Re: Re: Rules & Regs Violation
From: patjavcc (
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2006 05:07:04 -0700 (PDT)
We had a member during our development phase who was simply unable to comply 
with our pet restrictions.  (He brought his dog everywhere even though we had 
agreed that, because of allergies, pets were not welcome in meetings.)  Finally 
someone went up to this man, (who in many ways was a really nice man but just 
thought that the rules shouldn't apply to 'his' dog) and said: "It seems like 
this community isn't the best place for you.  You need a place where your dog 
is welcome 24/7 and you won't find that here."  Eventually the man left but is 
still very friendly with our community.  This was during development so members 
came and went without the burden of needing to sell their homes.
We moved into our community a little less than a year ago and we haven't had 
any problems as described here yet (knock, knock).  But I feel pretty certain 
that direct communication would be step one.  Our conflict resolution policy 
(Laird Saub helped us to write this) has a 'non-negotiable negativity' clause.  
This essentially means that a member is NEVER allowed to say, "I don't care if 
you have a conflict with me, I refuse to talk to you about it."  We remind 
ourselves of this rule once in a while and, although hard, members are in 
agreement that they will find a way to work out thier conflicts -- either with 
a mediator, one-on-one, over beers at the local pub, whatever...the parties 
involved decide.  If they can't decide they go to the conflict resolution team 
for guidence.
So, if you don't have these kinds of agreements in place about what to do when 
there is a conflict, then you are at a disadvantage.  We asked everyone to go 
through a Clearness Process where the conflict resolution agreement was 
discussed one-on-one with each member before there were allowed to join.
By the way...I don't think it's relevant if your policies follow some greater 
state or federal laws, or if it's time to re-think your satelite dish law.  The 
conflict is about breaking a coho-condo rule.  One of the eventual solutions 
may be to change the dish-rule but really it's about the conflict itself, isn't 
it?  Neighbors who don't care about eachother look outward for support of their 
points of view, instead of looking toward eachother for resolutions.   
Patti Lautner 
JP Cohousing
Boston, MA
-----Original Message-----
From: Christine Johnson <manzjohnson [at]>
To: cohousing-l [at]
Sent: Mon, 10 Apr 2006 20:04:25 -0700
Subject: [C-L]_ Re: Rules & Regs Violation 

Aside from whether a prohibition on satellite dishes is reasonable or not, I 
think the really interesting issue is that in cohousing communities, it seems 
that we have limited ability to require that people comply with agreements 
failing successful exertion of social pressure (with the probable exception of 
collection of assessments). 
In cases where an individual simply doesn't care that their behavior is in 
violation of agreements (for whatever reason, justifiable or not) nor care that 
their repeated violation of agreements is source of unhappiness for their 
neighbors, i.e., they are simply not responsive to social pressure, then there 
is no way to persuade such a person to comply. Period. 
Christine Johnson 
Stone Curves Cohousing 
Tucson, AZ 
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