writing community guidelines
From: Judith Bush (jbushtogether.net)
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2003 14:22:12 -0700 (MST)
At Cobb Hill in Hartland, VT, we call our guidelines for living here Common
Rules and Agreements (CR&A's), and they have a status that is lower than
that of our Bylaws, but taken seriously (of course!).  Some of our completed
ones are on our website: www.cobbhill.org.  I expect that from time to time
we will continue to need one for a topic not yet encountered.  Once some
entity - a committee or the gathered membership in a full meeting -
determines the need for a guideline, it is drafted, reviewed by a small
group in committee, then circulated for approval or recommendation of
changes to the entire membership.  Its adoption always requires consensus.
Often it has been discussed at the monthly meeting.  We've been grateful to
read and plagiarize liberally from other cohousings (e.g. we leaned on
Heartwood for our Conflict Transformation Common Rule and Agreement), and to
make contact in other ways with people who have experience with how these
documents work best (our friends at Pioneer Valley, for example).  We often
refer to our Rental CR&A to keep us on track when someone needs to rent, and
our CR&A on pets has provided guidance for the pet issues that have arisen
here.
Good luck -  is a nice distraction from the focus on construction.  Makes
you believe you'll get beyond it and really have a life in your community
that's about something other square feet for this and materials for that.
Judith Bush


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