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OS:Utah Safe Haven Village Project

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Page first featured July 28, 2009

The "Dragon Shed" is the signature structure thus far, shown in this photo taken November 2011. It's made of rammed earth in rice bags as well as cob in the top half, with a living tree protruding from the center of the roof.
The "Dragon Shed" is the signature structure thus far, shown in this photo taken November 2011. It's made of rammed earth in rice bags as well as cob in the top half, with a living tree protruding from the center of the roof.
We're about 2/3 done with the "Kitchen Shed" rammed earth structure, shown in this photo taken November 2011.
We're about 2/3 done with the "Kitchen Shed" rammed earth structure, shown in this photo taken November 2011.
Through the summer/fall of 2011, there were around 6-7 people hanging out at the project in a communal setting in tents and trailers, as shown in this dusk photo, November, 2011.
Through the summer/fall of 2011, there were around 6-7 people hanging out at the project in a communal setting in tents and trailers, as shown in this dusk photo, November, 2011.
Dragon Shed at night.
Dragon Shed at night.
January 2015 Update: If you're wondering what the bright light is at Safe Haven Villages, north of Ephraim, go to

Shortcut URL for this present page:

Site Manager
As of June 16, 2013, the site manager, James Maccani, has moved elsewhere, so SHV no longer has a site manager. You're welcome to volunteer if you're interested.
Mission Statement
"Safe Haven Villages are intentional communities based on principles of sustainability, educational outreach, healthy living, natural healing, individual responsibility, cooperation, and renewable energy. We are dedicated to an earth-friendly, family-friendly environment through commitment, honor and integrity (CHI)."

The group favors zero-impact building concepts (e.g. EarthShips) for dwellings, which would surround a community center that would house common-use items to share, such as a kitchen, dining room, tool shop, theatre room, craft room, recreation room, and exercise room.

The site they are presently start out on is a 90-acre plot just south of Spring City, Utah, tucked away from view in all directions by mountains and hills, yet just a 5-15 minute drive from most modern conveniences in the nearby cities of Ephraim and Mt. Pleasant.

  • Safe Haven intentional community in Utah as featured in the Deseret News. (YouTube; July 28, 2010)

Though a primary impetus for starting the community is to prepare for societal meltdown in the United States, those involved in the community look at this more as an opportunity to finally live the way they've been dreaming and talking for years. In other words, this is not an interim, transient condition, but it is to be a model for more enlightened living, both with the land and with each other. The community will aim to be off-grid as much as possible using sustainable techniques.

Sterling D. Allan, CEO of PESNetwork, Inc., which runs this PESWiki site, is heavily involved with this project. His home in Eagle Mountain, which was sold on Oct. 28, 2009, was rolled over via a 1031 exchange to help secure the land for the community, as well as for some building materials for a replacement home in the community, relying on the community to provide labor for the balance of the value.

On March 23, 2010, we purchased the 90-acre property situated on the south slope of "White Hill" south of Spring City, Utah. On the weekend of Apr. 10, 2010, we had our first work party accomplishing the following tasks: cleared a primitive road for getting through the property, built the framing for a stage, got about half way done with building a 120 square foot earth bag habitat, among other tasks. In the Fall of 2010, our "minor subdivision" for the first four lots was approved by Sanpete County.
"While Central Utah might not be where you can or want to relocate, we hope that the concepts presented here will inspire you to do something similar in a location of your choosing. Feel free to let us know about your community, and we can list it in our Communities directory, if you're so inclined; or you can post a link yourself. Also for a more comprehensive listing of communities, see" -- Sterling

Image:SHV group welcome May2012 600.jpg
Group Photo, May 2012


Official Sites

This present page, for now, is the official home page for Safe Haven Villages, incorporated as a 501(c)3 on Aug. 22, 2009.

