RE:[C-L]_ Crime in cohousing
From: Eris Weaver (
Date: Sat, 28 Jan 2006 14:54:21 -0800 (PST)
Rob said: 
> I would think cohousing would be slightly less likely as a 
> crime attractant than the surrounding homes just from the 
> fact that most of the intentional designs require walking to 
> the house in full view of many neighbors.  Con artists might 
> find the friendly atmosphere incouraging, and the 
> neighborhood communication networks to be discouraging. Urban 
> areas have higher crime rates, thus one could expect urban 
> cohousing to require more security and have higher crime 
> potential than suburban and rural areas. 

I should clarify that one of our security issues here at FrogSong, IMHO,
is the persistence of the belief that Cotati is "a safe, sleepy little
rural town" like Mayberry where everybody leaves their doors unlocked
and there is no crime. It's more urban than anybody (not just
cohousers!) who lives here would like to believe; we're on a main
highway and there are at least half a dozen rowdy bars in walking
distance.  Plus we have a commercial building with several businesses
that bring foot traffic onto our property.

The community started out wanting no fences, very open to the rest of
the community, etc. Well, right away we realized a problem in that no
fence means kids running into the highway! So we put a fence on that
side of the property. We've gradually been adding more security -
fences, locks, etc. as we experienced more problems.

(I myself grew up in LA; both there AND here I have had cars and houses
broken into, bikes stolen, intruders in the yard, etc. so I am more
cynical than most.)

In one dramatic case, one of our residents chased down a bike thief and
the bike was recovered. Most if not all of our thefts have happened at
night. One disadvantage, I guess, of peripheral parking is that hardly
any of us can SEE the parking lot from our houses, making theft easier.

Eris Weaver                 erisw [at]
Cotati, CA

"The cure for anything is saltwater -
sweat, tears, or the sea."  
                        - Isak Dinesen 

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