Re: to build fences or not to
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 06:52:45 -0800 (PST)

On Mar 28, 2006, at 9:21 AM, suzanne hirsch wrote:

Hello, I am part of the cohousing group in NYC. But more from a psychological perspective/inquiry, I was wondering if any communities out there have dealt with the question of whether or not to build fences within and around Cohousing communities, and if folks can expound on deas for, against, or somewhere in between on that matter.

We do not have large spaces of limited common element land that people would want to fence, so the issue for us, essentially settled before move-in: fencing the whole property. The neighborhood and many residents did not want a gated community. Our property is thus open on the front where you enter the green and then the piazza. But it is fenced on sides where it is adjacent to neighbors (most of whom also have fences) and on the back where the parking lot is fenced and has an electric gate.

Any desire, as far as I know, for a fence comes from wanting children to be able to play more protected. There have been no instances of children either wandering away or being harassed but some parents would be more comfortable allowing children to play unsupervised if we were completely fenced in.

We have a small adjacent lot behind our property, adjacent to the parking lot that we will fence so children can play there. Zoning allows a 4 foot fence and we want a 6 foot fence. Any of our 18 children (including the two-year-olds) could easily make it over a 4 foot fence and that lot is on a very busy through street. An eager child could easily go after a ball and be run over.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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