Social Networking

IC listing

Project Pages

Supporting Materials for the Project Concepts


The purposes of the community are:

  • Emergency - Ensure a safe place to go in times of upheaval. There will be a community center for cooperative ventures. The community is hidden from main roads. Structures will generate their own electricity and collect their own water.
  • Recreation - Members can visit and stay at the community center all year round.
  • Residence - Those who would like to live full time at Safe Haven may either build homes and/or be stewards of the community center. Those who contribute a significant amount of resources (Cash, labor,trade) will be given rights to a plot.
  • Healing Center - The property and community center will be dedicated to the healing arts with seminars and ongoing workshops to teach and facilitate healing, physically and spiritually.
  • Spiritual retreat - The community, though primarily of Christian background, will be open to all practices that promote spiritual growth. (Eastern meditation, Native American sweatlodges, etc.)
  • Sustainable learning center - The community will be off-the-grid and will have natural buildings. We will hold workshops to teach these various methods.


  • Natural Building - The Earthbag, Cob, Straw Bale, Hobit and Earthship homes seem to be the most cost effective. See pics.
  • Power - Solar, wind and other renewables


  • Gardens - There will be an outdoor community garden during the growing season and green house/houses including wallapinis during the winter.
  • Livestock - Chickens and goats can be brought in as long as a continual caretaker is there.


  • Leadership - 80% majority.


Hold Harmless Waiver

  • Safe Haven Waiver - All visitors to the site need to read and sign this waiver statement and send it to James Torgersen, 824 South 700 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84102.

Safe Haven Villages: Values

Approved by the Safe Haven Villages founding members Sept. 2, 2009

Family Friendly – Our community will be conducive to raising children who are responsible, nurtured, mentally curious, and creative. The adults strive to model healthy behavior.

Personal Sovereignty - We support the principles of freedom. We take personal responsibility for our actions and our needs.

Work Ethic - We all work minimal community hours while valuing free time and the pursuit of personal empowerment.

Spirituality -We have no set religion or spiritual belief. Most have a Judeo-Christian background and a lot of us enjoy Native American or Eastern spiritual practices.

Sustainability - Our building practices, water usage, food production, and energy production aspire to a seven generation model. Our goal is a zero impact lifestyle.

Alternative Buildings – Buildings are various debt-free and earth friendly types that minimize the use of manufactured products: earthships, domes, rammed earth, cob, etc.

Leadership - We strive for consensus, but accept decisions with an 80% majority if consensus cannot be reached.

Diet - Most of us are omnivorous with a few vegetarians, vegans and raw.

Relationships – Our community consists of families, couples and singles in a wholesome atmosphere. We value exclusive committed relationships.

Limitations - Our community is free of all illegal activities including drugs. We have no public drunkenness, public nudity, freeloaders, vulgarity, visible junk, and abusive behavior. Smoking is allowed only in designated areas or personal homes so that the smoke does not impact others in the community.

Conflict Resolution - We commit to constructively and peacefully working out our differences.

Safe Haven Villages: Vision Statement

Approved by the Safe Haven Villages founding members Sept. 2, 2009

Safe Haven Villages are sustainable, green, off–the-grid communities that nurture sovereign and responsible citizens. We are looking for mature, responsible people with skills of all types: teachers, builders, artists, professionals, healers, businessmen, musicians, craftsman, seamstresses and chefs, to name a few.

We envision a large community center surrounded by twelve to sixteen homes with a comparable number of guest homes nestled in the middle of eighty acres. The community center plans include a commercial kitchen, dining area, library, media center, rooms for guests, a healing center, craft room, play room, wood shop, classrooms, and greenhouse. We envision a commercial site for businesses, storage sheds, a few farm animals and gardens of all kinds. Working together we can be free of so much: utility bills, mortgages, high food costs, ill health, and stress. We will have creative, fulfilling and personally sustaining work; living and working together, so that people's lives and work are integrated into a unified environment.

While most of us have a Judeo-Christian background, many incorporate other belief systems: Native American, New Age, Eastern and others. We are spiritual rather than religious, though individuals with a particular religion/belief system are supported.

