Ashland, Oregon COHO group needs help with intense neighbor opposition...
From: Cecile Shohet (cshohetgmail.com)
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2005 15:30:47 -0800 (PST)
Hello COHO friends, 

I am a member of the Fordyce Street CoHousing Community in Ashland,
Oregon.  We've reached a juncture where we will either get to build or
be finally rejected by the City on our proposal.  After two years of
hard work: we own our land, plan to have 13 units on 1.3 acres, 2 of
the 13 units are low income housing and will be built by habitat for
humanity volunteers, all the rest of the homes are affordable within
the reach of people of median income.  We are really excited about our
project, but we've hit a major snag.  Due to intense neighborhood
opposition (NIMBY'ism) at the Ashland City Planning Commission, our
project was rejected!  We were asking the city for a rezoning - to
allow duplexes and a triplex into an area that was zoned for single
families.  The neighbors were not happy with increased density,
parking issues, noise, property values, etc. and felt a rezoning was
fundamentally unfair.

Our only recourse is to appeal to the City Council (our hearing is
March 1st). As well, we are working intensely with the neighbors to
try and lessen their opposition.  Right now, we need the help of other
COHO communities in two ways (this was advice given to us by  COHO
consultant):

1. We need documentation of what happens to neighborhood property
values after a COHO community is developed (our project is in town, in
a neighborhood zoned for single family development, we are putting in
mostly duplexes and 1 triplex and asking the City for a zone change)

2. we need letters from neighbors of other COHO projects that love
being adjacent to a COHO project, OR, even better, from neighbors that
initally were opposed to COHO moving in and then grew to love being
next door!

We'd really appreciate it if you have property value figures for us
from your COHO community (or about COHO projects in general), or if
you know of a neighbor(s) who would write a letter describing just how
wonderful it is to live adjacent to CoHousing.

thanks and enjoy, cecile

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