Re: Meeting Times
From: Denise Meier and/or Michael Jacob (
Date: Fri, 6 Jun 1997 12:10:08 -0500
Our group started out with 12 households, and over the course of various
events and various sites, climbed to 24, dropped to 13, then 7, and is now
full at 14. I remember the last meeting we had at 7 households; a few
people were missing, though most households were represented. There were
probably about 10 people there. By that time, we knew each other so well
that it was more like a family (a functional one)  sitting around having a
discussion. It was very comfortable, easy, and decisions got make fairly

But those days are gone. The next meeting followed a recruitment event,
and about 12 people stayed to watch the meeting, and since then we've had
between 18 and 25 adults at each meeting.  We schedule about 4 to 5 hours
for each of 2 meetings a month.  They feel way too long, and yet we STILL
feel the time pressure that you mention - where we don't feel satisfied
that we've discussed things thoroughly and made the best-informed decision
we could have. It depends a lot on your stage of development, of course,
and we are probably at the most intense time - just on the verge of
beginning actual construction.

We also do a LOT of discussion and other work over email, which frustrates
some people - it's bascially more meeting time. But it does do some things
VERY efficiently.

Denise Meier
Two Acre Wood
Sebastopol, CA

On Fri, 6 Jun 1997 MLYNCHIN [at] wrote:

> I'm wondering how long coho groups allow for their planning meetings. I would
> think it is based on the number of members and the number of issues and/or
> complexity. The group started out with 3-4 households, eventually grew to 7
> households, then dramatically jumped to the mid-teens in the last couple of
> months. We moved to a larger meeting location, but the meeting length of 7:15
> to 9:30 after work, twice a month, has remained the same, and I think it is
> hurting the consensus process in that everyone feels the pressure of time so
> issues are not being discussed thoroughly, and agenda items keep getting
> deferred to "the next meeting," but then they are not on the agenda and
> therefore lost. Obviously we are not paying attention to our growing pains.
> Advice? Comments? Stories?
> Marilyn Chin
> Old Oakland CoHousing at Swan's Market in Oakland, CA. With 20 units and 4
> spaces remaining

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