ADA Requirements in Common House
From: Anne Crawford (
Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2003 11:59:05 -0600 (MDT)

I'm a co-housing group lurker, who is (obviously) interested in co-housing issues.  My only experience with the ADA issue is when we recently remodeled our cooperative nursery school kitchen and grown-up bathroom.  At first we tried to get around the ADA requirements, but in the end, we embraced them and felt much better.  It really is great to have a space that people of various mobilities can access freely.  In the past we have had grandparents and other guests unable to use the restroom at graduations, potlucks, etc.  The added cost would probably be minimal, if you're designing from scratch (although we had to do without a dishwasher because the only ones that match ADA countertop heights were expensive European ones--this was not a priority for us anyway though so we didn't really explore it.)  By voluntarily planning ADA modifications, we got lots of goodwill and brownie points from the City of San Francisco, which made what could have been a tricky permitting process go very smoothly.  They were much more willing to let us grandfather in a couple of funky things we couldn't change because we were cooperative with the ADA.
I don't know how well this translates to co-housing, but just wanted to let you know that the ADA requirements don't have to be a negative.
Anne Crawford
San Francisco
Anne Crawford
annecrawf [at]
Why Wait? Move to EarthLink.

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