Re: Re: Options in Canada?
From: Diane Law (
Date: Mon, 26 Dec 2005 17:18:47 -0800 (PST)
Thanks Diane.
  We're not keen on building in Kamloops. As you'll note on Google, it's  very 
spread out and spreading further. This makes it very car oriented  and 
disporportionately dangerous to pedestrians. It's not a city we  want to stay 
in nor raise kids in, and the City itself is very  unsupportive of things as 
progressive as co-housing. (I worked on one  project for four years and we were 
unable to get anything --even unused  farmland well outside of town-- rezoned. 
A lot of the land, too,  including the Exhibition Grounds, is Indian Reserve 
and unavailable to  buyers. The vast amount of parkland is being rezoned, chunk 
by chunk,  to commercial and single family residential. Sigh. And here, the  
highway marks the start of the higher prices.) 
  However, your step-by-step guide will be extremely helpful when we find a 
town we'd like to locate  near, so thank you!

    Hi Diane,
I checked out Kamloops BC on Google Local, and I see you have two golf 
courses, an exhibition grounds, at least four parks, a university, a 
hospital, an airport, and several sets of train tracks. (You've got the 
Trans-Canada Highway going through one of the parks, which is very 
unfortunate but perhaps you can put that to marketing purposes sometime 
"down the road" so to speak). The Kenna Cartwright park looks 
particularly lovely--very large!

The first thing you need to do is go down to the city or town hall and 
get a land use or "zoning" map. I don't know if you have zoning in 
Kamloops. This tells you what you can build and where. It's important 
to find this out before you start making any grand plans. Get the map 
and then go out driving around looking at land and mark down on the map 
the places that interest you.

Then you to the Registry of Deeds and find out how much houses sold for 
in various parts of town. This will give you an idea of where you can 
afford to build. I would strongly advise you to steer clear of the 
airport and the Trans-Canada highway even though land prices may be 
cheaper there. Your houses are not going to sell to the cohousing 
market if built in such an undesirable location.

Talk to city or town officials and find out if they have an inducements 
to develop in a specific part of town. You may be able to either get 
cheaper land or a "density bonus" for developing in an area that the 
city is trying to direct growth toward. If you get a density bonus you 
can build more houses on the same size land parcel.

Visit University officials. Find someone in architecture or urban 
planning who will let you give a presentation on campus about 
cohousing. Most of your prospects will probably come from the 
university although a few will come from the hospital. If there are any 
synagogues, health food stores, unitarian churches, schools, or health 
clinics put up posters about your presentation. Is there a university 
radio station? Get your talk listed on that as well. Later on you may 
need to run some announcements on public radio to find more prospects.

Put up a web site or find someone who can put up a page for you. The 
internet is how most cohousers find each other nowadays.

Join CohousingUS--even though it has "US" in its name it is still a 
valuable resource for Canadians. Example: the upcoming cohousing 
project management workshop  Feb 4-5 2006, in Berkeley California.
"There will be panel style and will address the unique challenges, 
issues and best practices of cohousing development. Professionals with 
varying styles and approaches will be presenting. Time will also be 
available for individual consultation." Check it out! You will learn 
priceless information that will save you years of aggravation and 
learning from the school of hard knocks.

Real estate development is very hard work. It's not for the faint of 
heart! But the rewards of living in cohousing are well worth it. Get 
going and good luck! Write often and let us know how you're doing.
Take care,

JP COHOUSING  617-522-2209

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On Thu, 22 Dec 2005 14:30:59, Diane Law  wrote:
> Hi,
>   I would like to be involved in cohousing in Canada.
>   My place of choice is the West Coast, but those options get pretty  
> expensive. I do love the Roberts Creek Co-Housing but it is full with 
> a  waitlist.
>   More importantly than location, I seek the following
>   -close to a small, pedestrian-friendly village, with medical 
> services and groceries at a minimum
>   -detached homes
>   -$150,000 or less for all costs to and including the point of 
> purchase
>   -lower-impact buildings, whether that be retrofitted older homes or 
> an eco-village of earthships
>   -kids
>   -unschooling
>   -active movement around making music,  hosting workshops, etc

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