RE: "have kids" "have nots" fighting over site
From: Rowenahc (rowenahccs.com)
Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2001 15:00:01 -0600 (MDT)
Before I joined CambridgeCohousing I had belonged to another group which merely had a Metropolitan focus.  They also ran from town to town, moving further and further out, and changing memebership with every proposed site.   One reason I moved over the CCH was that I wanted to be close to the City and so did all the others who joined - we built commitment to the City into our vision statement.   It meant that we had to compromise on space and particular location but at least geography was not a major issue.   Even so, when we finally settled on our small site in a "transitional" neighborhood we lost some people.  I think that is bound to happen when you start the group without a site.
 
Rowenahc
Cambridge Cohousing
-----Original Message-----
From: cohousing-l-admin [at] cohousing.org [mailto:cohousing-l-admin [at] cohousing.org]On Behalf Of Shelly Demeo
Sent: Friday, June 08, 2001 1:37 PM
To: cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org
Subject: [C-L]_"have kids" "have nots" fighting over site

Hello from West Hartford, CT--
 
Two years ago..(though it feels like 10) when I hung up my first cohousing flier in this state, I wanted to pick my favorite town and call it Canton Cohousing and see who showed up for the first meeting.
 
I was advised by a cohousing consultant not to do that, but instead to cast as wide a net as possible.  Reluctantly, I called it Greater Hartford Cohousing and scattered my fliers  around various towns.  In retrospect, I should have stuck to my original plan.
 
Here is why:  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.
 
Connecticut Magazine is reserving space for a cover story when we choose our site...but we just can't do it.  Several sites have come up and we could actively have pursued three sites, but it always ends up that maybe 5 or 6 households want to and the others don't.
 
To complicate matters, only 2 households of the 10 have small children (me being one of them).  We want more families.  A new site has hit the horizon now and the majority of the singles like it and are getting angry that the two families don't.  The high school has a 33% drop out rate and is perceived as a weaker school system. 
 
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!).
 
I am tired.  Our meetings are starting to be irritating.  Our consultants are gone and we need help.
 
If anyone has ideas on how a group of ten households with totally different viewpoints, etc. can come together on one site...please let us know.  Our meeting is Monday and I would like to share any responses we get.
 
Newbies......pick your favorite town and go for it.
 
Thanks everyone.
 
Shelly DeMeo
Greater Hartford Cohousing
First in Connecticut, media watching and waiting....and waiting.....and waiting....  

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