Kids are great, but not essential to closeness
From: Lynn Nadeau (
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 1999 10:54:58 -0500
> I could not measure it, but am sure that the absence of kids greatly reduced 
>opportunities and motivation for adults to get together, and therefore, to
>develop closer relationships. -- Graham Meltzer

Based on the experience of our community, I would find this questionable. 
We have only 4 resident children among the 15 resident households here, 
and the adults have had lots of opportunities and motivation to get 
together. The community gardens are a case in point, as well as the work 
of the various committees, and the upcoming common-house construction, 
which will use a lot of volunteer work. Community potlucks, assisting a 
member in need, building a pump house for our well, as well as common 
interests in the outside community of our small town-- all give us a lot 
to do together, and share our thoughts and experiences about. 

The children are busy with the many children in the neighborhood and 
town, and the abundance of things to do for kids in the area. They aren't 
reliant on the cohousing crowd for their activities. And the cohousing 
members are cordially supportive of the kids: they go see them perform, 
donate to their fund-raisers, wish them happy birthday, and so forth. The 
kids know the adults are a resource. We look forward to when we will have 
more young children around,  for the diversity, but it hasn't hampered us 
from developing good friendships

Perhaps we even have more time and energy to be with each other, having 
less of it going to the very energy-consuming business of parenting! 

(I was also surprised at the $28,000-$48,000 per dwelling "soft costs". 
Our group had no developer profit, no sales promotion costs except a few 
newspaper ads, minimal legal costs to verify our documents and arrange 
our deeds, minimal engineering to get our drainage plans and such 
"stamped", a one-day workshop with a landscape architect, some surveying, 
and about $6000 worth of professional design input on our common house. 
Our buy-in cost of $28-38,000 covered that, plus the land purchase, the 
infrastructure installation, and the common house budget. It's a 
trade-off of time vs money. )
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