Re: Cohousing as a rigorous way to live
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2001 10:20:01 -0600 (MDT)
> We still have some healing to do from earlier experiences but gradually our
> level of trust is improving. I have gone from a position that I might well
> have to move out (that bad marriage feeling) to a sense that this indeed is
> growing into a neighborhood that is caring, supportive, spontaneous, and fun.
> It took two years of living here to begin to feel this way.

Thank you for sharing this story. It is very helpful.

One thing at Takoma Village is that I think we do have a community spirit
and have managed to get through the process of building without personal
animosities although we have our needs differences and our opinions
preferences. Things are just tough from having so many decisions to make and
wanting to make ALL of them as a group. And we have a big group.

I think (at this point of being moved in for 4 1/2 months) that it is very
helpful that we have 43 households, about 67 adults & children, so we have
room to avoid people who are bugging us at the moment and still stay within
the community. It also helps that one of us was NOT the project director or
the developer or the site manager.

Construction is so complicated and expensive and time-consuming that it must
never be done right. I can't even imagine it. The sub-contracting  process
is too fraught with pot holes.

We had an excellent design team and they functioned as a team so when ever a
decision was made that one of us didn't agree with, we knew, at least, that
it was the best decision that 6-8 intelligent involved professional people
could make. Even though we had two people on salary with the architect and
the developer, they each functioned with a team of people using consensus.

Directing anger at one person is very easy. Directing it at 8 is very hard.
Unless you are a conspiracy theorist, a mistake made by 8 people is an
honest mistake.

It's mostly just day after day of the right hand trying to keep up with the
left hand while still carry the load of all the irritating construction and
property management related tasks that have to be followed up on _again_.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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