RE: By-laws vs. agreements
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Wed, 2 Jul 1997 23:49:32 -0500
I think of bylaws as a more legalistic set of rules about meeting quorums, 
insurance, and officers of the board and their detials.  In addition to this 
are agreements about how you want to live together. Some groups have lots, 
some have few, most have some.

At Sharingwood our bylaws cover voting (our fallback if consensus fails) the 
number and terms of the members of the board and their duties, the registered 
agent (the person who gets the annual renewal notice for our non-profit corp.) 
Details about the annual meeting, amount of notice required for meetings and 
the definition of our fiscal year. They were boilerplate from a lawyer.

We have made agreements, and in a separate agreements document we list our 
decisions  about pets, kids bike helmets, consensus process, late fees for 
assessments, land clearing and tree removal, home architectural guidelines, 
renters, quite hours, disposal of toxics and waste, lien filing when debt gets 
too high, and an alternative non-policy issue voting process. We added an 
associate members process and have modified the rental policy twice. So far. 
More to come.

We are WAY overdue in evaluating our agreements, but its just one of those 
things that we just can't get the energy to do, even though we really should. 

Rob Sandelin
Cedar Village (forming)

From:   cohousing-l [at] on behalf of Mona Loofs
Sent:   Wednesday, July 02, 1997 12:19 AM
Subject:        By-laws

Hello folks

We are just going through our group's documents (mission statement,
constitution, policies etc) and are wanting to start drawing up by-laws. I
guess these will become obvious when we move in together and have all sorts
of juicy discussions and conflicts, but I thought it would be a good idea
to find out beforehand what sorts of things we'll be making decisions on.
So what have other groups included in their by-laws - the infamous pet
policy is one, any others???

And how do groups create their by-laws, do they evolve organically or are
they discussed and drawn up before moving in or a mixture of both? How much
evolution occurs as the years go by?

I did try to do my homework in the archives but couldn't find anything
specifically about by-laws.

Mona Loofs
(where we are still waiting to see if the housing department has put the
bid in for our land. "Any day now" we've been saying for the past month...)

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