This section has answers to frequently asked questions about the land search.
Where is KHTI looking for land?
The "search area" is currently defined as being within three hours' drive of Mount Diablo, (or the intersection of Rte. 24 and I-680 in Walnut Creek) which is roughly the demographic center of the Central West Kingdom. Since different people drive at different speeds, we of KHTI interpret this as roughly 150 miles of driving distance on freeway or three hours driving time over the particular roads to a potential site. This is not a straight line measurement, and can be drastically different from the straight line distance if an area is only accessible by twisty mountain roads. The map within this website will give you a reasonable idea of the current search area boundaries, but if you find something ideal which is slightly outside them, let us know.
Why is KHTI looking for land in that large/small an area?
That search area remains within what the original Board of Trustees of the West Kingdom Land Fund felt, after surveying the populace, was a reasonable driving range for anyone who lived in the central part of the Kingdom of the West. Land bought any further out would make it difficult for a large portion of the populace to reach the site on a regular basis. A smaller area would cut us off from most of the affordable land in Northern California. A second survey held in 1991 upheld this as a valid premise.
What kind of land is KHTI looking for?
The ideal site would comfortably hold over 2001 people (to allow for the expansion of the Kingdom), be perfect in every way, and be easily accessible to the Kingdom of the West and its central Principalities.
What are the actual parameters for a site which would be suitable?
At least 60 acres that are reasonably level and usable, although more would be better. (This has been increased from the previously published value of 40 acres. The increase is based on our experience that 40 acre parcels were not meeting all of our needs.) Larger parcels are better, in general, because they will allow for expansion in the future and more activities in general.
A 60 acre parcel is acceptable if it is isolated (no close neighbors or plans for development). A larger piece of land will provide a buffer zone if there are neighbors or other modern world items close by (freeway, roads, flight pattern of an airport).
- At least 10 acres (minimum!) of flat and level land in one area or two associated areas for use for the Eric and camping space. Additional areas suitable for camping would be a plus.
- An additional 8 acres (minimum!) suitable for parking. This doesn't have to be as level or as nice as the camping area, and could be in several areas, not necessarily all in one lump. It does have to be reasonably accessible from the camping area.
- Available water, by well or county service. We will drill our own well if there are other recent wells in the area or an hydrologist's report suggests that we can get good water. Year-round access to the site on reasonable roads.
- Year-round means throughout the normal tourney season, not necessarily December through February. "Reasonable roads" are defined as usable by the average under-maintained, overloaded SCA car, not a brand new 4-wheel drive vehicle.
- Shopping for basic needs (supermarket, hardware, etc.) within half an hour of the site.
- Emergency services (hospital, fire, police) within half an hour of the site.
- Zoning that allows for our intended use and for construction of privies and showers at the very least. (There are many zoning categories which will allow our usage, and a few which will not. Zoning as Agricultural Preserve is the one zoning which is (usually) incompatible with our usage.
- Extras that will make the parcel more attractive include sewer connections, shade trees, electricity (power hook-up for running well pumps or other necessary equipment), possibility of phone hookup, running water (creek or river), a small woods and/or hilly terrain for battles.
- Bottom line: Would you attend and enjoy an event on the parcel you are looking at, after minor improvements? Once you had attended one event on the land would you come back on a regular basis? If you answer "No" to either of these questions, then there is probably something wrong with the piece even if you can't specify what it is.
I'm a little confused. How big is an acre?
An acre is defined as 4840 square yards; it sounds big, but it isn't. A square 210 feet (70 yards) on a side is approximately one acre. A parcel 1/4 mile on a side is 40 acres. An acre is not all that big a piece of land for the purposes we are considering. The standard Kingdom Lists are 100' by 200' and are approximately 1/2 acre. The central camping area around the Eric at a usual Kingdom event is about three acres. Recent experience has shown us that we are using at least three times that area in total camping unless we are really crowded.
How can I help look for land?
There are two ways you can help. First, the more people we have out looking for land, the more likely it is that we will find something suitable. However, please be aware that, while you can scout for land, only the Directors of KHTI can enter into legal negotiations for purchase. Once you find something interesting, please contact the Land Acquisition Committee at the KHTI address, with the description of the parcel and the listing agent's name and business phone number and we will make further contacts and investigate the parcel. There are forms which we use in land evaluation available at KHTI displays and also available from the Secretary at the KHTI address. Use of these forms will help us, but is by no means mandatory. You can also access these forms through our web site.
Second, you can help by volunteering for the Land Acquisition Committee. (Send your letter to the KHTI address.) The Land Acquisition Committee consists of several Directors and KHTI volunteers, each with responsibility for a specific geographical area in the thirty-nine county search area. We need as many people as possible involved in the land search to cover such a large area. If you have some knowledge of real estate and are able to make a significant time commitment, you can join the Committee and be responsible for your own region. Or, if you have less time and experience, you could work with one of the committee members to investigate leads in your own area. At this time, assisting with the land search is one of the most important ways you can contribute to KHTI.
Who should I contact if I find a suitable piece of land?
Please contact the Land Acquisition Committee.
Will the Kingdom get to see the site before it is purchased?
KHTI has a Council of Advisers, consisting of the reigning Royalty, Great Officers of the Kingdom and others invited by the Directors, who will be invited to tour any land selected before purchase is completed. We have, in the past put the approval of that Council as a condition on our purchase in the purchase offer.
When will we buy land?
When we find a good piece of land, which meets our needs, for a price we can afford. Until we find a piece of land that meets our criteria, we will not buy land.
Why hasn't land been bought by now?
A combination of lack of funds, lack of suitable land and zoning problems. (Especially zoning problems; there have been several nice parcels with zoning which prohibited our use.)
We have examined many sites in the past few years. We have not found an acceptable site we could afford. We considered over sixty in the summer of 1999 alone. The ones that seemed like good sites had price tags from three times to one hundred times the contents of our bank accounts, while the ones that were near our price range were suitable only for mountain goats, or had significant other problems.