|re:to develop or not to develop?||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Buzz Burrell (72253.2101CompuServe.COM)|
|Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 23:22:24 -0500|
The person from Grell Cohousing made good points and asked real good questions. (And taking 8 years to get to Initial Site Approval places Grell as a frontrunner at the upcoming Cohousing Championships!). Here are some of my offhand observations. I am the Project Manager for Geneva Community, which is N of Boulder - Jim Leach's backyard. We own 176 acres and are starting the infrastructure this year with house construction beginning early '97. We are friends of Jims and like him. We are not using Wonderland for anything. Why? Wonderland does good work, is easy to deal with, and knows cohousing and development better than anyone. However, we didn't feel we needed them. Here's the short list - * We are using the Lot Development Model. I think this is a very viable method, and greatly reduces the process and difficulty. * Our development is Use-By-Right. No PUD required. We still would have done the development ourselves, but this makes it easier. * Our community is small. * One member of the group (me) is acting as the main focus point. I am a Member/Owner, and happen to be somewhat good at this sort of thing. I'm being paid (a small wage) to act as Project Manager. One thing I believe you are quite right about: someone with experience has to serve in this capacity, and it is not a volunteer position, unless you are a wealthy fool. Doing this type of work via committee and group meetings could be a nightmare. * Lastly, we want to be at or near the leading edge in progressive and ecological building practices. Wonderland does good work, but innovation and creativity is not their specialty; getting it done with expedience is. So under our particular conditions, things are going quite well without any developer except ourselves (Geneva Development Corporation, wholly owned equally by Member/Shareholders). Contrary to what you said under (2), many other groups have done this as well. I certainly can't directly comment on what you should do; each situation is unique, and different processes work well for different groups. Everything should be an option (including buying a sailboat and coming back to America 3 years later after its all built and there is one unit left, just for you). My personal opinion, is that the Danish Model (as some of us call it), contains some inherent fallacies, many of which you accurately if indirectly pointed out. Following the Cohousing Book to the letter could be problematic, as this is the US, not Scandanavia. Have you heard of Nomad Cohousing, the newest in Boulder? In my mind this is a good future model. Wonderland is buying it themselves, developing it to cohousing standards, and then selling off built units to cohousers from an established group. In the Danish Model, you have tremendous time, effort, risk, hassle, and venture capital with little savings or profit. A giant PITA all for the sake of good neighbors. With the Nomad style (similar to Commons in Santa Fe I believe) Wonderland has most of the above headaches, and what the cohouser ends up with is the same as if they had done it all themselves. They may pay a bit more, but considering saved meeting time alone, its a wash. Let's call it the "Developer Model". (Naturally, I would be happy to hear what a member of Nomad has to say about this). Needless to say, it will be interesting to review my comments a year from now! Have I just put my foot in my mouth? Best of luck to both of us! Buzz Burrell Paonia - Boulder, CO 72253.2101 [at] compuserve.com
Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.