VOTE: Revision to Vertical Storage Reservation Rules and Budget for Reservation "Kiosk"

Our vertical storage has always been intended to be temporary storage for short-term (up to 3 month) projects, to allow members to bring in material for a project, but then release the space for others to use when the project is complete. In the past it has been the woodworking warden’s responsibility to ensure that the spaces were being used for active projects and to enforce reservation renewal limits.

Unfortunately, over the years, this system has proven to be nearly impossible to manage in a fair and effective manor. When I was the wood shop warden, I tried to get the members who had vertical storage spaces to either renew their space reservations or clear out their spaces, and it took nearly 3 months to even get all of the members to respond to emails about the vertical storage. The system effectively became a first-come, first-serve permanent squatting zone for people’s idle material.

In order to fix this in our new space, and allow us to start assigning vertical storage spaces again, I’d like to propose the following changes to our vertical storage rules and reservation system:

  1. Limit the maximum number of months any one member may have a vertical storage space reserved to 6 months out of any 12 month period.
  2. To maintain the original intent of it being temporary project storage for all members, have the every member eligible for up to 3 months of vertical storage reservation in any 12 month period with no charge beyond membership
  3. to encourage timely release of the spaces, charge an incrementing fee for the 4th through 6th month of reservation within any 12 month period, with the fourth month being $20, 5th being $30, and 6th being $40.
  4. To make the system less of a burden on the leadership and wardens, I propose that we automate the reservation system in intweb. The fee for months 4-6 will be set up to use swipe, the system we already use for soda credits. Space reservations will be tracked and expiry warnings automatically generated by intweb.
  5. To ensure the spaces are being used for active projects, the space renewals will be required to be done in-person, in the space. A storage reservation/renewal kiosk will be built that requires a badge swipe, and allows the member to select from available vertical storage spaces or renew a space reservation. The kiosk will also display the status of every space’s reservation (reserved, available, or requires renewal) so that any warden or leader may quickly identify spaces that contain material, but are not reserved, so that the material can be removed and tagged with a parking ticket tag.
  6. There will be a one week grace period for spaces that require renewal. The system will generate an email reminder to renew, and flag the space as requiring renewal, but not be available to other members till after the one week grace period. After that week, any material left in the space can be removed and tagged with a parking ticket tag, and the space reassigned if it has not been renewed.
    Brant martin has volunteered to lead the Intweb and kiosk engineering/coding/hacking/building. To support his efforts, I propose a budget of $200 for whatever electrical bits he needs (badge readers, microcontrollers, LEDs, buttons, etc.). I’m sure he wouldn’t mind others volunteering to help on the project either.


Kevin McLeod

This vote is open for discussion and voting till 2020-09-01. Please remember that since we are doing telecom meetings, all voting should be done in this thread to avoid having to count votes over video call.

I think this proposal deserves feedback. It changes “how things have always been done” and we’ve had a few members get up in arms about some of these changes. Kevin has worked really hard to put together this new system and it has generated a lot of silence and crickets.

My thoughts: Squatting in vertical storage is a problem that has been going on since long before I joined Hive13 and it deserves a fair, sustainable solution with low administrative overhead from leadership and wardens. Kevin’s proposal is pretty sound. My ONLY hesitation with it is that I don’t favor using cash as the incentive to move on but when we’ve looked at other solutions they come with too much administrative overhead for our leadership and wardens who are, after all, just really committed members that shouldn’t have to deal with that. I think that the proposal to limit every member to 6 months out of every 12 months helps to relax my feelings about this and steers members that want to keep a lot of stuff towards becoming cornerstone members, which is a better solution for the member and Hive13 when someone wants to squat their junk long term in a space.

I am leaning hard towards “yes” However I’m going to reserve my vote until later in the week so I can digest other members feedback. For anyone voting “no” I may ask you what your proposal is and if the words “we should” appear I think it is fair to assume that you really meant “I will”.

Valid points, Dave.

It does change “how things always have been done”, but to me that is part of the point - the way things were done before involved many people who were accustomed to treating shared spaces as their own, and plenty of other changes have been designed around discouraging that (e.g. the parking ticket tags). I think that automation is a good idea (and I will try to help on it), but I don’t know how long the needed changes to intweb will take, whether that’s with ‘old’ intweb or the rework that people like Heath were working on - and so anything here has to be manageable in a lower-tech way in the meantime.

