RE: Buying Land
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 1997 09:44:51 -0500
Sharingwood, being somewhat oddball, purchased land with only ONE person. This 
person became the founder, she then attracted a small core group who bought 
the other half interest, later she sold off shares one at a time to recoop her 
financial investment. In other words, she was willing to invest her money in 
community rather than a bank, got no financial reward, but of course reaps the 
rewards of the community. This was her intention. Another group forming in 
Seattle is doing the same thing. One couple bought and committed to the site 
and they are forming the group around them, with the intention of eventually 
recooping their investment much later.

So, the group size I would worry most about is how much activity levels can 
the group support without burnout  Eg, if one person is doing all the planning 
and development work it may not be sustainable. My understanding of such 
things comes from the study of small group dynamics and 8 partners is 
generally considered the best number, its big enough so if a couple of 
partners are lost they can replaced without too much angst or stress on the 
group, and its the optimum sized group to make effective decisions.  

So, if your proto group has enough energy and funds to carry the task forward, 
do it. I would personally not invest my money in a group with less than eight 
partners, and since I am currently forming a community as well, I live by my 
own advice.

Rob Sandelin
Currently at Sharingwood
Someday at Cedar Village Permaculture Retreat Center
From:   cohousing-l [at] on behalf of NKaten947 [at]
Sent:   Wednesday, April 16, 1997 4:15 PM
Subject:        Buying Land

I didn't get much response to my last inquiry, so I would like to ask again.
Our group is talking to land owners about buying a piece of property.  At
this time there are only six households involved and we are looking at a
piece for 27 homes.
Have other groups bought land with this few families?? How has it gone?  We
are in Bellingham, WA with a surrounding population of 150,000 and an
Eco-Village is also forming.  We are concerned that we won't get enough
members.  Has anyone had trouble getting members in smaller urban areas?  We
would like to tell the land owners some positive experiences from other
groups ( and our own peace of mind)..
Thank you,
 Kate N. Nichols for the Bellingham Cohousing Group

If there has been discussion about this could someone tell me how to retrieve
it from the archives??  

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