RE: "have kids" "have nots" fighting over site
From: Ksenia Barton (kbartonintergate.ca)
Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2001 13:13:02 -0600 (MDT)
I am new to our group but here's what I know about our history. Our group resulted from the merging of two cohousing groups that were based in two different municipalities in the Greater Vancouver area - so there were strong and differing initial preferences as to locality.
 
When the groups merged, they really worked on establishing site criteria *by consensus*. They developed a whole shopping list that specified that our site had to be in walking distance to schools, community centre, senior centre, shopping, transit, etc. They also agreed on a price range, again by consensus. Once they did that, site selection was relatively uncontroversial because there were so few sites that met the group's needs. Eventually, they found and bought a site that fit all of the criteria -- I think it was quite a triumph. The site isn't located in either of the initial chosen municipalities. Everyone seems to feel good about the location, though, because it meets the group's needs, including singles, parents, and elders. Regrettably, I think one or two members did leave when the selected site wasn't in their chosen municipality.
 
In your post it sounds like your group is going on a site-by-site basis -- I can see why that would be divisive. Has your group established site criteria by consensus? If not, it would be worthwhile to do so, without linking it to geography. Proximity to greenspace, affordability, and access to facilities for all generations are *all* important considerations. If good schooling becomes a criterion for site selection, perhaps the group could find a way of evaluating schools that goes beyond stereotypes -- as you know, urban schools sometimes get an undeserved bad rap.

Regards, Ksenia

*excited about our late summer move-in*
Cranberry Commons Cohousing Community
Burnaby, BC, Canada (Greater Vancouver)

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