how public is my commonhouse?
From: Luk Jonckheere (
Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2004 08:06:13 -0800 (PST)

We are in the final stade of designing our first cohousing community here in
It will be a large farm reconverted into a 20-units community based on
'condominium structure'.
In our country too the regulations for public buildings are much more
severe. It is clair that we offer meals to the members of the cohousing
community, and occasionally (or regularly, so what) to guests and visitors.
For our municipal authorities a condo is a private place, but for the fire
dept. there are specific regulations.

The units were designed very small as to our current standards (average 950
square feet). We could do so while we consider the common spaces as an
extent of our living space. They will have to conserve a private character.
On the other hand we intend not to close down on our own and we want to
welcome guests and visitors just as we like to do now in our regular homes.

Reading the discussion on the mailing list by people who actually have
experience in cohousing, there are questions that arise in my mind. Our
assumptions are based on intentions of course, we don't yet live in our
Will the common spaces with all the friends and guests of our
neighbours-cohousers offer a sufficient sense of privacy?
Or will we have to be more severe than we intend on excluding strangers from
(parts of) our commonhouse?
Who are strangers? who are guests? invités? friends of members? friends of
the community? ...

A simple matter suddenly seems less evident. We will see what arises and be

Luk Jonckheere

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