Update to Almost cohousing forming south of San Francisco
From: Sanda Everette (severetted.co.sanmateo.ca.us)
Date: Sat, 17 May 1997 00:16:55 -0500
This is a lengthy posting about this subject with a restatement of
original info and an update since I first posted it 2-1/2 months ago.

San Francisco Bay area cooperative/intentional community/mini-co-housing
forming:

We are forming a small urban intentional community while we are here on
the peninsula 20 miles south of San Francisco. We have been in
negotiation to
purchase one of 8-4 unit apartment buildings facing the lagoon between
San Mateo and Foster City. There are fruit trees and room for an organic
garden. We are seeking 2 or 3 other "families" to co-own in some form of
a cooperative--something between intentional community and cohousing. We
hope to share meals, gardening, and other interests. Perhaps other
buildings will come up for sale in the future so we can create a larger
urban community. For someone who has been living with a lot more space
around than is usually available in this densely populated area, this
location is wonderful: lots of birds, sunrise over the water, access to
biking/walking path 1/2 block away, large park with playground, tennis
courts, etc, one-two blocks away, other recreational opportunities
nearby with the city amenities of proximity to freeway and public
transportation, etc.

After several years of attempting to form community on our 40 acres in
rural NW Washington, we have returned to California to live and work for
2-10 more years. We will probably return to the farm in the future. That
project has a website and looking at it will tell you something about
our values.
http://www.cohousing.org/specific/dragonbelly/

FOLLOW UP since March:  The owner told us on March 8th that he will
definately sell to us.  He has several other people interested but likes
our ideas of doing a cooperative, gardening, etc.  He keeps telling us
that it is for sure but family pressure has slowed him down.  I know
cohousing is suppose to take a long time but this mini version could
happen quickly...and then again...He may want to retain partial
ownership for awhile because of concerns about capital gains.  That
would give us more time to find co-owners and more of an opportuntiy for
folks to try it out as renters.

Well Carlos, the owner came up to me on May 14th and said that he is
ready to sell and all the forces in his family that are trying to stop
him are losing.

Brian saw the owner of the building we are currently living in at work
today.  It turns out he is an engineer at United.  He said he might
consider leasing the building to us and in one year when he retires,
would consider selling it.  With two buildings-8 units, we could really
be a community with possibilities for common space.

Another exciting piece of news we got when we visited the city planners:
the size of the lot is such that we could have another 3000 sq ft of
living space--we can't go over 4 units/building but we could add a
story, as long as we don't go over 50 feet and turn the original four
units into three. Obviously that would take more money than we have now
but....my fantasy was to turn the two-2BR units which are above each
other into one four bedroom townhouse and then the extra living room and
maybe kitchen if we could keep an extra kitchen could become common
space and a new, now fourth unit could be built on the third story--  We
wouldn't to just add on because we want to preserve the extra land for
agricultural purposes.  This would be true of a second building, too if
we should purchase it.  Extending that building could give common space
for other activities...

I know this is not the way cohousing usually forms but it seems like a
viable alternative in the high priced San Francisco Bay area.

Sanda and Brian

For further info, write sanda [at] bigfoot.com

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