Re: Households Sponsoring Outside Groups in the Commonhouse
From: pattymara (
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2001 01:28:01 -0600 (MDT)

On Sat, 09 Jun 2001 08:45:22 -0700 Becky Schaller
<bschaller [at]> writes:
> Is there any limit as to how many times a household may decide to 
> reserve
> the Common House for their own use?

At Tierra Nueva we have no limit yet because it hasn't become an issue. 
We did have to play around with policies for a while to get a feel for
what worked...and it has developed into when a household wants to use
part of the common house an announcement is made, notices put up on the
bulletin boards etc.  The overarching understanding is that anyone can
feel free to reserve a room or two, but access to the common house won't
be restricted to other members during the reserved time.  If a ceremony
like Passover Dinner is being held, then we try to not interrupt.  But
quietly go on using the other rooms like laundry, game room or guest

So far no one has overused and abused the privilege, and has cleaned up
after themselves.   At the beginning we were more protective of the
space, and for the first half a year or so didn't let it be reserved for
private use until we got comfortable with the notion.  Now it feels fine
to see it being used for multiple events.   

> Are different types of requests treated differently?   


>A household  using the Common House for personal entertaining? 

This is the most common.  Birthday parties, senior luncheons.. plus
environmental club meetings, cub scouts, soccer meetings, 

>A household using the Common House for commercial purposes?  

We have decided against this usage for now.  Many members, my husband
included, are very against anyone using common property to promote or
support a commercial enterprise.  There are liability issues, parking lot
issues and more difficult to explain, a kind of reluctance to have the
public use the extensions of our private homes:  our common house.  There
is a vast majority against "renting it out" to any outside groups. 
Recently a member scheduled a Landmark Forum (est training in a new
packaging) workshop without consulting the group, and it was very
problematic.  More grist for the next community life meeting.  

>Or activities which have the support of several or more households?
This happens often.  Like hosting a gathering of the cooperative
preschool families, or various environmental groups, writers, community

> How many evenings a week do you find that your Common House can be 
> scheduled each week before members feel invaded?

Hasn't exceeded that limit yet.  We usually have one or two a week, on
those days when there is no community meal and it feels okay.  For the
most part, the common house seems underused to me.  I would not have
imagined that could be true a few years ago.  

> When you answer would you please say how many households are in your
> community. We have 36 in Sonora Cohousing and I'm also wondering if 
> having
> that many households makes a difference in the problems that might 
> come up.

There are 28 households at Tierra Nueva.  Of these only about half use
the common house for personal gatherings or meetings.

Patty Mara Gourley
Tierra Nueva, cen. CA coast

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