|Cobb Hill background||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Judith Bush (jbushtogether.net)|
|Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2000 19:43:16 -0600 (MDT)|
Construction is expected to begin at Cobb Hill, Hartland, Vermont in the next month. With 16 of 22 member households identified, we are putting the word out to find the final few who will complete the initial membership roster of this community. If sustainable living in rural Vermont with an age diverse group of doers and seekers is of interest to you, please read on. What follows was recently written by Donella Meadows, a community member. The Cobb Hill website is www.sustainer.org/cobbhill. There you will find principles, bylaws, pictures, member lists, site plan, etc. The house plans on the site are early sketches that will be updated soon. What follows is a brief update of the narrative, since we've come so far so fast. The farm is up and running with workhorses, dairy cows, chickens, and 60 CSA subscribers. Sugaring equipment - a traditional venture at these farms - is being moved to a new location on the property, nearer to the sugarbush which is a feature of the many forested acres which are being managed by the community. We hope to break ground in mid-July, and to start moving in early next spring. Completions will be staggered; the last ones may be a year from fall 2000. Six member families already live at or close by the site. When you buy into Cobb Hill you buy your own unit plus an undifferentiated share in the common property -- 270 acres of land, commonhouse, two barns (one of which will become an Art Barn), numerous outbuildings, roads, water and wasterwater and heating systems, etc. Decisions about those common properties are made by consensus of all owners (see our bylaws). There are 22 housing units of various types: 3 500 sq ft one-room apartments in the commonhouse (which use the commonhouse kitchen), 1 shared duplex with two private living spaces and a shared kitchen, 5 regular duplexes (1200 or 1400 sq ft each), and 7 single family home (1200 or 1400 sq ft). The sizes mentioned here do not include full basements, some of which, because of the hill, are walkouts. Living space and numbers of bedrooms can be altered by the optional building of bays, dormers, and other devices -- all of which change the cost . The 3400 sq ft commonhouse will have a kitchen and dining room where everyone can gather, a sitting room, a kids play room, two guest bedrooms, a big porch. That area is its first floor; its basement and second floor will be unfinished for the foreseeable future. It will look out on a level playground for swings and games. There's lots of space for community gardens, plus a 7-acre CSA garden right down the hill, on its way to organic certification. The houses will meet or exceed Vermont Energy Star performance standards. We will have composting toilets and a graywater leachfield. We have a common well and a single common wood-burning furnace. Heat and hot water are delivered through a district heating system (underground insulated pipes). There are also propane backup heating units. Roofs are oriented for solar and the plumbing will allow the easy addition of solar hot water as families desire. Our appliances will be the most efficient ones we can afford. Electricity will be from the grid until we can afford a fuel cell or some such. Buy-in prices will be our actual total cost. We can't know them exactly now (or probably until the construction is finished), and they vary greatly depending on each family's choice of options for size, configuration, finishes, cabinetry, etc. So the prices quoted here are rough estimates and may be varied up or down, both by your own choice (for example, you can do the finishing yourself) and by things we haven't settled yet, such as interest rates on the construction loan (half of which we are now covering ourselves with a lot of help from our friends!) Roughly half the cost estimates I'm about to list are the actual house cost; the rest is your share of all other costs -- the land, the commonhouse, the common utilities, the site preparation, the permits, interest, legal and design and engineering costs. You buy much more than a house when you buy into Cobb Hill. You buy a farm, a community, a commonhouse, and many green options that will reduce your monthly operating cost. Rough prices at the moment, per unit: Apartment -- $120,000 Shared duplex -- $150,000-$180,000 Duplex -- $200,000-$250,000 Single family -- $210,000-$260,000 We have 16 DP (bought-in and cleared) households so far, which means there are 6 units still available. Until we dig cellar holes and pour cement, they could include all the types listed above, especially since I and perhaps other DPs might be willing to change our preferences, depending on which units are desired by new people coming in. We expect that there might be buying and selling and switching units over time, as family sizes swell and shrink, and as some households leave and units come up for sale. Once we are filled, we will maintain a waiting list of people who might be interested in joining us. All member households will be together (work and play) from July 7 through July 10. The website tells you how to make contact and become acquainted with us. We encourage you to do that!
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