MEHER MOUNT

9902 Sulphur Mountain Road
Ojai, CA 93023-9375

Phone: 805-640-0000
Email: info@mehermount.org

HOURS

Wednesday-Sunday: Noon to 5:00 p.m.
Monday & Tuesday: Closed

MANAGER/CARETAKERS

Buzz & Ginger Glasky

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Sam Ervin, Preident
Ron Holsey, Vice President
Ursula Reinhart, Treasurer
Jim Whitson, Director
Richard Mannis, Director

OFFICERS

Margaret Magnus, Secretary

9902 Sulphur Mountain Rd
Ojai, CA, 93023
United States

(805) 640-0000

Story Blog

Anecdotes, activities and stories about Meher Mount - past, present and future.

The Workshop - The Need for a Master Plan

Margaret Magnus

By Margaret Magnus

The need for the fireproof garage/workshop sparked a series of discussions which led directly to the development of a long-range master plan for Meher Mount. 

Meher Mount had earlier begun long-range planning discussions by holding two community meetings – February 7, 2004 and May 22, 2004 –to brainstorm ideas that would help guide the master plan. 

The donation for the fire-proof garage/workshop gave the planning process a boost as the Board of Directors began to wrestle with various options for the building. 

SERENDIPITY PROVIDES HELP IN LONG-TERM PLANNING

As events would have it, on a Saturday in March 2007 several people – including board member Jamshid Ebrahimzadeh, volunteer Glenn Russ, Manager/ Caretakers Elizabeth Arnold and Ray Johnston – met to discuss building the garage.

PLANNING DISCUSSIONS for the proposed Workshop. (Left to right): Glenn Russ, Elizabeth Arnold (Manager/Caretaker), Ray Johnston (Manager/Caretaker), Byron Pinckert, Sam Ervin (Board President), Margaret Magnus (Board Secretayr), and Jamshid Ebrahimzadeh (Board Members). (Nancy Pinckert photo, 2007.)

Coincidentally, board president Sam Ervin and his wife Margaret Magnus were taking their friends, Byron and Nancy Pinckert, to Meher Mount for their first visit.

Bryon Pinckert is an architect and a founding partner in the planning and architectural firm HPA, Inc., in Irvine, California. Nancy Pinckert is a graphic designer and has a master’s degree in architecture.

A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK TO HELP FOCUS THE PLANNING PROCESS

After walking the property and spending the day at Meher Mount, they developed an approach to the conceptual framework of the master plan.

Days after their visit, Byron called Sam Ervin to say that he and Nancy had a few conceptual ideas about planning for the property. Would Sam be interested in hearing them?

"Absolutely," said Sam. A few evenings later Margaret and Sam were treated to a full-blown, illustrated slide presentation. They were delighted with the concepts presented.

Sam then called nearby fellow board member Jamshid Ebrahimzadeh to set up another informal presentation. Jamshid and his wife Ellie Azhang, too, were excited about the concepts and approach to planning.

At the next Board meeting, Byron made the presentation to the entire board. Since then in many ensuring discussions, Byron and Nancy have helped to provide perspective, continuity, and technical advice that has given shape and structure to Meher Mount’s Master Plan and its implementation. 

AFTER ONE OF MANY PLANNING SESSIONS, a group gathers around Baba's Chimney. Pictured in the back row: Marko Swearingen, Ken Pellman, Ron Holsey (Board Members), Mike Markely, Ray Johnston (Manager/Caretaker), Elizabeth Arnold (Manager/Caretaker), Sam Ervin (Board President), Bing Heckman (Board Members). Front row: David McNeely, Kanji Miayo, Jim Whiston (Board Member), Margaret Magnus (Board Secretary), Nancy Pinckert, and Byron Pinckert.

THE WORKSHOP TAKES PRIORITY

During the planning process, the Board asked Manager/Caretakers Ray Johnston and Elizabeth Arnold what would be their highest priority for Meher Mount's first building that was part of the Master Plan: a new "barn" or separate caretaker quarters?

They responded: a new barn or house the tractor and other equipment, some storage, and a workshop space. It was also the smallest and least expensive of potential projects. And because of a few generous donors, it was so much more feasible to do without a major fundraising campaign.



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