More Terra Firma
From: Paul Weber (
Date: Sat, 28 Nov 1998 11:13:41 -0600
Hi Folks,

Just to clarify a few things for those who have asked. Terra Firma is not a
planned development, it is an existing one. We bought in an already
established downtown neighbourhood.  We are a small community, six
residences made up of two contiguous triplexes.

After we moved in one of the first things we did was taken down all the
fences between our properties.  The only remaining fence (common fence) is
the one that borders on our neighbours-- about 10 households. In the
spring/summer we had meals outside once a week.  Unfortunately, the noise
level bothered the neighbours, and communication was lacking between the two
Right now there is a lot of mistrust and anger on both sides, but at least
we are talking.

Our own community outreach was somewhat lacking (in my opinion).  At one
point an old brochure saying our goal was 25 households was distributed to
neighbours.  We've explained several times this is no longer our intention
(we're now thinking 10 - 12 max) but the original info continues to be
brought up. People are afraid what the future will bring.

What our neighbours have requested is that out Municipal government
undertake a study of co-housing to look at its impact on existing
communities.  We have decided to support them in request for a study, as an
act of neighbourliness and becuase we think any objective study would
support the good things about co-housing.

The study has not been formulated yet but both communities have asked to be
involved in the terms of reference, should it go ahead. (One personal
wrinkle for me is I work in City Planning Department! I have told the
neighbours that.)

Thanks for the feedback so far and keep it coming if there is any more.

Paul Weber
Terra Firma
Ottawa, Canada

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