Re: Chief Seattle & Cohousing
From: Craig Ragland (
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 1996 11:21:25 -0600
At Songaia Cooperative, we investigated Land Trusts deeply and carefully.
We found this structure would get in the way (bigtime) of zoning approval
and bank financing for our development efforts. Instead, we "own the land"
cooperatively and have bylaws that preclude development efforts in our 4.5
acres of forested hillside. This amount of land is also too small to
interest many external land trusts organizations. We now have our zoning
approval for our 13 unit development. Next step is financing. We see "our"
land as valuable because of its relatively natural state and actually, some
of us are fairly conflicted about adding 10 new duplexes for our families
to live in at Songaia..... we are a residential, intentional community now
in two shared houses. I see Songaia becoming a co-housing community as a
reasonable compromise between "living lightly on the land" and "western"
family values.

>Could it be that cohousing is one small step back toward valuing the land
>like the Native Americans do/did?  If so, how can we structure the agreements
>involved in holding the land so that stewardship of the land is best served?
> Some people I know feel that a land trust is a good legal instrument to
>ensure the land is stewarded sustainably.   Are existing or planned cohousing
>communities set up as land trusts?    - Mike M

Craig Ragland
Songaia Cooperative

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