Plats, Maps, Surveys

Radiance Archives: Plats, Maps, Surveys of Phase I

Small Radiance Phase I Plat (56K) A scan of a 8 1/2 by 14-inch piece of paper (aka “legal size”), in black and white, of what Radiance lot lines look like.That smudge in upper left corner is from a rusting paperclip.Most of the numbers and measurements on this image are not legible, but here’s at least a rough overview of our neighborhood (65 acres, including greenbelt, common areas, etc.). Bill says that this paper shows most of Phase I, the easternmost portion.

Larger Radiance Phase I Plat (93K) This is the same document, a good overview with some portions that are actually legible. Choose this if your screen is larger than 15 inches or your resolution is higher than 640 x 480 pixels.

Very large Radiance Phase I Plat (777K) Same document–this image has many more of the numbers/measurements legible. This image is very very VERY large. It might be a pretty long download if you are on a slow web connection.

PDFs of the original plats:

Radiance Ph1 Sheet 1 (1.1MB)

Radiance Ph1 Sheet 2 (1.3MB)

Radiance Ph1 Sheet 3 (1.2MB)

Crystal Garden Homes (860k)

Royal Garden Homes (887k)

Questions & Answers About Radiance Phase I

(wherein Jeanine Christensen interviews Bill Christensen)

Why are those lot lines drawn the way they are?

In a word: loans. In the 1980s DevCo (the Development Co-operative that was responsible for turning Christal Ranch into Goldenwood, Goldenwood West, and Radiance) needed to borrow money from a bank to start building Radiance. DevCo envisioned building something similar to what Austin Transcendental Meditators and Sidhas were already familiar with from Maharishi University and the Austin TM center on Nueces Street near the University of Texas–Austin: private housing with common facilities such as school, dining hall, recreational areas, meditation hall, kitchen. DevCo would then own these common facilities, and it would “own” the residential buildings as well, granting “100-year leases” to residents who would then care for it as if it were their own. (Another community-based living arrangement having similar flavor is “co-housing.”) Each family or person would have leased a private living space, smaller than a whole house because certain rooms (like a fully-realized kitchen and dining room) would not have needed to be included. Texas banks were unwilling to lend money to a construction project so unorthodox. These banks, like nearly all banks in the U.S., were mostly familiar with single-family residences on individually owned lots–projects that could be repossessed and re-sold easily if the borrower defaulted on the loan. The bank would be protected from losing money. Lending for construction of a community this and community that, and homes that have no what? Too risky, and not easy to resell. “All right,” DevCo said. “If there is only one way to get approval for a loan, we’ll start with individually owned property and later we’ll switch to a co-operatively-owned model.” DevCo subdivided Radiance into one- and half-acre lots.

Why then is Radiance not held in common, co-operatively? What happened?

The idea was that DevCo was going to “buy back” everyone’s home, making all of Radiance co-operatively-owned. The experiment of an all-meditator village would only have been “enforceable” through a co-operatively-owned strategy as it would have ensured control of who would live in Radiance. This practice would have prevented redlining, which is illegal.”Redlining” is defined as discrimination (based on gender, race, creed, ethnic origin etc.) against a person or group of people by refusing to grant loans, mortgages, or insurance to him or them. DevCo folded in 1989, a kind of unofficial bankruptcy, lacking even the $500 to file for official bankruptcy. Assets from DevCo were transferred to Radiance Property Owners Association, Radiance Water Supply Corporation, Radiance Foundation (responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the Dome). The Maharishi School for the Age of Enlightenment operated in the old TM residential building, which had been moved from the Nueces address to “The Colony” just up the road from where Radiance has been built. The school, which opened in 1981, closed its doors in 2001.

What are those big lots on this plat?

Lot 24 is where the Dome is. Lot 19A is septic field for homes on Lot 19; Lot 19 is the two-bedroom Garden Homes. Lot 23 is the Royal Garden Homes and Lot 23A is the septic field across the street servicing those homes. Lot 22 was subdivided by Lia Austin into 4 two-acre lots and one greenbelt lot that runs up the west side of Lot 1 and behind Lots 1-4. Lot 13 is where our community manager Mary Buchanan lives, just to give another reference point. Lot 20, which seems like the “first” lot there on the left side, is the Pool lot.