Re: Land Trust/Conservation Easement
From: Raines Cohen (
Date: Sun, 29 Dec 2002 12:46:04 -0700 (MST)
On 12/20/02 9:13 AM, Bren Smith < bren [at]> wrote:

>I'm wondering if any of the cohousing groups out there have looked into 
>locking up their land with a conservation easement. As I understand 
>this, it would prevent the cohousing group as well as any future owners 
>from ever subdividing, building on, or developing their land other than 
>what already exists on it. 

Several groups that I know of are using conservation easements: Oak Creek 
Commons and Liberty Village to name a couple of the top of my head; 
Mosaic Commons is another. Often setting aside a large part of the 
acreage as preserved open space is a big carrot to help communities get 
city/county approval for "high density" (by local/rural standards or 
growth-limitation regimes) coho developments.

>The intent is to preserve a particular piece of land in perpetuity. I 
>know this probably doesn't make sense for smaller urban developments, 
>but I'm wondering if any larger cohousing properties have done so.

Actually, Land Trusts are actually being employed as a tool for 
affordability in small urban developments. The City of Oakland is helping 
set one up, and the Northern California Land Trust has been active in 
this area, especially in Berkeley. By taking the land price out of the 
unit costs, and leasing the structures to a cohousing community or co-op, 
units can be much more affordable. However, someone's still gotta pay for 
the land to begin with, but Land Trusts can be a tool for getting outside 
citiy and private grants and low-cost loans out of funds dedicated to 
housing affordability.


Raines Cohen <my initials,2,dash,coho,dash,L at my first name .com>

  Member, Swan's Market Coho [Oakland, CA] <>
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