|An alternative to the cohousing development ordeal||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Jim Kingdon (kingdoncygnus.com)|
|Date: Sun, 14 Nov 93 22:32 CST|
I think the developer-centered approach (particularly in the early stages) bears careful thought. It is hard to keep a group together and keep people's enthusiasm up unless you move fast, and so there is a tendency for groups to fizzle out if the first site(s) they work on doesn't go anywhere, or other setbacks occur. I've known at least one person who has invested lots of time in co-housing core groups, and has then concluded that it might make a lot of sense to have a developer do things (of course that some people think it is good idea and that it can actually work are two different things). Of course there are pitfalls. I can imagine people moving into a developer-created community and expect the meals, child care, gardens, workshops, etc., to just happen, without understanding how much effort it requires of them. Not having worked with the group and gotten a feel for what that is like during the planning stages, would it then work in the operational stage? 2) Once a developer gets involved, she/he tends to treat the project as HER/HIS project, hence a power struggle ensues. From talking to Chris Hanson and others, I have heard this was a problem with some of the groups who used developers. We might be talking about two different things. One is having a group hire a developer to work for them. The other is having the developer do all the work (and have all the power) for some period of time before there even is a group as such. Turning things over from a developer to a condominium association is a routine operation (and sometimes has friction--finding out more about how this happens and how to avoid friction might be useful). If we want to compromise between the standard condominium deal (in which prospective buyers typically have little involvement in design, and only get involved after all the units have been designed and perhaps built too), and the co-housing process in which the core group does the development, we could get a group involved earlier than the standard condominium, but after something has gotten started (say, a site and some preliminary designs and preliminary prices). With a community which is to be like co-housing (except perhaps for the `participatory design' part), the number of things which the group needs to take charge of is much greater, but it probably has similarities with the standard condominium deal. I think the important thing is to focus on the goals. If you have a group with definate ideas about how the community should be laid out, and would not be very satisfied with a home designed by someone else, they probably want a fair amount of control to implement those things. If things like the meals, segregated parking, democratic governance during the operational phase, etc., are the goals for you, then it becomes an ends and means question. Not "is the developer-centered process right?" or "is it co-housing?" but "Can a developer-centered process achieve the kind of community we are looking for?". As other people have pointed out, a lot of this depends on the developer understanding co-housing, believing in it, and having the motivation to make it work. I can certainly imagine "there are no developers who are interested in this sort of thing, so we better do it ourselves as a group" or "I have no experience in development, but I believe in co-housing, so I'll learn to be a developer".
- RE: An alternative to the cohousing development ordeal, (continued)
- RE: An alternative to the cohousing development ordeal Elise Matthesen, November 11 1993
- Re: An alternative to the cohousing development ordeal Fred H Olson -- WB0YQM, November 11 1993
RE: An alternative to the cohousing development ordeal BARANSKI, November 12 1993
- RE: An alternative to the coho dev. ordeal Nancy Wight, November 12 1993
- An alternative to the cohousing development ordeal Jim Kingdon, November 14 1993
- Re: An alternative to the cohousing development ordeal Anna Yamada, November 18 1993
- Re: An alternative to the cohousing development ordeal david sucher, November 18 1993
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