RE: Commercial use of common house space.
From: Fleck (
Date: Sat, 27 Aug 2005 15:31:05 -0700 (PDT)
3 things you didn't ask about besides all the extra bookkeeping involved for

1. Insurance. Will she be carrying business liability for her "clients" (not
members or guests) and the community.
2. If you charge, that's taxable income to the Homeowners Association. Also
more bookkeeping. (Our yoga teacher, who lives here, just takes donations
and that's fine.)
3. All the time you and your neighbors have to spend hashing this out
instead of using your time for funner stuff.

Keep in mind that no matter how you work this out it won't be "fair". It's
just that every member of the community uses various components unequally.

In Jackson Place, community always gets scheduling preference over
"commercial" or non-member stuff. But our policy is to not rent any space,
period. Areas are expected to be returned to original (clean) condition
after individuals have an event.

If someone sponsors a music or arts event or a non-coho meeting or dinner
that person has to be there and either be a member of the organization or
indicate why it's related to our community.  Performers can sell their CDs,
people can accept money for auction items, and attendees can make a
donation. The sponsor is expected to be responsible for cleaning the space.

Good luck,
Anne Fleck
Jackson Place Cohousing Seattle

-----Original Message-----
From: Stacia Leech and Gary kent [mailto:garykent [at]]
Sent: Friday, August 26, 2005 11:28 AM
To: Coho list serv
Subject: [C-L]_ Commercial use of common house space.


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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