From: Kirk or Esther Mueller (
Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2005 18:15:16 -0700 (PDT)
We had four lots at casa verde commons that border the property and are not part of coho. These are the issues we wrestle with: the kids and the parents of one family use our stuff -- playground especially. they trespass. the shared driveway situation, for which they pay maintenance fees confuses them. One family thought they could use the trash for that amount. They park in the fire lane. One family also has dogs that bark especially at night disturbing many of us. They have a two car garage and room in the drive for two cars and parking in front of their house but somehow they still need shared parking.

If there is anyway to keep those lots in the community, perhaps as detached home type condos, that is what I would recommend. If you could design your community so that these lots were located without the need to share drives, that would help.

Depending on your State, you can put some covenants on the land. You might want to restrict the height of the buildings, the type of exteriors, the type and height of fence. (As part of our many variances, the neighborhood insisted that the homes had to have covered front porches set back at least 15 feet from the street.)

I try to stress the liability issues when you have folks on the property who neither live there nor are guests of those who do. One of the solutions I kicked around community was to make them full members and charge them what you would charge a unit of similar size, just don't agree to do any maintenance to the exterior of the unit, or heck, agree to do that and legally annex them.

We are split amongst those who don't want any signs that might make us seem like an elitist community and those who are tired of trespassers thinking this is some sight seeing spot to cut thru on bike or on foot. It's kind of a capitalist (I own it -- keep out) versus socialist (it belongs to all of us, to share, from our position of plenty) thing. I don't walk thru the trespassers backyard, why is it OK for them to walk thru mine (a capitalist view).

Hope that gives you something to think about and good luck.

(Sorry if I've come off a bit negative.)

On Thursday, August 4, 2005, at 05:20 PM, Sharon Villines wrote:

On Aug 4, 2005, at 6:24 PM, katie-henry [at] wrote:

We're grappling with how/if to integrate them into the community, grant them access (full? partial?), charge them fees, etc.

What our lawyer said when we asked is that she wasn't sure but since we are legally a condominium, it would raise questions about what we were if we started functioning essentially as a club -- charging fees to "join." It would change our legal standing. We would also have to conform to other laws governing clubs -- liability, safety, open memberships, etc.

Our initial impulse to do this passed as we had more than we could handle with just ourselves so we never pursued it.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.