Re Businesses in cohousing - zoning
From: Mmariner (
Date: Fri, 11 Oct 1996 08:48:11 -0500
Hank O. said:

<<This [mixed use businesses in residential areas] is difficult to do because
of zoning issues except in the middle of
cities, and even then only some cities. My understanding is that Old
Oakland Cohousing is going to be in a mixed use rehabbed building. I'm sure
Joani can speak to that. It is still not community businesses, but there is
nothing stopping someone in the cohousing community from opening a business
in the building.>>

Coupla things:

Quite a few progressive, sustainability-oriented people are advocating
mixed-use zoning or more flexible zoning as being highly desireable to
minimize commuting, make more cohesive neighborhoods, etc.  A Boulder group
interested in co-op houses recently got City Council to liberalize the zoning
limitation that said no more than three unrelated people could share a house.
 It took awhile but they were successful.  

Shouldn't the "cohousing movement" begin working on zoning issues?  Perhaps
regional associations and/or the future national assn. could work on this --
in coalition with other interested constituencies.

My sense is that of all the professions/skills present in a typical coho
group that there must be some synergy among at least a a few members
businesses where they might begin discussions how to collaborate together --
joint endeavors, adding an additional product or service to a larger
business, seeding a small business nearby and/or offering expertise (a way to
nurture diversity?).  Two entrepreneurial businesses that might be marginal
separate might find new strength and viability combining together to offer a
more comprehensive or hybrid service.  

How about if urban-retrofit cohousing sites consider acquiring business
property off-site but within a couple miles of the site so people could walk
or bike conveniently?  

Coho groups might try to acquire property for more food growing (another
recent thread). 

Mike M
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