Commercial use of common house space.
From: Stacia Leech and Gary kent (
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2005 11:29:05 -0700 (PDT)

We are a recently occupied cohousing community on the west coast of
Canada - Roberts Creek Cohousing.  Our common house was finished in May
and we've been having regular meals since then and slowly moving into
the space.  We have all the usual common house rooms - dining, kitchen
(large open space), office, guest suite, pantry, multi purpose room -
small, laundry, children's room.

We have had a request from one member to use the large open space
(dining, kitchen) once per week (mornings) for a business venture.  It
will be for approx 1 hour and involve clients (approx 10) possibly some
from our community and the greater community. 

Her venture runs on a ten week schedule and we assume will run
throughout the year.

This request has brought forth many diverse opinions on the merits
and/or challenges of tying up our community space for members commercial
ventures.  The office was designed to accommodate members who needed an
office space and either do not have the space at home or do not have the
right environment for a home office (noisy kids etc., ).  We anticipated
that this space would be used for members conducting 'business', however
we have never had a discussion about the larger open community space
being available for business.

Some of the area's of concern are: 

What percentage of time should be allotted to commercial use? 

Are there activities we don't want to see happening there?  

If so, how do we differentiate?  

What about parking, clean-up, use of equipment/facilities?  

How do we go about booking in a fair and equitable manner? 

What happens when community and commercial needs conflict? 

Do we charge/what do we charge? 

What is that money then used for?  

Any sage wisdom from you ancient cohousers?

Cheers, Stacia (Leech) <> /robertscreek 



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