The community offers workshops and wellness training devoted to health, joy and living sustainably. Using CHI to represent the spirit of our community our fundamental principles are Commitment, Honor and Integrity.

COMMITMENT: (agreement, pledge) Each adult commits to one to ten hours of community service a week on average, depending on Membership type. We uphold the principles and by-laws of Safe Haven Villages. We honor the living earth and commit to use only that which we need. While respecting individual needs, we minimize materialism and the habit of ever-increasing consumption that is common in the West today. We care for all life nonviolently and humanely.

HONOR: (revere or hold in high regard) We honor committed relationships between two people and strive to be good role models for the children. All members and guests on the property honor and respect other’s boundaries. We take responsibility for our actions. We reveal, not conceal our frustrations or problems with others in the community. We honor other members by working through challenges with honesty, insight and kindness. We honor personal sovereignty and acknowledge our responsibilities as citizens.

INTEGRITY: (adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character and honesty) Our word is our bond. If we say we will do something, we honor that commitment. We abide by the intent of the community documents and not just by the words and legalities. We fulfill our hours of service, and respect and truly care for others.

If you are a committed, honorable and integral person who would like to live in a sustainable community of spiritual, fun-loving and kind people, Safe Haven Village is the place for you. While part of our motivation for this community is to provide a refuge from possible civil meltdown, regardless, we aim to create the ideal sustainable community of the future.

Safe Haven Villages: Membership Documents

Other Documents

Group Photos

Founders Torg and Renee, with another Safe Haven Villages participant check out the soil on the White Hills property secured in April 2010 for the community
Founders Torg and Renee, with another Safe Haven Villages participant check out the soil on the White Hills property secured in April 2010 for the community

Image:SafeHavenVillages group photo 090902 600.jpg
Photo taken Sept. 2, 2009.
Left to right, back row: James C. Torgersen (Torg), Charles Ford, Kathleen McIntyre, Renee Shaw, Susan Carter, Cheri Allan, Sterling Allan, Rex Vaughan
front row: Allan kids: Christian, Emilee, Aubrie, Hailee

Solar Farm

A concept image of what the Safe Haven Villages at White Hill 90-acre property would look like with a five-acre solar array, generating around 1.5 MW at peak.
A concept image of what the Safe Haven Villages at White Hill 90-acre property would look like with a five-acre solar array, generating around 1.5 MW at peak.

See Directory:SHV:White Hill Solar Farm - separate page

Land Description

On March 23, 2010, we purchased the 90-acre property situated on the south slope of "White Hill" south of Spring City, Utah and about 4 miles northeast of Ephraim, Ut. We are in process of submitting an application for doing a "minor subdivision" to start out.


The physical location for one of the four lots in our subdivision on our plat map is 9235 N. 5435 E. (county address, so it can be listed either as Ephraim, UT or Spring City, UT?).

Click here to view a map with directions. Our 90-acre plot of land is situated northwest of where Little Pigeon Hollow Rd. turns from going straight south to going more west. There is a gate in the fence about 1/4 mile north of where the road turns west.

It's easy to get confused in the Hill and Road names because just north of Little Pigeon Hollow Rd., which is a dirt road, is Pigeon Hollow Rd., which is a paved road. And there is a sign on Pigeon Hollow Rd. that says, "White Hills Wilderness Area." That is not the same White Hill where our property is located. We are a couple of miles south of there.


  • for zip code 84647, which also includes Mt. Pleasant, the town just to the north.

The Area

House Sold to Get SHV Property

The Eagle Mountain, UT house where Sterling D. Allan and his family lived was sold on Oct. 28, 2009 and was put into a 1031 roll-over to secure the SHV land.

CAUTION: Rattlesnake Country

The Safe Haven Village at White Hill property is native country for rattlesnakes. In the first two months we've encountered two, the second likely being part of a den, considering it's small size.

