|Re: Cohousing and suburban sprawl||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Joel Woodhull (jwoodhulligc.apc.org)|
|Date: Fri, 20 Oct 1995 09:36:24 -0500|
On Oct 18, 1995, David Mandel expressed his doubts that the typical cohousing model would have a significant effect on suburban sprawl. Rob Sandelin responded by defending cohousing developments on large acreages, as being better than the typical development that would have occurred there anyway. I think an essential point made by David, that Rob failed to address, was that even if all development followed that cohousing model, we would still be as car dependent, and still despoiling open spaces of significant size in our metropolitan areas. We came to Sebastopol because a cohousing group seemed to be about to settle on a site in the town. We bought a 9 acre place in an agricultural area just outside town, hoping to link an organic farm to the in-town cohousing, much like Stephanie Fassnacht suggests. We think the 9 acres is a viable size, but only time will tell. Just as important though, is that the farm is where it belongs, and it is close enough to town that cohousing could be associated with the farm and still be where it belongs, in town, rather than destroying more agricultural land in Sonoma County. Unfortunately, by the time our deal closed, the cohousing deal evaporated and the group began looking at a site in another town. That possibility also seems to have eluded the group, and there is not yet a site in view. It seems to me that Sebastopol officially supports cohousing more than any town I know. Its general plan mentions cohousing, explains what it is, and encourages it as a good way to provide housing. It offers favorable conditions for mixed use development and live-work options. But it is a small town and intends to stay that way, so there are very few large parcels left. The typical coho model seems to have little chance of working here. It appears that if Sebastopol is to have cohousing it must come about through parcel assembly and/or infill. I think David's argument underscores the need for more of us to consider an incremental form of cohousing development. Its problems don't seem so much greater than the problems we've experienced so far in the big development approach. Joel Woodhull Sebastopol, CA
- Re: Cohousing and suburban sprawl David L. Mandel, October 18 1995
- re: Cohousing and suburban sprawl James Kalin, October 23 1995
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