The requirement for in-person renewal seems like overall a good idea, provided that we’re prepared for the inevitable email of “Sorry, I’m out of the country right now and I forgot and I won’t be back for a month! You’re not just going to go throw away my $750 in old-growth lumber and stained glass, right?”

I’m likewise leaning towards “yes”, pending me reading other feedback.


I’m not a huge fan of making it money driven either, but it is a powerful motivator. If other options have been discussed, we are already automating the system, so the headache of admin can mostly be converted to software. The only thing I can see requiring human involvement is physically removing materials from expired storage slots.

I’d love to see a discussion on this before I get too far into designing the system.

My biggest concern is that the proposal unfairly penalizes very active members who are woodworkers – especially those who want to work on several bigger projects over the course of the year. If I were a prospective or current member who intends to use the woodshop for larger projects, I would be very discouraged that I would have to pay an additional $90 in dues so I could keep the materials I need on site an additional six months and thereafter would have to sit idly for the remaining six months of the year because I wouldn’t be allowed to access the vertical storage at all. Honestly, I can’t imagine any woodworker who intends to do larger projects to join under these conditions. Even for current members, it could be a stretch to continue paying membership dues for six idle months.

I understand the need to keep people from parking materials indefinitely when they are not working on projects, but I think the system shouldn’t be so detrimental to people who are actively using the space. I suggest that there should be no annual limit to access to the vertical storage space, so that active members can work on any number of larger projects throughout the entire year. Instead, perhaps we can devise an algorithm for intweb to track activity, which would then translate into automated extensions of the storage access. One possibility is that the initial allocation will be for three months, and then for each week that you swipe in (perhaps to a dedicated woodshop swipe station?) you would be allocated an additional week of storage access. An active member, working regularly on projects could potentially “earn” an entire year’s worth of storage, while people who have left their stuff and aren’t coming in to use it would receive the expiry warnings and subsequent parking tickets, etc after their allocation has ended. Another possibility is that people could apply in-person (or perhaps by zoom under current circumstances) for an extension during monthly meetings or warden hours to avoid a parking ticket. Extensions of the initial three months could be for a month or another three months, or some other increment that seems to make sense.

I know that there is the option of the cornerstone membership, but I don’t think that adequately addresses the issue. For one, it sets up duality between woodworkers and other types of makers whose materials happen to be less bulky. Second, it doubles your monthly dues, which is a substantial addition, at least for some, especially if you consider it in relation to the cost of, say, the materials needed for projects. Third, the space is not necessarily comparable to vertical storage… for instance, storing several sheets of 4’x8’ plywood will not be feasible/easy in many of the cornerstone spaces, especially those that have no wall, or whose wall has windows in it.


I agree with this concern… and even more for those creative folks who might not have enough money to afford the additional expenses. That’s not the message we want to send.

I think a better solution is to have a “check out” system where folks can check out a spot temporarily (with a defined timeframe… and/or proof of project progress.) If material is left idle for too long, then it becomes community property and eventually becomes flagged as scrap and is discarded.


The problem is that that is our current system, and it just very much gets abused. None of our volunteer leaders or wardens want to be the person to push back on someone who’s material has sat idle in one of the spaces for 3 years. there must be some mechanism in our rules for people to be forced to relinquish the spaces and empty them periodically so that other members may have a turn to use them.

I like the idea of training members to swipe in every time they use the storage. A less aggressive solution might be to leave expired slots in limbo until a new member requests storage. At that point, the member squatting gets a final notice and one week to vacate or renew before its turned over the the next member in the queue. We could weight it so the oldest and least active slots get reallocated first.

I’d also like to have a visual indicator on the actual storage rack. Some kind of RGB lighting to indicate at a glance what the status of each slot is. A big flashing red light will probably be a good reminder to scan your rfid to refresh your claim.

Actually, that’s NOT our system… it’s what we want it to be, but as you stated, no one is enforcing it… a policy that is not enforced is not a policy.

As Martin points out, this sounds like the opportunity for someone to step up and automate the process… and flag “limbo” slots. It’s like qualifying on race day… someone becomes the bump slot… and if they’re the last one, they’re the first one who gets bumped on bump day.


I’d like to also give my 2 cents.

