David R. Hall goes NewVistasplaining to locals

Utah millionaire David R. Hall answered questions from Vermonters by phone on Saturday to tell locals about his NewVista project he plans for that area.  Nicole Antal who writes for the online events and news  publication DailyUV researched and broke this story last week. She has a rundown of Saturday’s Q & A session here  and they provide an  audio file of it here. [correction note:Hall answered questions from a Tunbridge Library forum by phone. The diary was changed to reflect that, BP]

The NewVista project,as described in a planning document [link paragraph five], will be what they call “a massively scalable and sustainable community econosystem.” And it is well worth a glance at the details :

When individuals come to a NewVista community, they will deposit their intellectual assets and cash with the community capital fund (except for operating cash, which will be deposited into an account at the community’s approved bank), receiving legal instruments acknowledging the deposits. 

Hall, a Mormon, has bought hundreds of acres of land near the birth place of Mormon Church founder Joseph Smith in Sharon Vermont. Some spill-over development will occur in Tunbridge, Strafford and Royalton.

At Saturday’s meeting local residents asked thoughtful questions and Hall answered openly. It also seemed from Antal’s report Hall explained what was going to happen, not to ask what the residents might want to happen to their town.

Like some kind of 21st century utopian-engineer-colonialist, Hall is determined to plunk down his 15,000- to 20,000-resident city-state in four upper White River Valley towns. The impact shouldn’t be underestimated. The size and scale to the rest of the state is notable:  one local resident made the point that only three cities in Vermont have populations that large or larger than his NewVista city.newvistatarget

Here are a couple quick takeaways .

NewVista may, according to Hall, take upwards of half a century to complete, but it is a process, starting sooner rather than later. So heads-up.  His ideal time frame: “Within 15 years, I hope to do multiple districts throughout the US in different places.” Curiously and without explanation he mentioned at the meeting that Vermont wasn’t part of his initial plan.

One thing is clear: Hall’s NewVista dream is well funded. NewVista is “a for-profit trust, and pays taxes.”  I am not that familiar with corporate tax structure but it is likely to complicate a  small town’s existing tax structure.

And for anyone who doubts his lack of sensitivity to the local towns control I have copied part of one exchange from Antal’s DailyUV article:

Question: “You have mentioned a couple of times that you wouldn’t be interested in going forward with this if the local people weren’t interested, is that right?”

Mr. Hall: “That’s right; it’s not going to happen if people of Vermont don’t want it.”

Question: “I would suggest that instead of buying any more land that you and your family and whoever come here and meet the people and find out what we are like, and what we want, and what we don’t want

Mr. Hall: “I already know that the local people don’t want this. In time, over time, people will probably like it if they understand it. There is not one place in the United States, or even in the world where local people ever would embrace change. That’s just the logical truth.”

Question: “I assume you are local to someplace?”

Mr. Hall: “Yes I am”

Question: “What do you think about changes in your neighborhood?

Mr. Hall: “I am a much broader-thinking person than most people. Others aren’t. You can’t compare what I would think with. My neighbors hate this idea. So I can’t do anything about that.”

Question: “I might suggest that before you buy anymore properties, if you say that you are not going forward if the locals aren’t for it, then why you would continue buying more properties. What about a study?”

Mr. Hall: “I didn’t say I wouldn’t do it if the locals aren’t for it. I said I won’t do it if VERMONT is not for it. (…)  It’s not rational to expect a local person who is established, a 7th generation or something, to ever support this. That’s unreasonable. “

If I lived in Sharon or any surrounding town that exchange would sound more than a few alarms. Hall admits locals probably don’t want his city/state, but that’s because he is a “broader thinking person.”

David Hall at the wheel of a Vanderhall vehicle
David Hall at the wheel of a Vanderhall vehicle, made by a NewVista enterprise.

The locals, he says, probably will like it once they understand it. Do you suppose  this would be after they sell or after they are enlightened to his vision?

David Hall says local opposition is not rational. I’d guess he believes resistance is “feudal.”

9 thoughts on “David R. Hall goes NewVistasplaining to locals

  1. High on the LDS agenda for quite some time has been legalization of plural marriages which is quietly approved by the LDS in the areas where it is rampant or it could not continue. “Sister Wives” which airs on cable and attempts to show how much fun they are, is thoroughly disgusting, but serves to show the push to go mainstream.

    I see they’re not going mainstream with the reality of tiny teens married to men old enough to be their great grandfathers, so a few steps above the FLDS practice of marrige to 12 year olds and the casting out of boys as they reach puberty to save each crop of little girls for the creepy old men. See “lost boys”. There are also graves where deformed babies have been buried. Afaic- nothing more than a cult which legitimizes perversion and victimizes women and children complete with cradle-to-grave isolation from society- the only way cults can continue. Also some personal experiences.

    Any search will show many respected media outlets saying “it’s time” to legalize polygamy, apparently the LDS/FLDS has been quietly pouring on the payola as it appears they are now doing here- hence the interest in a fast-friendship with VLS which was the clue. Cults take over their victims & surroundings slowly by stealth like a pernicious disease.

