Re: Rules & Regs
From: Michael Scalia (
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2005 20:30:51 -0700 (PDT)
Thanks everyone for your replies, and my apologies for double posting.

I like the regulate-as-you-go approach as well, and I'm quite impresed
with the slimness of the Cambridge Cohousing rules.  As an EcoVillage,
it's a slightly different kettle of fish, since there are two
organizing principles: living in community, and being green.  The bulk
of the rules here are around environmental issues.  My feeling is that
we may have gone too far in trying to anticipate every eventuality. 
One of the motivators is that a new builder is coming in to put up a
cluster of 25 homes.  The builder does not have a history of green
development, and with a tract of 25 already-built homes, this cluster
may appeal to the "more typical surburban homeowner" than the "died in
the wool EcoVillager" who had to sweat through the building process,
getting to know her new neighbors and learning what the community is
all about in the process.  The folks that write the environmental
guidelines (a committee of community members) are in the process of
bulking up the rules & regs in anticipation of this.  What I'm hearing
in the forum suggests that may not be the best approach.

If there is anyone out there from another enviromentally oriented
community, it would be interesting to hear what your experiences are.

Thanks again,

On 8/2/05, Marta Vanegas <admin [at]> wrote:
> Peg,
> I totally agree with you - and I'm a lawyer, supposedly making a living on 
> regulations. :-) I think regulate-as-you-go is a brilliant idea, besides: why 
> to take an advance out on the problems?
> Sincerely, Marta V.
> Peg Blum <pegb [at]> wrote:
> After 7 years of living in community, I think our minimalist approach is
> working well. When issues arise, we do try to discuss as a community and
> sometimes refer problems to our Community Life Committee or our Managing
> Board. One can never anticipate exactly which issues will become
> problematic for your community and we believed it was best to deal with the
> issues as they arose. (Not every concern needs a regulation! Sometimes it
> just needs discussion at a general meeting or on email.)
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