If you had a list of habitual offenders at the old space, I’d for sure be on it. I had a vertical storage space since the beginning.

I’m not against setting limits or having users prove they are using the space for more than storage. Space was at a premium at 2929 and I hope that I didn’t prevent another member from making something because I occupied a space for so long. I used my space from time to time but not really to it’s fullest potential in the last 12-18 months. Working on a large project was hard at 2929 and my hope was that moving to the new space would provide some relief for those who like to make big fabulous projects. To my disappointment, while we increased our space by 2-3x we have reduced our member box storage and I’m guessing vertical storage has decreased as well. I realize we created a cornerstone membership area but that extra

Instead of only giving my opinion and not providing any resolution, here’s a suggestion. If we had an area that provided 4x8 material for members to purchase it would alleviate members having to store their own 4x8 sheets in the vertical storage slots. We could have 5-7 different types of material (selected by member request) for purchase. Getting material to the Hive has never been easy for those without trucks (although Dave B made this easier) and having it on site would be a huge member convenience. The current vertical slots could be used for smaller pieces and for shorter periods of time.

If this is something that everyone thinks will help, I’d volunteer to manage and fund it. That way, Hive funds aren’t tied up in materials. I also think this could be a good idea for metal supplies and would be willing to do the same for that area.


Just spitballing ideas:

What would be the result if we simply did not assign vertical storage, but instead just treated it as part of the “project parking” area and any material stored there would be required to be tagged with the parking tag system, and follow the rules of that system?

What would be the result if we cautomated the current 3 month reservation w/renewal policy, and added a wait list, and if there was a waitlist at the end of your current 3 month reservation, and you had had a space longest, you got booted?

What would be the result if we implemented what I put up for vote, but without the fee for months 4-6, and there was just a hard cap at 6 months out of any 12?

I really am opposed to any system that requires a leader or warden to evaluate if a space is “actively being used” because that can be very hard or impossible to verify, and creates conflict if invoked. What if the member swears up and down they are “actively using” the space, but really, they are just storing material there and happen to come in once a week and always swipe, even if they don’t actually use anything from the space?

I’m sure there is a solution out there that’s better than what we have been doing. let’s try and find it.

Kevin, I thought about the problem of a person who just came by just to swipe in so they don’t have to give up their storage. I don’t know how often that would happen, but it certainly is a possibility. If nothing else, extending only by only a week means they’d have to go out of their way pretty regularly to keep the storage if they weren’t currently working on a project.

Moving to a parking ticket system for the vertical storage might also work, although I think it could be exploited the same way as a swipe/extension plan, with people just coming in to extend their ticket.

I don’t know if having a 4x8 shop would end up being useful or not. There are a lot of different grades, thickness, species of veener wood, finished vs unfinished, etc

in the vein of spit-balling, if we want to keep away from monetary incentives to avoid endless parking or at least give an alternative to people who can’t (or don’t want to) pay for extra time/space, we could ask people who get extra storage to contribute in other ways… donating a certain number of hours to cleaning/organizing the space, building something for the hive (more storage cabinets!), leading a workshop to engage current or new members, helping with the fundraising for A/C etc. I know everyone is supposed help with upkeep, but maybe there could be a option to put in a set amount of Hive community service to offset the benefit of having extra storage space (whether that’s for 4x8s or lots of metal or your incredible yarn stash, etc). I know that might be challenging to log and account for, but I thought I’d throw it out for consideration.

There is a lot to think about here.

  • Storage of materials for projects that require a large amount of space.
  • How much storage space does Hive13 need?

Hive13 is a community of makers. We make things. Some projects are small and quickly come together. Others are big and take longer to complete. Since Hive13 members share the space, our projects need to respect the community nature of Hive13.

To manage projects that simply will not fit in a cubby, Hive13 has established the Parking Permit system. We also know, projects begin with the best of intentions. Then life happens and projects go dormant. Hive13 history shows projects and material just cannot be allowed to stay parked in Hive13 beyond their active parking permit without impacting the other members of the community.

The parking permit process requires active leadership management to review tickets and move material exceeding the time limits into purgatory for disposition. There simply isn’t any other choice under the parking permit system. The member may remove the item from Hive13 or let the item be recycled into the community. The parking permit policy fails when the policy is not enforced.

The proposed technology and policy do not solve the need for active management. At some point the times up and someone must move the material to purgatory.