    If anyone thinks this is on par with same-sex please do a little research on FLDS and its sordid history which continues, and the control they exert over the towns thay have overrun, welfare benefits etc etc. I guess they could call a move to VT–with the somewhat generous Dr D., medicaid, food stamps, fuel assistance, weatherization, property tax income-sensitivity–just a “business decision”.

    Personally my concern is the mind control & soul-destroying slavery inherent in each lifestyle- to say nothing of the violation to their human rights they don’t know they have. FLDS & some of the plural marriage practices amount to nothing more than institutionalized slavery & legalized pedophilia with arranged marriages in other countries to brides as young as 8 married to really old men who literally purchase them. When married to younger men, they become a servant to the extended family and a sex-slave to the husband. Many women attempt suicide by immolation, hospitals have many burn victims who consider that preferable to the lifelong cruelty they are subjected to and the knowing that their female children will share the same fate.

    VT could become a haven for other religions that practice plural marriges which include defacto sharia law. I think we need to ask ourselves what kind of state we wish to be and take a good look at attracting contributers to VT who share our values while rejecting ppl who are only here to use VT for their own interests while not serving or contributing to ours.

    VTers need to wake the hell up & grow a spine, batten the hatches and do something about residency requirements to prevent even more of a stampede of would-be riders streaming into VT to hop aboard our large and comfy gravy train, than we already have. And before we are more overrun than we already are with ppl who see our lax welfare rules, fat medicaid rolls and rest of the aforementioned as a jackpot.


  2. The schematic designs he has put together look like a cross between a shopping mall/industrial park/condominium complex. Natural elements have been totally excised and man’s imprint is total. Hall (“Hal” would be more appropriate) says this design is needed because the land as it has been settled constitutes “urban sprawl.” His words. Tunbridge.

    David Hall’s bucket list has become these towns’ nightmare. Money and ego find yet another target in Central Vermont, trumping (yes) only in size Sammis and Milne and others including state government who wish to superimpose their wishes on iconic Vermont villages such as Randolph Center, Tunbridge, Quechee, Sharon…

    Vermont is disappearing rapidly, weakened with each attempt to bend it to someone’s bankroll or ego or state “solution” like building a state laboratory with a 65-foot heat stack and paved parking for 60 cars on sloping farmland above a pristine brook. All bad ideas…with only the scale and perpetrator differing.

  3. Nicole Antal put together a video with a more graphic look at the scale of the New Vistas megamostrosity: https://dailyuv.com/news/838357

    I mentioned elsewhere that it looks like Taft Corners, but it makes Taft Corners look dinky. I’m not sure why the entire state hasn’t come down on this guy with a collective NO WAY…

  4. Zoning is absolutely critical, and in most towns, that’s going to mean new selectboards and zoning administrators. People who haven’t lived through the massive developments in other states do not know what’s going to hit VT. Most selectboards and zoning administrators seem to think that a little here and there is not a big deal, but that’s not what developers have in mind for VT. They’ve ruined southern NH, most of MA, and now have their eyes on the untapped forests of VT.

    They are rapacious, relentless, and fast-moving.

    Unfortunately, much of VT has entirely unenforceable zoning. Look at any town’s zoning and you’ll see the word “should” for almost every rule the towns have put in place. That word has absolutely no legal enforceability.

    At the very least, towns need to change “should” to “shall” (which nominally gives the rule the force of law) in every important part of their zoning regulations, and their town plans.

    It’s critical to do this quickly, or VT is going to become another land of cookie-cutter strip malls and industrial parks, where farming, dark skies, wildlife, and undisturbed forests are memories of a quaint past; where cul-de-sac after cul-de-sac is named for what it destroyed – a favorite insult from my childhood: “Watson Farm Way,” a mcmansionville built on former rolling farmland. That’s followed closely by “Hidden Field Road” – it’s so well hidden, it doesn’t exist.

  5. Regarding the NewVista project, I foresee “green” communities becoming more of a reality in the future. I am a believer in alternative power sources such as solar, wind and hydroelectric power. Mr. Hall wants to do good and make money at the same time. It’s the American Dream with heart. However, it bothers me that he doesn’t seem to consider or have enough concern for how a number people feel (or will feel) about his future plans, and the problems many people and families could face. He seems to have a “I know better than they do” attitude. But who knows, maybe people will eventually become open to the idea? Especially if it turns out to be a more affordable option. All this being said, my gut reaction is that it just doesn’t feel right. It will be interesting to see how it all unfolds.

  6. Spoken like a developer with a dog in race. Um…this is *not* an issue where one can hide behind a fig leaf of agnosticism or a shrug of fence-sitting. Enough positive remarks have been made to rule out your being against this, not buying attempt to position self as on both sides & looks like you have remarked about the topic on another blog.

    Hall has drawn a line in the sand & game is clearly zero-sum. Any concessions will only be to enrich himself while giving less to the area, however I do not believe he will succeed.

    Unsure of the why for the arbitrary remarks but VT and all rural areas with clean water, air quality & limited environmental destruction are & will be at a premium b/c in of of itself & for that very reason marketable primarily to wealthy buyers — every developer is not looking for cheap land to ruin but tailor goals around what is available for targeted market.

    Hall gets this & so does anyone with a brain in head. Have a right to opinion but I find the disingenousness nauseating & stand with the victims of those protecting their way of life for the future of their families.

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