Re: mythological cohousing santa barbara
From: paul kilduff (
Date: Sun, 15 Aug 1999 21:56:00 -0600 (MDT)

Gary D. Shapiro of Santa Barbara wrote:
>O wise ones of Cohousing-L:
>I am the email contact for the mythological "Cohousing Santa Barbara" 

I myself am the email contact for the mythological Baltimore Cohousing 
>People email me from time to time wanting to know what's happening here, or 
>wanting to know if there are any units available.

The only two emails I've received have been from Raines Cohen, who 
graciously and generously visited an earlier business meeting, and a 
resident of a commune in Baltimore County, who offered cooperation if 
needed.  Not a single person interested in living in coho in Baltimore has 
contacted me as a result of my email post to coho-L.

 >Usually I answer them a week or two later, saying that nothing is 
happening, but as soon as something does, I'll let them know about it. In 
the meantime, I've gathered quite a collection of email addresses, and a few 
phone numbers.

We started with five households at our first two meetings; we're down to two 
now.  The third household announced tonight, in the middle of a discussion 
about how to promote our group in Baltimore, that after giving it some 
thought, she's decided she doesn't have a commitment to living in Baltimore, 
and doesn't want to use her time helping coho happen in Baltimore.
>But apparently this is not enough to make Cohousing happen in Santa 

Whoo!  I can identify!
>Here are some issues:
>1. I'm not volunteering to be (part of) the main driving force to make 
>Cohousing happen here. No one else has, either, but then again no one has 
>been asked to be such a force.

I'll be part of the main driving force, but I have a job, and a family, and 
I want to start a small business.  My soul is warm, but not on fire.
>2. Real estate costs here are obscene.

Our r. e. costs are reasonable, comparatively.  Here, the problem is that we 
have a lame duck mayor, no clear choice to replace him, a housing 
commissioner whose main claim to fame has been that he has set goals for how 
many abandoned houses he will destroy each year, and a populace which is 
appears to be completely uninterested in cooperative living.

>4. Some think a group should get together and decide it wants to live in 
>real community, then go out and make it happen. Others think a small group 
>should find a site, then get people who are serious together and start a 
>group then.

Same here.  It's spooky reading your message.
>5. Retrofit vs. new development.

Same here, except in our case it's coneighborhood vs. new 
development/retrofit (the difference is between buying one house at at time, 
with possible rentals, and a comprehensive project, whether rehabbing 
existing building(s) or building from the ground up).  We only have two 
members left, and even we can't agree on that basic issue.
>6. What should I do?
>a) start a local email discussion list, get everybody who's inquired via 
>email on it, and say "Discuss amongst yourselves."

What a luxury you have.  I started an email discussion list 
(, but nobody wants to subscribe to 
it.  The one other remaining "member" doesn't have a modem for his computer.
>b) email everybody on the list and ask who wants to drive this thing
>c) email everybody on the list and convene a meeting.
>d) punt

In this case, I'm still reeling from the out-of-the-blue defection of 33% of 
our group.  I'm inclined to wait til spring and see where we are.  In other 

e) give the ball to the referee and tell him we're tired of getting our 
asses kicked.  Stop the madness!
>Please reply to the list. Thank you and hugs.

It was eerie how much your email reminded me of what's happening here.  
Maybe my reply will give you another viewpoint: it could be worse -- you 
could be in Baltimore.

Hugs to you as well; I know I could use one,
Paul Kilduff
Baltimore, where the good news is that the tomatoes are abundant, the sweet 
corn and cantaloupe the same.  This is the time we dream about in winter: by 
now we're accustomed to the heat and humidity, and we get to eat all that 
marvelous food.  Had *fresh* succotash (lima beans and corn) the other day, 
along with plenty of sliced tomatoes -- it doesn't get any better than that!

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