Re: Security measures in cohousing
From: Bitner/Stevenson (
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 1999 08:03:43 -0600 (MDT)
As you may know, we are in a very urban area as well. We still have security
problems, and some of it is due to poor planning on our parts, and some due
to naivete on the parts of some members. We had a huge issue trying to get
fences around the perimeter of our site, and ultimately most of it is not
fenced due to the objections of the aforementioned naive dissenters, who
think that fences will cut us off from our neighbors. What others of us
believe is that they would have prevented alot of problems, like theft and
unwanted visitors, that made us more defensive about our neighbors, not

That opinion aside, we have done other things that have mitigated problems.
Motion detecting lights go on when people walk through our alley and parking
area. Make sure lighting is a top priority-the difference is noticeable. DO
lock the common house whenever nobody is there- we have one door that most
people use to leave which is self-locking.

Don't be afraid to call the police even for little things. Have your local
patrol officers come and meet you all at a meeting and give you their
non-emergency numbers. Police determine how many people to put in an area by
the numbers of call they get, so call whenever anything illegal happens.

Have secure locking places for everything that needs to be put away at
night, and use them. I've had every bike my son has ever owned stolen after
being left out at night. Don't leave anything tempting for thieves, as they
will return again and again like cockroaches looking for food.

Discuss everything before you move in, so that you can have a plan in place
before you move in. You will be far too burned out to deal with this after
move-in and someone's stolen your bike.

More later if I can think of it. Right now I have to get ready for work.

Liz Stevenson
Southside Park Cohousing
Sacramento, California

>From: ann zabaldo <zabaldo [at]>
>To: Multiple recipients of list <cohousing-l [at]>
>Subject: Security measures in cohousing
>Date: Fri, Jul 30, 1999, 6:22 AM

> Hi all!  You can tell Takoma Village is getting down to the wire by
> the number of queries I'm posting to the listserv.  We expect to
> break ground end of August.
> So my question for this email is:  what security systems, if any, do
> you have built into your community design?  Alarm systems?
> Shutters?  Fences?  Bars on windows and/or doors?
> TVC is in a highly urban area w/ all the good and not so good stuff
> that implies.
> I think what we're trying to design is a system or systems that will
> protect us but not imprison us.
> Any thoughts?
> --
> _______________________
> Best -- Ann Zabaldo
> Zabaldo [at]
> Takoma Village Cohousing is now a
> *PATH Demonstration Project (Partnership for Advancing
> Technology in Housing) for HUD.  We have received $35,000
> from HUD for consulting fees to help us determine which
> energy systems and green materials are appropriate for our
> community.
> TVC:
> *first URBAN community in the mid-Atlantic
> *Groundbreaking mid-Sept
> *Ribbon cutting late March 2000
> We expect to have a healthy waiting list by groundbreaking
> Email me for more details.  Or visit our
> website at:

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