Set amid the hills and vineyards of Sonoma County, Enso Village is a collaboration between the San Francisco Zen Center, a landmark of American Zen practice, and Kendal, a visionary provider of retirement community services founded on Quaker principles.
Enso Village is a Life Plan Community in
Healdsburg, CA, with a focus on mindful
aging, the joys of nature, environmental
stewardship, contemplative care and
healthy life choices for adults 60+.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the site? Is it possible to visit the site?
The site is in Healdsburg and, yes, it is possible to visit. The site is just north of the Simi Winery on the west side of Healdsburg Avenue on the north side of town. At present, the site is an open meadow. We ask that you not walk onto the property itself but you are free to view it from the roadside. Please be careful to park off the roadway and watch for traffic – drivers won’t expect parked cars or pedestrians in that area.
Will this community be for San Francisco Zen Center practitioners, residents and teachers only?
Supporting a spirit of inclusion is a core value of this community. Therefore, everyone is welcome without regard to race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law. Kendal communities also operate in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Will long-term care be provided?
Yes. Currently assisted living and memory support programs are planned to meet the future long-term needs of residents. It is anticipated that skilled nursing services will be coordinated for residents with local, high-quality providers. Every effort will be made to offer services in the home.
How many people will live in this community, and how many apartment homes will there be?
Currently it is estimated that the selected site can support 220 apartments, 24 assisted living and 30 memory support residences. However, the program and architectural drawings are preliminary at this point.
Will residents be able to have pets?
Yes, it will be a pet-friendly community.
What amenities will be provided?
While the specific amenities are continuing to be considered and programmed, we are thrilled to announce that Greens Restaurant has agree to join with us in creating a top-notch dining experience in our “bistro”—one of two planned dining areas for future residents. As you may know, Greens is a San Francisco dining landmark, having achieved worldwide acclaim for its vegetarian dishes. We are also meeting with Healdsburg farming specialists to learn how we might supply some of our necessary food from our own acreage. Enso Village will not, however, be exclusively vegetarian, as the main dining room will offer a menu that reflects those of other acclaimed Sonoma dining establishments. Further information about amenities will be included in our ongoing communications about the project. For information about Greens Restaurant, please see https://greensrestaurant.com/
What opportunities will there be to integrate Zen practice into everyday life?
Daily sittings, classes, practice groups, lectures and workshops will be available, although there will be no obligation to practice. There will be a meditation hall and retired Zen teachers will live in the community. In addition, it is anticipated that willing participants besides staff members (residents, for instance) will be trained in the practice of contemplative care.
When will we have pricing?
Pricing will be available to Enso Village Priority Club Members when approval has been obtained from the required regulatory agencies and the plans have progressed to the point where construction costs can be firmly established. We anticipate having floor plans and pricing available in 2020.
What will be the price range of accommodations being offered?
There is not yet enough information about the size of the residences, and what is included in the program to provide a price range at this time. This information will be communicated as soon as more details emerge from programming and planning.
It is anticipated that this will be an entrance fee Life Plan Community. The entrance fee is likely to be largely repayable in the future. Also, residents will pay a monthly fee for services in this not-for-profit community. Both the entrance fee and monthly fee will depend on the size of the apartment.
The costs of creating Enso Village are synonymous with what would be required for you to build your own home. While Enso Village will benefit from the scale of building many homes, there is still a need to purchase the land and pay to build the other buildings that will comprise the rest of the community. As a not-for-profit organization, Enso Village is able to use tax-exempt bond financing to supply the necessary capital. Also, as a not-for-profit the fees required to operate the community won’t include any investment return requirement to shareholders or investors.
The fees will therefore reflect the costs of supplying the housing and services provided to the members of the community and might be akin to what one might expect to pay for other market-rate Continuing Care Retirement or “Life Plan” Communities in the area.
What is the energy and sustainability policy for the project?
We are exploring an action plan guided by Bioregional’s One Planet Living framework, which includes a commitment to extremely high environmental standards. To learn more about One Planet living, please see http://www.bioregional.com/.
What is a Priority Club?
Enso Village is anticipated to formally launch this Summer (2019) by giving people the chance to place a fully-refundable, $1,000 deposit to join a Priority Club. The benefits of joining the Club are, primarily, placing oneself in a position to reserve from among the available apartments when those plans become available in 2020. Other benefits include being the first to learn of new developments with Enso Village, and having the chance to attend social and informative events with other Priority Club members. More information will be shared in June to help you prepare for membership, should you choose.
When will Enso Village begin taking deposits?
We will be taking Reservation Deposits—which generally equals 10% of the entrance fee for the specific apartment being reserved—from Enso Village Priority Club Members when the plans have advanced to the point where approval has been obtained from the State of California’s Department of Social Services to begin taking them. By that time, there will be an estimate of what the costs of construction for Enso Village will be and therefore an understanding of the pricing for accommodations. We anticipate being able to begin taking Reservation Deposits in 2020.
When will floor plans be available?
The floor plans are currently being developed and we look forward to sharing after we receive approval from the Department of Social Services in 2020. By that time, there will be an estimate of what the costs of construction for Enso Village will be.
What is the projected opening date?
At this point, a specific date isn’t on the calendar. We do hope to be open in 2023 but there are lots of things that can impact the schedule. As a Priority Club Member, you would be kept up-to-speed as our plans crystalize.
Will Enso Village own the land or lease?
Enso Village (incorporated as Kendal at Sonoma a Zen Inspired Community LLC) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that will own the land.
What is the zoning for the remaining acres?
The acreage of which Enso Village is a part is being referred to by the City of Healdsburg as the North Entry Area Plan. There are a number of uses anticipated for the overall parcel including a boutique hotel, restaurant and workforce housing. In order to learn more, please see https://www.ci.healdsburg.ca.us/842/North-Entry-Area-Plan .
What measures are being taken to assess the risk of wildfires in the immediate area?
Wildfires are always a concern and recent experiences in the local area are bringing special focus to reducing risk for new construction. All of the buildings will be constructed to the local code and nearly all of the structures will be concrete, glass and steel and fully “sprinkled.” Special arrangements are being made to enable fire equipment access to every part of the property. There will be a disaster preparedness policy and constant training of all staff in order to ensure resident safety.
Will there be charging stations for electric cars?