Re: Environmentally disadvantaged sites
From: RSchmidt65 (
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 95 00:35 CST
Hi everyone!
     First I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Rita Schmidt and I've
been lurking in this group for the past four weeks or so which is roughly the
length of time since I first stumbled across the cohousing concept in the
form of "the bible" lying on my sister's coffee table. 
     Through a subscription to Cohousing magazine (following up on your plug
for it.) I was lucky enough to locate a well developed group in my area
(Penninsula Housing Partners) and I'll probably sign up at the next meeting.
     This group has extensive plans to develop a 2 acre site on which they
plan to put eighteen townhouses though they have not yet arranged the
      The site in question abuts a freeway which is one of the major arteries
for this region. The cars will be roaring by about 25 yards from the closest
dwelling. This highway is also the site of a lot of congestion during the
peak hours.
     Keeping in mind that land in this area is extremely expensive and scarce
and that their search has dragged on for years, I am still worried about the
effect that proximity to the freeway will have on the development. The noise
is loud enough that city regulations require a sound barrier. But, in order
to preserve access to the creek which runs along the highway the group has
elected to use the back group of townhouses as a barrier (The plan is for a
circle of homes around a central common with the common house at the front of
the site.) rather than put in a berm or sound wall (probably still
debatable). There are also high tension power lines running along the back of
the site.
     I am curious to know if any other groups out there have settled for
similarly environmentally disadvantaged sites and if so what the impact has
been on the success of the cohousing concept under those circumstances or
what anyone imagines the impact would be.
     I'm afraid that if the noise were bad enough it would prevent people
from hanging out on the common or their front porches and  that the
"car-free" site concept would become simply ironic. Certainly the site won't
have the peace and idyll that seems important to a sense of community.
     I'd appreciate your thoughts on the subject (PHP people too). I know
that more than one household is hesitating to join because of this very

            (RSchmidt65 [at]

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