It is clear. Past efforts to accommodate “Temporary” storage turned into permanent storage. Prime example is the 2929 vertical storage space. Long term inactive campers blocked others from using vertical storage. This all happened due to lack of enforcement. The issue is inescapably one of enforcing policy. The proposed policy will penalize continuously active members as it limits storage to less than three months without significant cost penalty. It is three months and you are out. Move it or lose it policy, no matter if the space is active or not. Indeed the proposed policy still requires active management.

TLDR: A storage policy without enforcement is not a policy at all. The proposed tech will not stop someone from staying too long. The stuff still needs to go to purgatory.

We need to ask: How much and what kind of storage does Hive13 need? While not everyone needs a vertical storage space, we clearly could use more than 12 vertical spaces. There is also no half height storage which would accommodate laser ready material sizes. I suggest we repurpose the top shelves of the EFGH rack to make 16 or more half height storage slots, leaving the lower shelves for 24 member storage slots. This would provide 88 member storage spaces at a good working height. 55 member storage slots are currently assigned. ( 62% fill rate )

At the same time, we should tighten up the ‘project storage’ space on the woodshop side of the long aisle, reduce inter rack space and add two more racks in parallel. These racks would be to provide more vertical and member storage. The tops of the member storage rack would again be reserved for Hive13 storage like Learn to Solder and Infrastructure. These are valuable but infrequently accessed materials. (That gets more stuff out of the shelves in front by the windows)

I would recommend that Hive13 start charging $10 a month for the vertical storage from the very first day of assignment. The amount should be a subscription that stays in place until the space is vacated. Vacating the space needs to be a formal, I’m out. Swiping and all that is techie, but making it depend on soda credits is a recipe for failure. An abuser would simply not move the material and not fund the soda account. The complex tech solution doesn’t solve the real problem. The material must move to purgatory.

TLDR: Build more member storage spaces, including vertical and half height storage. Charge $10 a month for a vertical space starting with the first month of storage.

Members can share space, but managing that is on the members to work out. The charge for a space will go to one member account.

Just some thoughts.

Dave Velzy
Hive13 Board Member

I like the idea.

I’m a for more vertical storage, but we also need to make sure there is enough unassigned project parking. If we do half height again, it needs to have full plywood dividers and base… The old ones were a terrible mess.

As to the $10/month, I don’t see the point. It’s too low to matter and keep people from squatting, might as well keep it free.

The benefit of the swipes, kiosk, and automation is that it will give indication locally of the status so anyone can check instead of having to find someone who can and knows how to look it up in Intweb. It makes it so ALL members can enforce the policy instead of just a couple of the leadership and wardens.

What if the system was based on storage space availability? I personally would not care about people leaving stuff there for a long time if there are good number of open spots. After all different hive members have different needs. So my hypothetical model would also use the intweb system, but would not have a definite time cap on how long they are reserved for. Instead when the number of open spaces is less than a desired threshold, members who have had spaces the longest would be told that they either need to vacate within a 2 weeks or pay escalating “rent”. If “rent” is not payed or so many people are willing to pay that there are still not enough open slots, then the space in question could be vacated for a new tenant. I think this could balance the needs of most hive members, but the devil is in the details and I am not sure what the minimum number of open spaces should be or how much payment should be required in the event it is needed.

I think a twofold approach makes a lot of sense here.

  1. Organize a reasonable system for free TEMPORARY access to vertical storage and enforcement of its TEMPORARY nature. Parking pass? Sure. Something else? Sure.
  2. Gauge and gather interest from members in paid storage. Rent another 1000sq ft and dedicate it to paid member storage. Even at twice the cost of our original lease, 40sq-ft would be less than $25/month. I don’t think it would be hard to get 10-12 people together which would get up to 500sqft pretty quickly. The 4x4 space for cornerstone members is … a donation to the hive in disguise. It’s not renting space. It’s supporting the hive.

Give people a chance to play without paying extra if they give others a chance to use the space. Give those who want to pay more a chance to pay and do so in a way that’s economically viable.

I like this even better

There are some really valuable concerns, useful ideas, and constructive criticisms in this thread. Thank you everyone for offering your input. I think I have a better picture in my mind now of how we can make this work, I’ll write up a new version and post it, consider this vote withdrawn.