Here is an excellent primer about rattlesnakes.

We're considering kingsnakes as a natural remedy and alternative to the rattlesnake population.

Latest Developments

December 1, 2010

Minor subdivision filed with Sanpete County recorder. Entry: 174287; Book: 0610; Pages: 1703-1703 [1]

November 23, 2010

Sanpete County approves Safe Haven Villages minor subdivision. Just need Allan notarized signatures. [2]

November 12, 2010

The well drilling operation is completed, with 15 gallons a minute flow at 150 feet.

September 8, 2010

Sanpete County Commissioners grant conditional use permit for 20-acre Walipini project. [3]

June 21, 2010

SHV signs a lease contract with Grow Utah First, to use 20 acres for their greenhouse project. This was done on Summer Solstice.

April 5, 2010

4 Water rights transferred from Tom Crisp to Allans at D Land Title.

March 29, 2010

Closed on White Hill 90 acre parcel.

Other Resources


  • - Earthship Biotecture is a global company offering proven, totally sustainable design and construction services worldwide. Our company is led by Michael Reynolds, the principle biotect and creator of the Earthship Concept. An earthship is the ultimate in ecohome design and construction. A completely independent building design leading the industry of green building, sustainable design and construction. Earthship buildings have the smallest carbon footprint and perform with the least amount of fossil fuels. Overall, from construction materials, where they came from, how the earthship is design and how it performs... earthships are the most sustainable building method on the planet.
    • Heating & Cooling Earthships maintain comfortable temperatures in any climate, with zero fossil fuels. Stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer with thermal mass and insulation.
    • Energy - Produce your own electricity from solar and wind modules. Use computers, microwaves, music equipment, sensitive equipment, etc. Automated, selective power sources.
    • Water - Catch water from the sky, use clean potable water - independent of municipal water supplies. Flush your toilet, treat your sewage, contained - onsite.

Soil Stabilizers


  • - "TerraZyme® soil stabilizer is a safe, effective, non-corrosive liquid enzyme soil stabilizer that significantly enhances the properties of the soil used in the construction of road infrastructure. The result is a better and longer lasting soil stabilized road with increased CBR loading, reduced soil permeability and increased road strength. These lower a road's construction and maintenance costs while increasing the overall quality of its structure. TerraZyme is easy to use and is not harmful to the soil or its applicators."
  • - showing steps in Terrazyme application
  • - Perma-zyme (competitor to Terrazyme), part 1 of 2
  • - Perma-zyme, part 2 of 2

Bionic Soil

  • Soil Stabilizers >
    Turning Dirt to Stone (And Back?) - "Grade a road to flat, spray this stuff on it and in 24 hours it turns into pavement that will last 10 years or more." Joel Carlinsky is troubled by the ramifications of further hardening our already diminishing planetary soil. What do you think? (Free Energy Blog; December 4, 2014)

Sustainable Resources

Extracurricular Activities

  • A group of people from the Salt Lake City, Utah area [who are part of the Safe Haven Villages intentional community project] travel to Eve's Temple [in the mountains East of Ephraim, UT] to celebrate the solstice with a ceremony to balance the power of male and female. (YouTube / RebelCheezIt; July 08, 2010)

Resources for Info on Society Meltdown

  • - exploring cutting-edge, enlightened, outside-the-box thought in all areas
    • Web Bot Predictions - George Ure & 'Clif' discussed their web bot technology which has continued to give archetype descriptors of the future. They foresee a number of negative cycles/events converging over the next few years (Tuesday July 21, 2009)
  • Jericho - Watch seasons 1&2 on Netflix. "This CBS entry into the serial drama genre revolves around a small town in Kansas that finds itself cut off from the rest of the world after a mushroom cloud appears on the horizon, and a TV and radio blackout ensues. Has there been a terrorist attack or a preemptive nuclear strike? Faced with terrifying uncertainty, the town -- including the mayor (Gerald McRaney) and his prodigal son (Skeet Ulrich) -- begins to come apart at its seams."
  • - health, politics, with keen perspective
  • - Alex Jones' site

