Article “Tea Purveyor Faces New Twists, Mounting Bills” published on 01/05/2017 in the Point Reyes Light about David’s current situation.
Click here to open the PDF containing these Letters of Support.
IMPORTANT PERSONAL REQUEST FROM DAVID LEE HOFFMAN
To my dear and valued customers:
My effort to create a working model of eco-sustainability is now facing demolition (including the pu-erh caves). As many of you already know, the control of my home and property is about to be taken over by a court appointed receiver.
The court hearing is in San Rafael on Friday, October 2, 2015. The judge will determine a course of action to punish me for building forty-two years without a permit. Current fines are in excess of $350,000. 00, the majority which have already been added to my property tax bill. Thus, the future of The Phoenix Collection is very much uncertain.
Please take a moment to kindly sign the petition as soon as possible. If you’re inspired and have the time, please write a letter to Marin County Supervisor Steve Kinsey (and send a copy to me, please). The petition and letters of support will be submitted to the court on October 2, 2015.
If you would like to receive future updates about this issue, please sign up for the mailing list.
Your support is much appreciated!
Thanks as always,
David Lee Hoffman
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.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Point Reyes Light, August 20, 2015
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A.J. Marson has created a short film, a testimony to David’s fine work…
Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang