Re: Conflict Resolution at Terra Firma
From: Kevin Wolf (kjwolfdcn.davis.ca.us)
Date: Sat, 28 Nov 1998 09:04:44 -0600
At 04:23 PM 11/27/98 -0600, you wrote:

>Our neighbours are particularly interested in learning whether there are
>other urban communities which have a common fence.  We, for example, took
>down all the fences between properties and only have one common perimeter
>fence that borders on our neighbours yards.  They are concerned about our
>meetings/dinners etc and the noise they generate (as well as several other
>issues).

Paul,
I am not sure of your question.  What is a "common fence"?  At N Street we
have no fences inside the community and a perimeter fence with gates
between the houses and the regular existing fence where our homes are
adjacent to non community homes.  Our houses look  like theirs from the
outside except that our landscaping has improved and is better than most of
the neighborhood.  

Regarding noise.  Our neighbors like us for a lot of reasons. For the
residents who have been here a long time, they know that we are much less
noisy and problematic than the renters who usually rented these homes
before we did.  We also do not have dogs barking at all hours.  We now have
one dog in the community but if it was barking a lot, we would go deal with
it.  Our whole neighborhood was a noisier place before us.  We have a
dinner bell but you'd have to listen very hard to hear it outside the
community.  And most report they like the sound of it.  We don't have
screeching parrots, crowing roosters, revving up cars, screaming parents
and kids, loud music and boom boxes, and all the other usual noises because
we aren't people who would do that to our neighbors.  We would be glad to
have your neighbors talk to some of our neighbors if it would help. 

>Our feeling at this point is that continued dialogue and brainstorming
>around the problem areas is how we will move towards addressing concerns.
>Our neighbours agree but also want the City to do a study on co-housing.
>We've agreed to support this request in the spirit of working things out

Tell us your study questions and we will see if we can help at all. 

>If any other communities have dealt with these kind of problems I'd love to
>hear from you.

Are your neighbors aware of the property value benefits that might well
accrue to them through a cohousing development in the neighborhood.  It is
pretty well documented here in our neighborhood.  Many of the recent house
sales in our neighborhood went to ex-cohousers or our friends.  We have
helped put this run-down neighborhood on the map in town and put a positive
on what was considered a run down part of town.  

Good luck.  It sounds like your neighbors have a lot of fear.  The antidote
involves love - being nice, open with information, understanding,
thoughtful etc.  I will be surprised if you don't succeed because you seem
to be on the right track.  

Kevin
N Street Cohousing



Kevin Wolf and Associates       - Consensus-based Facilitation
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