Wheelchair Accessibility
From: Pacific Gardens Cohousing Community (cohousingpacificgardens.ca)
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2005 18:09:22 -0800 (PST)
Hello everyone,

Pacific Gardens Cohousing Community is currently in the design phase, and our goal is to have 25 attached units (townhouse style) with a 5000 square foot common house central to the building. We anticipate having 3 stories, in order to minimize the footprint and preserve as much garden and natural greenspace as possible. This means some of the units will be on the ground floor, and others may have at least 2 stories.

We are making critical decisions now on the layout of our units and common house amenities. We would like to make the best use of interior space in the units, so that they are efficient as well as comfortable. In general, we don't want overly large rooms and hallways when smaller ones may give more cupboards or closets and much needed storage space.

Here are questions we would like feedback on:

- What percentage of units should be wheelchair friendly, with wide doorways, larger bathrooms ..? - What size units should accommodate wheelchairs, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom etc.? - How often has this been an issue in your cohousing community? Did people have to sell and move away if they became dependent on a wheelchair? - Did non wheelchair-bound people buy the specialized units, as a hedge against their possible need later in life? - Are units with stairs popular, or do they become a problem for current residents and for resale?

Thanks for your valued expertise. I'm sure this challenge has been met in many different ways, so please respond with any advice you can share with us!

Susana Michaelis
Pacific Gardens Cohousing Community,
Nanaimo BC, Canada

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