Re: Private vs. Public space, next to back door
From: whitney beers (
Date: Wed, 7 Jul 2004 09:06:37 -0700 (PDT)
I used to have community trash cans outside of my house in a "common area."  
After fruit flies gathered in my not-so-common kitchen, I suggested we move 
them.  The consensus was no, that in the front of the house where I had 
suggested they would be too visable.  The next week I suggested planting a 
garden in a bed just in front of my proposed trash can location.  The consensus 
was an overwhelming "Yes!" and so I planted tall ornamental grasses and some 
pretty perennials that grew about 3-4 feet in height (Monarda, or Bee Balm).  
Later in the summer, when the garden was nice and tall, I suggested moving the 
trash cans again, and did a trial run to see if they were still visable from 
the street.  Voila!  They were hidden from view by my clever garden, and I have 
no more fruit flies.  It cost me a small amount of money, but in the end the 
trash cans weren't an issue.

We range from folks who really don't care what things go where to people who 
definately have an opinion.  There are ways to appeal to what everyone wants - 
asking for input into the garden, for example, from the more controlling sorts 
- without addressing too much that's psychological.  (I do think that deep 
seated values about what gets controlled and how is an extrememly salient point 
- and one that comes up constantly in our common areas).

Good luck - I'm on the bunny's side!


-----Original Message-----
From: Rob Sandelin <floriferous [at]>
Sent: Jul 7, 2004 11:28 AM
To: cohousing-l [at]
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Private vs. Public space, next to back door

There are sometimes control issues which underlay simple  decisions.  One of 
the difficulties in cooperative living is ferreting out the underlaying 
issues which come attached to decisions.  There is also a interesting 
manifestation of control which shows up around aesthetics.  Sometimes people 
want things to look a certain way and they are very attached to that, in 
fact they are convinced internally that their way is the right way.  This is 
often deep person value stuff, often very concealed and comes from personal 
life history. For example, two people, one is very tidy and neat in their 
personal space, everything is well organized. The other is not very tidy and 
very disorganized. Neither is comfortable in the others space, both beleive 
that "my way of living" is the best way and that the other has a problem.  
This kind of thing manifests itself unto community aesthetics.  It can 
become an underlaying conflict in the common areas.

Having said all that, I suggest offering a trail period to the bunny 
location. Try it out and then have the critics lead an honest evalutation of 
the situation.  Did whatever they fear actually happen?  You can not really 
understand things without having some experience. Whether the bunny location 
works or not really needs to be experienced. You can always move it back or 
somewhere else if indeed the anticipated problems actually exist.  These are 
the kinds of decisions that are EASILY undone, and thus make great trial 
period decisions. There will be many more.

Rob Sandelin
Sharingwood Cohousing
C0-Owner of a bunny

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