Re: Majority Rule
From: Dale Grover (
Date: Sat, 11 Sep 2004 15:43:32 -0700 (PDT)
We are set up as a condominium, as this was more financially realistic for us vs. a cooperative. As a condominium, we are subject to both corporate and condominium laws for Michigan. These require voting as a decision-making process for certain decisions. Our bylaws describe our decison-making process as using consensus unless we 1) get in a bind, or 2) are required by law. We spent a bit of time making sure our legal documents were in reasonable agreement with a sustainable governance policy.

During some aspects of development, outside facilitators did use voting for some design decisions, as I recall. (While it meant we got done more or less on time, it was not always without ruffling feathers.) I don't believe we've had to fall back on a vote so far. I believe the perception is that this would be a high price to pay for resolution.

2-1/2 yrs development, 1 year on site.

--Dale Grover, Great Oak Cohousing, Ann Arbor MI

At 6:23 PM -0400 9/11/04, Jim Snyder-Grant wrote:
Our condo docs (and our old development docs) have a fallback to voting if the group agrees that consensus has not worked yet & there is time pressure. We've used voting a couple of times: on one key development decision that had the group tied up, and on deciding our road name (we agreed ahead of time to use a voting process for that one).

We were in development for 5 years or so, and have been living here for 8 or 9 years. We haven't used the voting fallback since we moved in - no time-pressured decisions - on tricky decisions without a clear group agreement, we often end up agreeing on 'trying out' a specific course of action for a specified period of time. And we've also pushed a lot of our decisions to committees.

-Jim, from New View cohousing, Acton MA.

mikearnott [at] wrote:

Do any cohousing communities use "majority rule" for at least some
decision making?  I am particularly interested in the experience of such
cohousing communities that have been up and running for at least a year
or two.

Michael Arnott
Cornerstone Cohousing
Cambridge, MA


Jim Snyder-Grant
18 Half Moon Hill
Acton MA 01720
978 266-9409

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