Re: Private? Public? or something in between?
From: David Mandel (
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2001 01:17:01 -0600 (MDT)
It was a very difficult debate at first, which we resolved by resisting the proposals by a minority to fence the whole place and/or put up "private, keep out" (not literally, but in spirit) signs. We put barriers in certain strategic places (alley) to keep the bikes from whizzing through and a couple of signs that were welcoming but at the same time informing neighbors that they were entering our yard. And we all agreed to be vigilant about asking kids to walk bikes in the interior and acting quickly to nip in the bud any inappropriate behavior by casual visitors. We still have some disagreement  as to what that comprises, of course....
Southside Park, Sacramento

Cohouser1 [at] wrote:

Hi everyone:
Solterra is a community of 40 lots on 20 acres.  About 1/2 of the lots are
now occupied and we are going to complete our common house around the end of
the year.  We completed our system of paths a few months ago providing access
to our common lands, our common house and all our houses without going on our
roads.  Many of our houses are located within several feet of a path.

Our paths have proven attractive to our surrounding neighborhood, and kids on
bikes, people walking dogs, and strollers are a common sight.  Not hordes of
people, but enough to cause serious concern on the part of some of our
members when bikes are driven too fast, etc.

This has revealed a fundamental difference or opinion in our community.  Many
feel we should welcome "the neighborhood" to use our paths and get to know
us, and we them.  Many feel that we accepted smaller lots because we own a
share of our common land, and the paths should be ours to use, not the
general public.  Others would like to wait and see if it becomes a serious
problem before taking action, such as putting up "private" signs.

This issue must have been addressed by several other communities, and we
would like to hear from you.

- What do you do about access by neighbors?
- Has it been beneficial?
- Do you encourage or discourage it?
- Have you had any problems?
- Have you put up signs?
- How were they worded?
- What has worked for you?

Your comments would be very much appreciated.

Gordon Lambert
Solterra Cohousing, Durham, NC

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