Re: will TIme limit future of cohousing?
From: Cbwhy (Cbwhyaol.com)
Date: Thu, 18 Jul 1996 08:29:50 -0500
Rob asks for opinions  and comments. He writes
>>I disagree that the group needs to be developers at all to form
community. I think that the best route to the future is to let
developers be developers and do that work, and have faciliated community
building happen amoung the residents, teach and learn group process and
decision making, do the design input work, but leave ALL the ugly legal,
permit, etc. details to other people and focus your group energy and learning
to be a group and building a sense of trust and community and friendship
amoung the group.

Well- I couldn't agree more. When my group was forming we approached some
developers (for profit and non) and , although we didn't do an exhaustive
search, we had no nibbles let alone takers.  Our ideas of what we
architecturally wanted  in cohousing - clustered housing with pedestrian
walkways- didn't seem achievable within the organic model of N Street. Our
alternatives seemed slim- try to develop or don't- so we are.

At this point we are 2 1/2 years in to what will hopefully be a 4 year
process.  Buzz Burrell's 7  thoughts on how to make the process easier were
great.  Maybe I read the cohousing book and  got to engaged in the idea of
the look and building of the community and not engaged enough in just being
in it (whatever it looks like). Some of those points were raised to our group
and we really didn't think they would work for us. I'm wondering now if we
read the Cohousing Book and were too engaged in the look, buildings, and
design aspects of cohousing. The more in the process we are the clearer it
becomes that those things don't really amount to much, and the community and
sharing is where it's at. Nevertheless I bet everyone in the group would do
it the same way again if asked. Ask again when we are moved in.

rob also says >> national development system in place, but I am not >sure
this is possible given the local nature of real
>estate development.  There does not seem to be any national real >estate
development firms that do residential work. Its all pretty >much local.

I believe there needs to be a National Cohousing Association which  assists
groups in getting going. Other groups with shared interests go to conferences
and meetings, introduce their issues and perspectives to  governmental bodies
and financial institutions. If cohousing is to go anywhere besides a quick
blip in the social history books under the late 20th century, we need to do
the same. Certainly the national developer community needs to be educated
about the opportunities available in cohousing (that there is money to be
made and good work to be done). The same can be done with the banking
industry. And I'm sure there are continuing interests- after you get built.  

Finally- will time requirements for first generation cohousing limit the
future of cohousing? I believe it will. Only if those requirements are
minimized can the most people get on board.

Corey Yugler
Synergy Cohousing
Delray Beach, FL
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