Re: Private use of Common Space
From: Jeanne Goodman, JP Cohousing (goodmanjjpcohousing.org)
Date: Sun, 18 Sep 2005 09:53:34 -0700 (PDT)
Dear Sharon and otheres,

Wow! You don't rent out your common space at all. That's a surprise. Do you find your common house is underutilized or well used? Do you often get approached by clubs and organizations asking to use the space?

So are your team meetings held in the common house? What are some of your other uses, besides common meals?

As a new resident, I had always imagined the common house to be an extension of my house (with the exception that I would need to schedule things to be certain it would be available.) But that would mean if I had a bunch of friends come over to visit, we could see if the living room was available. If I wanted to have my book club meet in the great room, and it was free, it would be no problem. You don't do that though?

Please tell me how this works. (And I hope my reaction hasn't offended. In re-reading it I wondered if it had an accusatory tone. I don't mean for it to. I'm just trying to figure out how this works and to figure out what we need to do.

Jeanne

On Sep 14, 2005, at 9:18 AM, Jeanne Goodman, JP Cohousing wrote:

Thank you, Sharon. Do you have any liability or insurance and safety concerns that have to be addressed? Do you ever have times when community members feel as though they don't have enough access to their own common house?

The liability issues are one reason we don't want to rent the commonhouse. If we rent, it raises liability expectations and would require us to post many more warning signs for example. It would change the nature of the space.

I don't think conflicts are common -- people just work them out. But that said some things have been moved to units or to local library community rooms, etc. So demand has slowed, I think, to a level that works without conflicts. If we allowed the space to be booked for repeated meetings on an annual basis (an ongoing book club, monthly bikers association meetings, etc.) it would get crowded fast.

We do have to juggle team meetings -- that drives me nuts -- but that is more a matter of figuring out a million schedules! I call it meeting roulette.

Sharon
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Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
http://www.takomavillage.org

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