger Letter

Dear Judge Haakenson,

I just have a simple question to consider.  At some point David’s money may run out and then what would happen?  He will be 75 this year and is also suffering from Lyme.  If there is any way to draw this whole situation to an end, for the benefit of his physical and financial health and have some peace in the later years of his life, that would be most helpful.  As I’m sure the County wants to be done with this too.

Sincerely,

Jeanette Freudenberger

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Jxxx Mxxx Cxxx Letter

On Jun 9, 2019, at 6:47 PM, Jxxx Cxxx <jxxxcxxx@XXX> wrote:

Thank you, Dxxxx. Here is a more prolix summary of what I told Dunker Donuts Sxxxx, based on reporting he sent me:

1. Judge has generously and subtly shifted the terms to the less rigorous historical preservation standard away from the more rigorous county standard. Big win.
2. Historical standard does not supersede county environmental and sanitary mandates. This is now about optics, as receiver suggested. You see “pioneering sustainability,” they see “worms” and “pooh.” You will never ever ever change that narrative. And you give openings to NIMBYs if you plant your flag on that worm hill.
3. Continue your compost toilet and water reclamation innovations at another location or video document them for future researchers and showcasing at store. The storefront in town becomes the resource center for information about all that you accomplished at the Last Resort. Docents lead small, highly selective tours of small groups to the Last Resort, once it is fully gussied up for John Q. Public without killing its inimitable appeal. Large groups cause invocation of assembly requirements and a quick descent into the worm hole of regulatory hell, from which few arise.
4. Build a new narrative. As Don Draper [Madmen] said, “If you don’t like what people are saying, change the topic.” Get this off “pooh and worms” and onto “art, architecture, and the glories of tea.”
5. “Sustainability” in normally progressive Marin in this unregulated context raises red flags for politicos. “What, you protected the pooh guy? Why do I have to abide by your dang septic tank ordinance?!” David, brother, you need to drop this part of your work as an olive branch to Caesar. No more composting toilets or water reclamation. Document it professionally before you shut it down.
6. Having done number 5, you have suddenly changed the narrative from “David Hoffman is creating unsanitary water for our kids and denying water to the salmon” to “Hey Big Brother, why you shutting down the life’s work of this master artist, architect, craftsman and guru of tea?”
The tide has turned. Something has shifted. Maybe it was the letter. Not sure. But the judge was also dead serious. Your Lagunitas Project team needs to get the nonprofit terms exactly right to hold off the receiver. The rebranding I discussed above happens in that document and in all public-facing presentations.
If the judge gives you an A-plus in 60 days, and puts you squarely inside the historical framework, you can then cordon off the debt, and begin building the reality of the newly conceived Lagunitas Project. Any backsliding, any hesitation, the judge calls in the cavalry. He made that very clear.
You can do this!
 

Jxxx

Pecked, Poorly Thumbed from iPhone of:
Jxxx Mxxx Cxxx

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Letter from David Lee Hoffman to Jxxx Mxxx Cxx

June 19, 2019

Hello Jxx,

1) I’m hearing the hearing was good news. Even the judge said I should be jumping up and down with joy. Yeah. Sure. Any good news must have resulted from your letter. Thanks to you and Duncan and a half dozen others who worked on it. So a big thanks and a pat on the back to us all. Yet another reprieve, albeit a short one, two months.

2) Maybe I’m a product of the sixties but I thought it was a good thing to deal with ones own shit. This could have many interpretations. Shit is an important link with sustainable living. It’s actually the backbone of all my biological systems – worms, or more specifically worm casts, is what powers them. Worm casts is a polite way of saying worm shit. Even Charles Darwin recognized their importance and wrote his last book on earthworms: The Formation of Vegetable Mould throughthe Action of Worms. “Vegetable mould” is another polite way of saying worm shit. I say…

Support Your Local Underground Movement!

Worms work. This has been my focus of my life for nearly a half a century. Worm casts is nature’s finest fertilizer and brings healthy life back to the soil. My tasty garden food is living proof of it’s magic. Yes I’m proud to “plant my flag atop Pooh Hill”.

Le Grand Pissoir

-a self-contained bio-digestive toilet system

I have built Le Grand Pissoir responsibly to guarantee that what goes on inside, stays inside, until harvest. It is completely self-contained and isolated from the environment beyond its footprint. Even another deluge as we had in ’82 would not cause the systems to spill into the environment. So bring out the lab folks in white coats with their testing vials before screaming environmental health hazard.

The mountains of paperwork that has been generated by the County over The Last Resort is staggering. One does not become more informed by reading their reports, rather you will be misinformed (example: they claim the lake where Titanic II is moored is “sewage water from the toilet” – in fact it is 100% rain water!) If any guest does not feel comfortable feeding our worms through Le Grand Pissoir, they are welcome to use the indoor conventional sanitized white porcelain toilet that is hooked up to a tested, inspected, and approved concrete septic tank (and all documentation is on file with the County).

