neighborhood opposition & concerns
From: Denise Meier Dmmj Michael Jacob (dmmjwell.sf.ca.us)
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 95 23:17 CST
Rob responded to my request for information on property values
(in neighborhoods surrounding cohousing developments) by
suggesting that we try to get local information on similar but
non-cohousing developments. He also recommended face-to-face
meetings with the neighbors.

I see I neglected to describe the process we have gone through up
till now. We have had two neighborhood meetings. The first was an
open meeting several months ago; about 50 people showed up. Many
were happy to see that we were not "wild-eyed hippies" and I know
that we calmed a lot of concerns. There was an interesting moment
when a group from adjoining street A said, we don't mind your
development, but could you put your entrance on street B, at
which point the people from adjoining street B said, we don't
mind either, as long as you put the entrance on street A. At
least everyone saw the humor of the situation. 

Unfortunately, some of the neighbors were not appeased; they do
not want this 5 acre piece of land developed at all, and they
have formed an organization to oppose us. Following that there
was a rather hotly contested city council election in which we
were an issue (and it didn't go that well for us). 

We have since held another meeting with neighbors who support us
and are willing to work with us on this. It was small, but
positive; one of the points that was made was that this piece of
land *will* be developed, and our architect drew up a site plan
of what it might look like if it were developed the way
surrounding lots have been; it was not something the neighbors
want to see at all. So that was a good step.

Your point is well taken that we can look at other similar
developments in the area. However, what we are looking for,
really, is indications that cohousing can actually raise property
values because the houses in a community are often considered
*more* valuable. That does seem to have been the case in Village
Homes, in Davis, which is not cohousing, but a development
designed with an emphasis on encouraging community. There is also
a contention that cohousing specifically will lower property
values because it's so "weird"

Thanks, Rob, for your input.

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