Lot development model and septic systems
From: Bob M. LKG1-3/A11 226-7570 (morrisonirocz.ENET.dec.com)
Date: Thu, 18 Jul 1996 16:46:08 -0500
On 17 Jul 96 09:51:51 EDT, Buzz Burrell <72253.2101 [at] CompuServe.COM> wrote:

>Subject: re: to develop or not to develop

>2. Use the Lot Development Model;  the community developes the property 
>until its ready for construction, and then sells the lots to the members. 
>It's then up to them, which reduces the amount of group decisions and 
>process required, without effecting the sense of community.  (Geneva 
>Community outside Boulder).

  This reminds me of a question I have been meaning to ask about the lot
development model. How is sewerage handled in the cohos that have been
developed on this model and are not on town sewers? Does each house have its 
own septic system, or is there one system for the entire community? The idea
of each house having its own septic system seems very impractical to me, for
two reasons: it is much more expensive than a common septic system, and it
requires the houses to be farther apart than they otherwise would be. 
  Here in Massachusetts, many things are driven by the issue of sewerage.
For example, the town I live in recently changed its zoning to require huge
(IMO) lots for houses, citing as one reason the need to provide more space
between houses for septic systems. And thousands of people are being forced 
to put in new septic systems, at great cost, to meet new regulations. So 
sewerage is one of the first things I think about when I think about new 
designs for housing.
  Another issue I would like to raise is that one of the goals of cohousing
is to have all residences within easy walking distance of each other and the
common house. One of the problems with the lot development model is that it
tends to put the houses farther apart. This could discourage people from 
visiting each other as often and/or encourage them to drive instead of 
walking when doing so. Either would IMO be detrimental to the sense of com-
munity. So I think the lot development model has to be very carefully 
designed to avoid this problem.

Bob Morrison

Home: Boxboro, MA               Work: Digital Equipment Corp., Littleton, MA
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