Tag: cohousing

Internet Service in Cohousing

A major conundrum for cohousing and one that warrants a chapter in the next book on building a cohousing community is internet service. To provide it collectively or each to their own? If collectively how to charge, or whether to include in condo fees? Which technology? Who maintains it? When Takoma Village began planning in 1998-1999, we had several internet-knowledgeable people who insisted that we install wiring for internet connections. […]

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Cohousing Challenges: Communes and Survivalists

Vier of site under consideration for Utah Valley Commons Cohousing

The ongoing challenge of cohousing is convincing town planning boards and neighborhood associations that a cohousing community is not a commune. It is more a cooperatively managed condominium than naked dancers in the woods living on rice and fruit. But in Utah the challenge is even greater. The disclaimer on the Utah Valley Commons Cohousing home page is: We are not survivalists. The full statement is: The Utah Valley Commons has no political or […]

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Building Codes & Tiny Houses

Book Cover: Cracking the Code

Building codes in towns and suburbs are a major obstacle for people interested in forming cohousing communities and ecovillages composed entirely or partially of tiny houses. Ryan Mitchell who writes the Tiny Life blog and builds tiny houses has now published a book of tips on how to address code issues called Cracking the Code. This guide is designed to help you navigate all the red tape when it comes […]

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Domino Toppling

Gretchen's Domino Forest. September 2012.

Domino toppling is a wonderful community and team building exercise. I’ve collected 2,000+ dominos — a small collection by any serious standards—a box of foam blocks, a box of small wooden blocks, realistic animal figures, Disney characters, and finger puppets to build scenes. It helps to have a common house so we can build on the tables. This works very well for all ages, particularly mine. It also helps keep […]

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Diversity of Another Sort

World Bank Meeting 2012

One of the aims of developing cohousing communities is diversity — in age, gender, ethnicity, marital status, household composition, sexual orientation, etc. You name it, we want it. Recruitment focuses getting more but groups feel they have failed if those who come forward are not different from themselves. Both forming and built communities are proud to say, “We have 2 of these and 1 of those and 3 more of […]

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Lot Development or Build All at Once?

What are the benefits and detractors for the standard cohousing model where you plan everything out then build it all then move in vs an alternative model of only selling lots to members and then people build their own houses? Developing a community lot by lot isn’t the standard so much as the only way some communities could get started, both because of funding and because of the real estate […]

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Multi-Tasking & Solitude

A link from my daughter to an article on multi-tasking in the American Scholar prompts this post — or rather congealed it. I’ve been struggling with a life that has become so complex I wake up thinking about taking long road trips in a small car with impersonal motel rooms, or moving to a Tumbleweed House of 200 square feet. Calculating how can I reduce the size of my apartment […]

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Elbows and Puzzles

I learned in my family that jigsaw puzzles were worked by turning all the pieces right side up, sorting out the border pieces and putting the border together first. Then you start on the most obvious parts and put those together, putting them into the frame as they seem to fit. Then you work the hard, all-one-color or random pattern areas last — if at all. Living in a diverse […]

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Sharing the Microwave

We are having the wood floors in our dining room and the cork floors in the corridors connecting the rooms on the first floor refinished. When the workers arrived yesterday morning, I showed them where the restrooms were and took them to the kitchen to locate the microwave and refrigerator. They looked at me quizzically. I said, “I realize you probably want to go out for lunch but you’re welcome […]

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The New Neighborhoods

Neighborhoods like the one you, or your parents, or your grandparents probably grew up in are still alive and well but are in high-rise buildings, the suburbs, urban renewal, and housing complexes. Our old neighborhoods were, where our grandparents and great grandparents lived, were relatively stable with generations of the same families living on the block, and if not on this block the next one over. It was a place […]

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