3) Of course you’re not the first person to suggest I abandon my grey water systems and composting toilets, that Government and County Health would never never never ever condone such systems. Toilet and turds are taboo and best left to others who make protection of our lives their livelihood. Unfortunately septic tanks are archaic, obsolete, and can never be made sustainable. The whole concept is wrong. Annual inspection, pumping, disposal, and regulatory fees are all unnecessary expenses incurred by residents. Waste is not waste until its wasted.

I’ve never suggested others should live their lives like I do. Heaven forbid! But I am shouting out as loud as I can, that the way we’re currently living on earth has brought our planet into a major crisis. We are in the midst of the Sixth Mass Extinction (but unlike the other five, this one is human caused). Shouldn’t our government at least be having a discussion on some alternatives?

No Jim. I’m too old and too tired to start anew at another location. Besides it would set me back 45 years with only just an idea that I once believed in but failed miserably because I couldn’t convince the authorities its worth. When I sold my last business for a million dollars I thought I was on the road to retirement. Because I didn’t have a clever tax person, I ended up paying $450,000 in taxes to the government. Oh well I thought. Now that I’ve paid into the system at least that makes me a good citizen, right? (I resented that most of that money went to our war machine.) Mark Twain said it best, “patriotism is loving your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it!”

Our poop is a resource.

Our water is precious.

Our soil is sacred.

(and no one can scare me into believing otherwise.)

I have no compassion to help those who suffer from acute fecalphobia. My reaction to this is a question. Why do we shit into our drinking water and think its a good thing? It is so difficult and expensive to get it back to drinking water again (and why is flushing with grey water still illegal?)

No. I’m a dreamer. Le Grand Pissoir has far exceeded my original expectations. The results are quite remarkable. The system is easily scalable to service several homes or an entire community. My system could resolve the problems on the Woodacre Flats. It is said our minds are like parachutes; they only work when open. I have no desire to get involved with  local politics over the failing septic tank issue.

Yes TLR is needing to be gussied up. I’m constantly working on that one.

4) When the County issues me an experimental permit for Le Grand Pissoir, we can change the conversation and focus on giving visitors new and creative ideas. May they return home with a little bit more hope for the future and may they plant their own seeds for a better tomorrow.

5) Shut down and document? Isn’t that the same principle they use with documenting species on the verge of extinction?

6) Jim, I certainly don’t have the political experience as you to draw on and I respect your perspective. I’m certainly not savvy with Washington politics and I’m really at a loss in how to proceed. Still, I have my dignity and I know I didn’t do a bad thing here. Isn’t it enough that I’m willing to give up ownership of the property and donate my life’s work to the San Geronimo Valley Community through The Lagunitas Project? Must I really come up with a million dollars as well for the County in order for my gift to be accepted?

I certainly can’t predict the future, nor change the past, but I certainly am not going limp away with my tail between my legs. I have to face my own reality that I’ve probably been scofflaw all my life, and at 75 I’m not to easily rehabilitated. I’m putting my hope with the non-profit The Lagunitas Project.

I’m still in disbelief that someone can simply sign a piece of paper and all of a sudden my home of 46 years is no longer my home. My last two attorneys kept telling me to remove all tea, art, and any valuables off the property; that the Receiver could show up any time with an empty 20 foot van and just start hauling stuff off the property. Really!! And all this just because I didn’t have a building permit? Cruel and unusual punishment? Elder abuse? Or just the way of the world?

Please excuse my rambling. I struggle with difficulty writing letters. The last time I looked there were some 1600 unanswered emails in my inbox. Well now I have one less. Thanks again for your support.

By the way, if you’re still willing to drop into Jared Huffman’s office, we can certainly use some high-powered catalyst to help sanity prevail…

Best,

David Lee Hoffman, CDO

The Last Resort

David Hoffman Letter to Supervisor Dennis Rodoni

The Last Resort
June 3rd, 2019

Dear Supervisor Rodoni,

Thank you again for meeting with me. I greatly appreciated your making time for discussing the situation at the Last Resort and wanting to help us move to a resolution in the best interests of all concerned.

We both know the history of the situation, and agree that mistakes were made. And we both agree that the current situation with the Receiver will not take us to a satisfactory conclusion.

As Supervisor, you are in a position to help move us to a more positive path, and anything you can do to make that happen would be most welcome.

I implore you to write a letter to the Court making concrete suggestions on how the situation can best be resolved. Please use any of the points made below.

My next court date with Judge Haakenson is this Friday, June 7th at 9 a.m, Courtroom F. It would certainly help our situation to have a positive letter from you to show the judge. Many of our supporters are also anxious to hear your position.

While I respect the need for legal representation, after having nine attorneys represent me without success, I am representing myself. Having spent more than $500,000 onlegal fees, the situation is not resolved.

