Neighbor concerns and opposition
From: Lynn Nadeau (
Date: Fri, 27 Nov 1998 20:36:08 -0600
If concerns are about stuff that hasn't happened yet, and might not 
really happen, but people are afraid might happen, you can wait and see 
if there ever is a problem. And so the neighbors feel empowered, make 
some agreements about what the procedure would be, in case, for example, 
they find the noise DOES bother them-- who to contact, what follow-up 
will happen, how they will get a response.  Make it mutual -- not just 
them regulating you.

Around here, we have more negative impact from neighbors than vice versa: 
I can read in bed by the light of 3 neighbors' kleig lights, their 
unleashed dogs poop on our path, they run their lawn trimmers, and wood 
planers, when we'd rather have peace and quiet, they drive their vehicles 
across our field as an illegal shortcut, local kids tear down our 
pedestrian path at high speed on their bicycles.  

I wonder if your town has a noise or nuisance ordinance? If so, then they 
can be reminded that everyone in the neighborhood, cohousers included, 
are under the same rules regarding loudness, or lateness at night, or 
such. That you will be subject to the same rules they are. 

Lacking such laws, you might find some rules your neighbors would 
mutually agree to -- call it a Neighborhood Association maybe--- and 
while you are at it protect yourselves in the process from unshielded 
"security" lights, loud leaf blowers, 7 am Saturday power mowers, and 
loud late drunken parties at their places. They can hardly expect you to 
be held to higher standards than they are.

A good way to try out an agreement that folks are unsure of is to have a 
"sunset clause". At a specified point in time, the rule or agreement 
expires, and needs to be renewed, revised, or let lapse. Let's try it 
out--- for a limited time. 

Lynn Nadeau at RoseWind, where some neighbors are part of our social 
circle, others are generally cool about our presence, some are still 
suspicious after 10 years, and a couple grumble and growl about something 
like a fence dispute 8 years ago.  
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