RE: "Gawkers" at cohousing communities (FWD)
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 95 15:43 CST
Jean Pfleiderer  made some excellent responses to my points.

I just wanted to add that none of the points I made referenced in 
anyway Sharingwoods attitudes or positions about visitors.  At 
Sharingwood if a stranger is walking around the neighborhood someone 
almost always will come out of their house and say howdi.  How 
individuals react to strangers walking around at Sharingwood varies 
with the person, their current state of mind, and the visitor and their 
response to the Howdi. There is no visitor policy at this time and it 
has never been discussed.  We have no fences and have two signs, one is 
handpainted and says local traffic only, pedestrians welcome, dogs on 
leash. We are at the end of the County rd and this sign is intended to 
get the Sunday drivers to turn around at the County rd and not in our 
community.  It works well in that neighbors who walk our road for 
exercise leash their dogs.  The entrance sign says Sharingwood 
Community, private drive.  The rules and info about visiting are 
posting on a bulletin board at the entrance. The rules posted are: Dogs 
must be on leash, speed limit 10 mph, tours available on request with a 
phone number. There is a bunch of materials explaining what cohousing 
is and what's happening at Sharingwood in general conceptual terms.

As the area contact person for the local cohousing groups I have been 
asked by one group to only forward their phone number, that they are 
open to visitors by appointment only.  My point was if a group feels 
strongly that they want visitors  by appointment only it is good to 
know that, and the only way you can is by calling first.

You also asked if anyone in my group has guns. I do not know of any, 
never asked, not an issue for us yet.

>I can not imagine any community calling itself "cohousing" that would mind
>having you walk around in it, Rob, I really can't.  Have I missed 
something here?

Actually what is different is probably somewhere in our upbringings or 
some other place where attitudes about visiting are instilled.  I did 
not mean to imply that Winslow would have a problem with me walking 
around. I actually do not know if they have any sort of policy about 
it.  What I said was I would feel .....  That comes from me, not them.  
I was taught and I guess feel pretty strongly still that visiting 
someone's home who you do not know without an invitation is rude 
behavior. I do not visit even my friends unless I call first.  Its just 
one of those value things I guess.   My feeling, based I suppose on my 
values, is that uninvited visitors to Sharingwood, who are walking 
around in people yards and walkways, playing in the playground, peering 
into windows of houses (this has happened) are being rude. Those are my 
feelings and do not represent anything else.  Sorry if it came across I 
was trying to speak for Sharingwood or anybody else.


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