RE: Mt. Shasta CA Community Forming
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 12:24 CDT


Did you READ the ad that Dave Adams objected to, and that caused you to read
him the riot act about being accepting of other viewpoints?

Yes and I did call. I got the impression from the message that it is 
not  a for profit development, the vision is not cohousing, but is 
community of sorts.  My point of rebuttal was to say, lets not be exclusive.

I could write up an ad for almost any cohousing group which would read 
similarly. Are you not incorporated? That makes you a corporation doing 
development. Did you not build a lodge? So we call it a commonhouse 
instead of a lodge. Again, the point I make is that we can learn from 
all forms of intentional community, even if they are not like cohousing.

One of the biggest dangers within the movement is the "we are better 
than them" syndrome.  Cohousing people are especially in the economic 
class position to take that attitude, and I have heard statements which 
reflect that attitude coming from people who are leaders within 
cohousing.  This was very evident at the National Communities 
Conference in Olympia last August and caused me to feel very alienated 
from the cohousing leadership as coming from the Cohousing Company.

I put in enormous amounts of energy and time into promoting cohousing 
and it makes me cringe to hear consultants mock and disparage other 
forms of community, especially when it comes from a smug, upper 
middle-class professionals such as an architect.

Sorry if I offend, or go ballistic, it's obviously one of my hot 
buttons. I care a lot about making cohousing happen as an extention of 
the communities movement in general and I see an economic class 
separation happening between the upper middle class cohousing and the 
lower economic class of co-ops and communes.  This kind of class 
barrier is really destructive to networking efforts and I try as much 
as possible to get people on both sides of the wall to keep their doors 
open.  I spent two hours a month ago at a religious commune learning 
what they had to teach and teaching them what I have learned from 
living in and creating cohousing.  I hope that our differences are 
something we can celebrate, and don't become fodder for intolerance and 

Rob Sandelin
Puget Sound Cohousing Network

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