Too Many Units???
From: Zpaiss (
Date: Tue, 23 Jul 1996 11:39:45 -0500
Dear Rowena,

I live in the Nyland community near Denver and we have had the honor of being
the largest US CoHousing community with 42 units and about 130 people!

Like your group our decision to be that large stemmed largly from our desire
to make the homes as affordable as possible.  Our zoning allowed 42 units on
our 42 acres so off we went.

Now after living here for up to four years I have mixed feeling about the
size of the community.  On the positive side we have quite a bit of diversity
given the surroundiong population and there always seems to be people around
- unless it is after 9pm when we fold up the pedway and shut off the lights.

On the negative side it is impossible to establish close intimate
relationship with everyone so you need to choose.  We find ourselves creating
smaller groups, some by interest, some by location, some by family structure.
 Once we gave ourselves permission to get together in smaller groups I felt
some of the frustration drifted away.

As you might expect decision making with this number is more difficult and we
are currently in a  stage of deligating more and more decisions to our
committees which we call Sustainment Groups. As we live here longer we are
building up a surplus of positive experiences which allows us to trust the
decisions of smaller groups of people.

Speaking personally I would favor a bit smaller group.  Say around 25-35
households.  But the reality is so often controlled by other factors like
zoning, site size and finances.  Ultimately regardless of the final size of
your community. you will find yourself spending more time with some people
and less with others.  Here at Nyland we have a lot of choice and that is

Good Luck,  

Zev Paiss

Nyland CoHousing - where we seem to always have at least one new face around
the neighborhood.

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