I am proposing a new approach:

  • I admit my responsibility for past violations and will renegotiate all outstanding fines, penalties and taxes to make a reasonable payment plan to the County over aperiod of years.
  •  As you know, a non-profit corporation, The Lagunitas Project, has been established to create a “Regional Environmental Model for Sustainable and Harmonious Living” as a way to continue my vision for a sustainable environment and benefit the Marin community and beyond.
  • The non-profit received seed funding which has allowed the organization to hire professional staff, develop a strategic plan, and create a capital campaign to meet the County’s requirements.
  • With your help in securing the future of The Last Resort, I believe we can create a new path to resolution without the oversight of the Receiver.
  • Once all the legal details are in place, I will sign ownership of the property to The Lagunitas Project and they will work directly with the County.
  • We will also seek to reinstate the property with the historical significance as was voted by the Marin County Architectural Commission.

We hope a commitment to the points above will settle all legal issues and ensure the continued existence of my life’s work!

Sincerely,

David Lee Hoffman, CDO

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More Letters of Support

A letter in support of David Lee Hoffman's 'Last Resort' efforts.

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Lagunitas local John Torrey’s LETTER TO THE EDITOR

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Point Reyes Light, August 27, 2015
Hoffman’s site is historic


Regarding the “Tea Purveyor” article, the piece makes no mention of the legal framework behind historic documentation which is to protect the property from demolition acknowledging the site’s historic status protection from CEQA. A report documenting the property’s potential as County historic landmark was provided to Supervisor Kinsey almost 3 years ago.

I put it together. Kinsey simply sat on it.

The County needs a demolition permit in order to proceed with any destruction of the property. Even if the county waives the need for a demolition permit they are still liable to a CEQA challenge if there is any threat to potential historic structures on the property.

The property in its entirety is, like Watts Tower, a folk art environment and is, according to three historic experts, protected by two criteria of the California Register of Historical Resources. It should be noted that if the property is not listed but nevertheless meets the criteria specified in California Public Resources Code section 5024.1 (defining eligibility for listing in the California Register of Historical Resources), then it is presumed to be “historically significant.”

Nor did the article make any mention of perhaps the most egregious example of local political betrayal. A 1,000 person petition was provided to Kinsey along with the historic report. Speaking for the petitioners, I can state unequivocally that the petition makes clear that San Geronimo Valley residents want a cooperative plan developed to save the property. Kinsey never even acknowledged the petition. Again, he just sat on it. He doesn’t get it. We don’t work for him. He works for us. We’re the boss, not him. Obviously, ignoring petitions sets a very dangerous precedent for the entire county.

Kinsey has said many times to me and others that “he has always wanted to save Hoffman’s property.” Yet like a lot of politicians he has no intention of saving the property at all. He simply says things like that to make himself feel good. It’s a pure giveaway line. David, his attorney Paul Smith and I have worked tirelessly to come up with the basics of a cooperative plan to be developed in conjunction with the County to save the property based on the following:

Removal of tea from the site. Presentation to the County of an independent hydrology report documenting the site’s grey- water, blackwater, and drainage systems. A revision to the financial obligations of the property that will provide for necessary future maintenance of the property and payment of fines while not at the same time creating unsustainable debt. A third party professional agreeable to the County to act as an alternate to the receiver for the property designated by the County. This person would have the ability to evaluate and execute necessary health and safety upgrades on the property. Recognition of the property as an historic resource in accordance with criteria of the California Register of Historical Resources.

Will the County meet with us or will they simply ignore Valley residents and the state’s environmental law? Hopefully the Point Reyes Light will pursue this issue head on in the true spirit of investigative journalism and its Pulitzer Prize reputation.


John Torrey
Lagunitas

Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang’s LETTER TO THE EDITOR

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Point Reyes Light, August 20, 2015
Support Hoffman


Thanks to Samantha Kimmey for her report (Aug. 13, 2015) about David Hoff- man, tea purveyor par excellence, sustainability maven and artist of the first order. We were heartened to read that the county is considering special designations for some of the buildings at Hoffman’s architectural wonder, the Last Resort, in Lagunitas. We support this decision however it is important to recognize that every stitch of the Last Resort is important to the whole. Being there one feels the uplift of being inside a great vision, coherent and, above all, useful. It’s not a far stretch to feel the embodiment of great structures that were both useful and stunning to the psyche. What Hoffman has realized in stone and wood is nothing short of the wonder of Simon Rodia’s Watts Towers in Los Angeles or the standing stones of Stonehenge—beautiful in their own right and functional as an agricultural time piece.

We’ve known Hoffman some 40 years, since his arrival in the San Geronimo Val- ley, and have marveled at his energy for building and designing supreme useful- ness into the very structures crucial to our survival on planet earth. Hoffman has fashioned water systems, food systems, and waste systems that are self-sustaining. In our drought times his exemplary water works, that use grey water for his worms and garden, should be adopted as true alternatives to ameliorate our water crisis.

Everything at Hoffman’s home is beautiful and beautifully useful. The Last Re- sort is a work of art. Our vote is for the county receiver to re-shape the entirety of the Last Resort into a teaching center for the beauty of sustainability—as a precious resource for now and for the future.

We encourage everyone to sign the petition of support at http://thelastresortla- gunitas.org/ and write to Supervisor Steve Kinsey (skinsey@marincounty.org)

A.J. Marson has created a short film, a testimony to David’s fine work…


Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang
Forest Knolls