Re: Sewers
From: Buzz Burrell (72253.2101CompuServe.COM)
Date: Sat, 20 Jul 1996 12:11:00 -0500
I wrote:

>>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).

Bob Morrison responded:
>  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... 

Good question.  Fortunately or unfortunately, waste regulations are set 
at the state level and not national, and are enforced locally.  Therefor, 
its hard to answer your question.

Here in Colorado, its cheaper to have individual systems, because 
multiple systems are going to be regulated more stringently.  Plus, 
financing could be jeapardized unless each deeded unit was 
self-sufficient.  Providing you have a good site, a septic and leach 
field is straightforward;  I just put in one for a small house in a rural 
area, and the total cost was about $2,000.  (Our group is actually 
thinking of putting in a system that will recycle grey water, but I don't 
yet know enough about the ramifications of that to comment).

Regarding size of lots, its often less of an issue than one would think.  
Most coho is going to kick out a sizable portion for open space, and the 
leach fields can go there, thus not requiring the houses to be further 
apart.  IOW, the systems don't have to be between the houses.

>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...

There is no particular reason why the lot development model would make 
the houses further apart.  Some developments using the LDM may be further 
apart (like ours), but that is their choice, often due to the tendancy of 
the LDM being used more in rural areas.  Keep in mind, all the LDM means 
is that the lots are sold back to the owners *before* the houses are 
built, instead of *after*.  This is an easy and clear way of 
understanding the two approaches!

Difference in density could definitly arise however, because attached 
units are unlikely (but not ruled out) in the LDM.  

Buzz Burrell
Geneva Community
Boulder, CO

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