Re: Levels of membership
From: George and Rosannah Stone (
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001 19:06:01 -0700 (MST)
During its development phase, Cascadia Commons had only two levels of
"membership."  Members were those who had responded to all capital calls,
which ramped up to $15,000, and then required signing a "risk sharing
agreement" that committed them to equal shares of any additional
obligations of our Limited Liability Corporation.  The other level was
"Associate" , which entitled people to come to meetings, take part in
discussions, and to  indicate their views in straw polls and decisions in
our consensus process.  They could not , however, "block" consensus.  The
costs of attaining this level were nominal -- something like $25 for 6

Now that construction is complete and control is being turned over to the
Home Owners Association,  the picture is more complicated.  Owners of a home
have full rights to participate in all consensus decisions; renters can be
designated by owners of their home as having full participation in  all
decisions except those that have significant financial implications for the
HOA;  renters of homes  who have not been so designated  have  rights
similar to those of  Associates in the development phase.

We have found this system  to be viewed as fair and workable by persons at
all levels.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Katherine Fugitt" <kfugitt [at]>
To: <cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2001 1:06 PM
Subject: Re: [C-L]_Levels of membership

> At 08:57 AM 11/28/01 -0500, you wrote:
> >Our Chesapeake Cohousing Group is in the site
> >finding-close-to-acquiring-land phase.  It has been mentioned often to
> >create different levels of membership. I would like information from
> >neighborhoods as to how this works or doesn't work,  if time of creating
> >this is important ( now or later), benefits, etc.
> The "easy" answer is that at the point when the group starts needing lots
> of cash, you need different levels of membership for the people who have
> put in serious money (thousands of $) versus the people who have "merely"
> put in hundreds of $. The way people make decisions and the compromises
> they are willing to make (or not make) is often very different depending
> how much money they have on the line. It can be helpful for people to put
> this "serious" $ into the group kitty before a site is actually acquired,
> but I don't know that it is necessary. Having an Associate membership
> also lets people get involved gradually and find out if the whole idea
> works for them before they make a big financial commitment.
> Our Seattle-area group has been in-and-out of this stage several times in
> the past two years. In our experience, people who hadn't put in
> equity-level $ were a lot less willing to compromise on what they thought
> was absolutely essential in a site.
> Two cents from a lurker,
> Katherine
> ----------
> Katherine Fugitt
> kfugitt [at]
> Lake Washington Cohousing (at Forbes Creek Commons we hope)
> It Takes A Village. We're Building one.
> ----------
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