re: fire regulations
From: Ted Chesky (
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 2002 21:25:03 -0700 (MST)
At Great Oak Cohousing in Ann Arbor MI (now under construction) we had to
jump through a lot of hoops to get our site plan approved. After much
wrangling we were able to avoid having a fire access ring around the
community, but we had to agree to sprinkler several buildings on the side
away from the parking lot. Surprisingly, we were also able to get the fire
department to admit that their trucks have a reverse gear, and were able to
create a couple of dead-end access paths into the center of the community,
rather than a road all the way through. Both of these were an improvement
over what the nearby Sunward Cohousing, the pioneer development in this
area, got stuck with. Their development had to be completely driveable,
inside & out, with no backing up.

Unfortunately the township utilities people got into the act and insisted
that we connect the dead-end access points, so now we have an 18-foot
interstate down the middle of the community so some sewer engineer can
drive a pickup truck through every ten years or so. But we're not bitter.

And yes, sprinklers are expensive. So are those grass pavers, from what I
hear. They sound great, though.

Ted Chesky
tchesky [at]

A more frequently checked address:
ted [at]

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