Re: "have kids" "have nots" fighting over site
From: Elizabeth Stevenson (
Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2001 22:15:01 -0600 (MDT)
I am thoroughly unqualified to answer this one. I joined my group after 
building had begun.

I'm hoping my response will generate more discussion, because this sounds
like a very serious problem. Groups have broken up over less, and you've
invested so much it would be a tragedy to lose everything now.

I'm surprised the singles are so ignorant of the fact that school quality is
so important. Ask a realtor and s/he will tell you that it's one of the
biggest determinants of house value. It would be penny wise and pound
foolish to build where the schools are bad.

Historically, cohousing homes have greatly increased in value after the
community has been built. It is definitely worth it to hold out for better
schools, even if it is more of a financial hardship, because the investment
will pay off later, either when you sell, or when it comes time to

It may be that your ten households can't agree on a site. Our group divided
over our urban site, and some split off to find something more suburban.
They were not successful and disbanded. A group needs its burning souls.
What do the burning souls in your group want? It may be necessary to make
some hard choices and vote on a site, or split up. You can still attract
more people. But next time, I'd be sure to have a very firm understanding
that you have specific criteria that need to be met before a site can be

It feels like maybe you have the cart before the horse and need to have some
soul searching meetings before you continue to spend money looking for a
site that you can't agree to buy.

Best of luck.

Liz Stevenson
Southside Park Cohousing
Sacramento, California

tamgoddess [at]

>We now have ten financially committed households.  There are
> 29 towns circling Hartford.  Our group is from all over the state.  We have
> collectively pooled almost 30K in our bank account and have paid cohousing
> consultants 10K for help with site selection, pro forma, and guidance.
> Their contract has ended.
> If we land in a school that is perceived as lousy, I can forget my dream of
> lots of children running around.  The singles think we are too picky and
> are saying if we want more diversity, we have to move to a lower
> socioeconomic town with less attractive schools.
> The two families want a higher economic town with good schools and welcome
> diversity there.  (Surprise!).

> Shelly DeMeo
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