Re: Who's on CONOUSING-L
From: anarres!gaarder (anarres!gaarderTC.Cornell.EDU)
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 93 01:07 CST
Hello!  I'm glad to see some traffic on the cohousing list.

I am part of a rather ambitious project here in Ithaca, N.Y. called
Ecovillage.  The basic idea is to develop a parcel of land in a manner
that is enviromentally and socially sustainable.  We have purchased a
170 acre parcel just outside the city of Ithaca and plan to put up 5 or 6
cohousing neighborhoods over the next dozen years.  Each neighborhood
will sit on 2 or 3 acres, as will a "village center" that is still being
defined.  This will leave the bulk of the land available for
agriculture, conservation, and recreation.

The project has benefited from an impressive amount of talent at Cornell
and elsewhere.  There are people working on biological waste treatment,
sustainable agriculture, transportation, energy, and so on.

I am most involved with the residents' group for the first neighborhood.
We currently have almost 20 households signed up, though at this point
noone has had to put in more than a few hundred dollars.  That will
probably change soon; we are working on a draft of a joint venture
agreement that will give us enough of a structure to be able to handle
the kind of money we'll need to hire an architect.  

The biggest hurdle we see ahead of us is construction financing.  Part
of the problem is financing the initial infrastructure (roads and such). 
While the infrastructure will eventually serve, and be paid for by, all
6 neighborhoods, most of it will have to be built along with the first
neighborhood, which means a lot of up-front costs.  Also related to
financing is how innovative we should try to be, particularly in the
area of energy.  Other issues we will be dealing with include racial &
cultural diversity, affordability, and how to accomodate both owners and
renters. 

So that's a capsule description of our project - who else is out there?

Steve Gaarder
gaarder [at] anarres.ithaca.ny.us

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