NOTE: This actually happened in 2000, but I'm leaving it here because some people might find it interesting.
Over a year ago, a developer approached me (Rick) and offered me a tidy sum of money for my house (where I live, and where the Flying Buffalo offices are located.) In case you aren't aware of it, when I inherited my grandparents house back in 1985, I moved Flying Buffalo into it. It is a very large farmhouse built back in 1950. Anyway there is a 2-acre empty lot next door, and this developer wanted to buy both lots and build 46 condominiums. He offered me enough money to pay off both my mortgages (well, when I say *I* inherited the house, I had to borrow enough money to pay off all the other relatives!) and leave me with enough money to buy another place free and clear, with a little left over for some working capital.
The developer spent the last year working with the neighbors, getting them all to agree to his plans. He changed some things, lowered some heights, reduced his plans by 5 or 6 condos, promised some setbacks, etc. Finally everyone agreed, and the City Council of Scottsdale was asked for a rezoning at the council meeting on Nov 4th. Since my agent in the deal promised me there was a 95% chance it would go through, I started looking seriously for a place to move to.
Actually, looking for a new place was kind of fun, but as it turned out, the amount of money I was going to be able to spend meant that I had to choose between a place that was (a) too run down (b) too far away (c) in too bad a neighborhood or (d) too small. I finally settled on a place in Mesa Arizona that was too small, but was really nice. It was a 2-bedroom house and a guest house, all on a commercial lot. (My second choice was a church in Buckeye Arizona that is 54 miles away from here, but really nice and plenty of extra room).
So I'm planning my move, and promising money to people on November 17th, when the City Council discovers they didn't "advertise" the rezoning properly. ("Oops! Sorry about that!") so they reschedule the meeting for December 7th (an auspicious day). Dec 7th comes along, and some project scheduled ahead of us had 22 people stand up and speak at length for or against, and they run out of time. (They don't start any new subjects after 10pm). So they put us back another month to Jan 4th! No big deal for them, but now I have to put off all the people I promised money to back in November. Jan 4th comes and some (Ah - word rhymes with "rich" and shouldn't be used to refer to ladies) from North Scottsdale comes to the meeting and speaks against the project. She lives 20 miles from here, where the lots are a minimum of an acre, and houses cost over a million dollars. She is a member of a pressure group called COPP, which is against ANY further development. (As one lawyer I know puts it: "They've already raped their little piece of the desert, so they want to make sure no one else can.") Unfortunately, one lady on the city council who we thought was going to vote in our favor, is currently running for mayor, and apparently wants the support of COPP. Now, what business is it of COPP, speaking against an infill project in south Scottsdale, which will build reasonably priced (for Scottsdale) condos on an empty lot that has been vacant for 40 years, where ALL the neighbors who actually live adjacent to it have agreed? (The councilperson is Mary Manross, and I am NOT going to vote for her for mayor!). So - the vote failed, the developer lost all the money he has spent preparing the project, and I'm not moving after all. ((Recent update: Ms Manross won election as mayor, and won re-election in 2004, but in 2008 she lost her bid to be re-elected again. I voted for her opponent, and even donated $25 to his campaign. It was a close election, and very satisfying that she lost. Some voters have a very long memory!))
What difference does this make to you, the Flying Buffalo customer? Well, only peripherally. We haven't been reprinting forms or envelopes for months, on the assumption that we were going to have to print a new address on them anyway as soon as we knew for sure what the new address would be. We are currently out of the MOBIUS and LIZARDS rules because (a) we wanted to include the new address and (b) I was going to use the money from the house sale for the reprinting. We are currently out of the NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION card game, because I was going to use some of the sale money to reprint the cards and boxes. (with all that money I could make a bigger print run, which brings the cost down considerably, and allows us to make more money when we sell them, which we are virtually certain to do.) And I have been distracted for the last 3 months getting ready for the move, finding the new place, putting down deposits, inspecting the premises, etc, etc, instead of pushing the Lost Worlds project to completion (when I got the sale money, I'd be able to make a bigger print run of those too, for the same reason as Nuclear Proliferation).
First thing is to get the Lost Worlds KODT books printed. As we sell those (which shouldn't take long) we'll be able to finance all the other projects. I apologize for all the delays. I've been having to do a lot of rethinking of plans in the past month. But it was actually fun looking at new places, and I think I learned a lot.
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