Re: Group Involvement in the Development Process
From: Racheli&John (
Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2001 15:18:04 -0700 (MST)
** Reply to note from Sharon Villines <sharon [at]> Wed, 12 
Dec 2001 15:00:37 -0500

>From Racheli
Sonora Cohousing

I strongly disagree with both Chris and Sharon:
Our group was very involved in the development process,
and IMO this has resulted in a much much better product
than we'd have had otherwise.
It means we live in less toxic houses; that we got to push the
envelope regarding environmental materials etc. to some
extent, and while some mistakes elluded us, others got caught
in the nick of time.
I find that almost every screw-up that happened in the process
of building our project was due to incompetence and mistakes
by professionals - not as a result of lack of knowledge or lack
of timely response by our group.

I do agree that groups need to think carefully what they can
take on (in terms of sweat equity etc.), because it's all too easy
to take on more than is realistically possible.

Regarding Chris's hypothesis that groups that do too much
at the development phase end up burned out - we definitly
had some burned out people among us, but this doesn't seem
to me to be the root cause of the problems we are going through
now - for one thing, many of the people who seem to me to be
especially problematic are late arrivals. 

I find that working hard with other people on a project can be
a *bonding* experience, not necessarily a divisive one.  I think
a lot depends on how it's done.  (And my own bias is that the 
better consensus is used, the more likely people will find the 
experience of cooperating life enhancing and community-
building, not the other way around).

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