RE: assessments
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Mon, 16 Nov 1998 22:50:24 -0600
Sharingwood is the oldest and furthest along of the lot development models
of cohousing. Lot development is usually a rural strategy, because attached,
high density housing is not always allowable in rural areas.

We started in 1983 as an intentional cooperative community. Nobody in the US
had heard of cohousing at that time. So doing lots was the way you did

We did not build our commonhouse first, and I could see very few ways we
could have. Ours was and is a pay as you go development, so the first lot
owners had to pay for the rezone work, the orginial survey and land
development work. The next set of lot owners paid for increased development
work, legal title work. Then the final set of lot owners paid for the
commonhouse, community play field and garden. We self financed all our
development work ourselves because banks were and are unwilling to loan us
money for a project of this sort.

We do have an architectural review process in place, we did not for the
first 4 homes,and the process has evolved and changed. As you walk through
the community its pretty easy to tell which homes did not have the
archtectural review process.

As far as a diverse group of people goes, depends on the definition of that.
Skin color diversity has not happened. Income diversity has, we have several
renters, single moms etc. Age diversisty has, we have quite a spread in

As a legal entity we are an air space condominium. We had to pioneer this
law in WA, other states have it already in place. In this way, your building
lot is a condo unit. We started off as a coop, couldn't get bank mortgages
so went condo so people could get mortgages.

We are self financed, the members all paid assessments for all
infrastructure work and legal work, then got bank loans to build homes. The
first 6 homes self funded their own home construction because they built
before we had the condo legal stuff in place.

We are building a second phase of homes which start construction next
spring, the final sales of those 12 lots will pay for the development work,
repay the internal loans for the commonhouse, and cover the cost of the play
field and garden/park site. We may even have some funds left over for an
additional common element to be determined.

Rob Sandelin

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