In the News

  • Communities > Safe Haven Villages >
    We made it to 'Best Places to Live Off the Grid' - Our intentional community project, Safe Haven Villages, is being featured at MSN as one of ten "Best Places to Live Off the Grid". I think it was our mention of "wanting to power the community with something more exotic than just solar or wind, such as cold fusion" that got us on that list, even though we don't have any official dwellings yet. (MSN; December 26, 2011)
  • County approves alternative ‘village’ (PDF) - On Nov. 23, 2010, the county commission gave final approval to an alternative-style subdivision south of Spring City on the slope of White Hill. According to project organizer Sterling Allan, the subdivision will feature “renewable, sustainable” building methods, renewable energy and a greenhouse partly dug into the earth to allow produce to be grown year round. (Sanpete Messenger; January 19, 2011; p.2)
  • Featured: Earth Bag > Communities > Safe Haven Villages > Blog >
    SHV Earth Tube Shed Construction Progress - The polypropylene tubing serves as a form to hold the dirt in place while it is shaped then tamped, then plaster is placed on the outside and inside to complete the structure, which is essentially an adobe type construction. We're testing terrazyme as a way to get tighter compacting of the soil. (Allan's Sustainable Home; June 22, 2010)
  • Featured: Communities >
    Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage - Many of them eat vegan to reduce their diet footprint, grow their own food, use mulching toilets, run their gray water into their agriculture, do cob for building, run their cars on veggie oil, and have solar showers – all the things we want to do in our community; but they've been at it for 15 years. (PESWiki; May 2, 2010)
  • Featured: Communities > Safe Haven Villages > Sterling's Home > Blog >
    First Work Party Builds Earth Bag Habitat and Stage - Our Safe Haven Villages group had lots of fun and got a lot done last weekend at the first work party on our newly-acquired 90 acres. We cleared a road (still rough) for cars to get across the property, got a good start on a stage, laid about 7 rows of rice bags for an earth bag habitat, and had fun around the campfire. (Allan's Sustainable Home; Apr. 13, 2010)
  • Featured: Communities > Safe Haven Villages > Sterling's Home > Blog >
    Purchased White Hills 90 Acres & Water - Now that we have the property, it's time to start jumping through all the government regulation hoops for subdividing, water allocation, wildland interface, perc testing, road engineering -- all before we can get a building permit. This Saturday we're having our first work party to put up an earth bag shed. (Allan's Sustainable Home; Apr. 8, 2010)
  • Featured: Building > Safe Haven Villages >
    A bit distracted while we move to Tolbert's solar guest house - You'll have to excuse the sparsness of our news recently as I'm in the middle of a move to a solar guest house we'll be staying at while planning then building our own renewable/sustainable home. We've found the radiant floor heat from the solar thermal panels to be pleasant and preferred to forced air heating. Now we need to par down all the unnecessary stuff we've accumulated. (PESWiki; Oct. 27, 2009)
  • Featured: Communities >
    Utah Safe Haven, Sustainable Village Project - I'm involved with a group of people who are preparing to build an intentional community based on principles of sustainability, healthy living, natural healing, individual responsibility, cooperation, and renewable energy. In short, it is about alternative, enlightened everything. Interested? (PESWiki; July 28, 2009)


The Safe Haven Villages group has been meeting weekly, mostly in the Salt Lake valley area. For upcoming meeting times and locations, see the contact section below.


  • Susan Carter , real estate and contract broker
    phone: 801-400-3242
    Email: <susan {at}>
  • Renee Shaw, Safe Haven concepts development
    Email: <renee {at}>
  • Sterling D. Allan of PESWiki; keeping an eye out for feasible renewable energy systems.

See also

- Other Open Source Projects
- Open Source News
- PESWiki main index
- PES Network Inc.

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