Living lightly: The other side
From: Rob Sandelin (Exchange) (
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 1995 18:46:15 -0500
Zev pointed out that Nyland was once a wheat farm.  I wonder what a =
regular,  profit driven,  developer would have done to the land? The =
other side of this living lightly is that we are beating developers to =
land, and doing a better job of developing it.  No matter, the land =
would still be developed, and so cohousing is developing it with less =
overall impact.

At Sharingwood a developer would have logged and sold all the timber, =
and developed 80 homes on the property, scraping off all the topsoil and =
selling it, bulldozing all the native plants into heaps which are then =
carted of to the land fill. I watched just such a development happen =
just down the road.=20

Instead we have 25-29 homes nestled into the native forest and hold 25 =
acres out of 39 undeveloped in permanent trust. We actually dug up =
almost all the native plants on our commonhouse site and transplanted =
them. Sharingwood and other organizations like it are key to preserving =
land in the long run, because the people who are most attached to it, =
live on it and own it.  In 300 years Sharingwood will be one of the only =
old growth forest sites in lowland Snohomish County.  If we hadn't =
bought and developed this site, it would be just another suburban =

So I would encourage groups to buy lots of land, develop it well and set =
up preservation mechanisms for the remainder.  You can be sure, that the =
developers that follow you will not do that, and you can be sure, that =
if YOU can develop a site, a profit driven developer can as well, and =
will eventually, and will not give a rip about much else besides how =
much money they can make off it.

Rob Sandelin
Home of the largest density concentrations of Trilliums in Snohomish =
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