Re: Is the Common House a Public Building?
From: normangauss (
Date: Mon, 20 Dec 2004 22:24:51 -0800 (PST)
Our common house is unlocked every morning and locked at 10 PM.  During the
day anyone can wander in and they often do.  Kids have a playroom that is
open to them all during the daylignt and evening hours.  Our laundry room in
the common house is used free of charge at any hour.  Sometimes kids come in
on their inline skates and scooters.  We often leave the front door wide
open.  In summer, swimming pool visitors sometime use the common house to
change clothes, take a shower, and use the rest rooms.

The mail delivery person needs no key to get in.  Neither do any other
delivery people.

Not only is it a common house it is an open house to anyone.  That sounds
pretty public to me.

Norm Gauss
Oak Creek Commons
Paso Robles, CA

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Sharon Villines" <sharon [at]>
To: "Developing cohousing - collaborative housing communities"
<cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Monday, December 20, 2004 1:19 PM
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Is the Common House a Public Building?

> On Dec 20, 2004, at 10:32 AM, Laura Fitch wrote:
> > There is absolutely no other way that the common house can be
> > interpretted
> > in Massachusetts (or Vermont, Maine, or NY) code other than as a Public
> > Building.  It is a building with public access.
> Depends on how you define public access.
> The general public does not have access to our commonhouse. We do not
> allow meetings that are advertised to the public. We have hosted
> occasional neighborhood meetings but only in the same way one would
> invite a group to one's home. A member has to host every event. Members
> are responsible for their guests. We don't rent the space.
> The Mail Carrier has the entry code. A few people  have given their
> cleaning people the code (unauthorized).
> That doesn't seem "public" to me. We do have exit signs, and fire
> alarms, etc.
> Sharon
> -----
> Sharon Villines
> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
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