RE: Rules & Regs Violation
From: Chris Kemp (
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2006 22:37:44 -0700 (PDT)
Oh dear. I seem to be the author of this storm in a teacup.

I?ve recently moved in to co-housing to live with my significant other (who
has lived happily without a TV for many years, is a founding member of the
community and puts a ton of effort into it) and I think that the case being
presented is rather one-sided. I emailed the following to Anne earlier today
before becoming aware of this thread:


I?m sorry but I appear to be the unwitting cause of some friction here with
regards to the satellite dish.

I wanted the dish because the cable service used by the group unfortunately
doesn?t offer a chunk of programming to which I?m very partial to (I?m
afraid I?m something of a soccer nut). If this hadn?t been the case I would
not have opted for it.

I hope that in view of where the dish is sited (I asked for it to be
situated in what I regarded as the least obtrusive place) and the fact that
cancelling my subscription would make me liable to a substantial financial
penalty, that we might perhaps let this slide without a great deal of fuss.

My apologies for any offense caused and I hope this incident doesn?t serve
to sour any relationships that I?m hopefully beginning to build in the


I believe there is some history behind what?s going on here, but it?s not
history that I was involved in so I don?t feel qualified to comment on it.
The Rules & Regs of the thread title are nowhere close to being as clear-cut
as they are presented and Leslie (significant other) was rather upset at
being told peremptorily to take the dish down. The said evil dish is
situated right at the end of the housing block in such a situation that it
cannot, to the best of my knowledge, be observed from anywhere within the
complex and it certainly doesn?t jar aesthetically with the 3 or 4 dishes
situated on the neighboring houses. Indeed, it was there for well over a
month apparently before anyone noticed. Or perhaps that?s the amount of time
it took to dig up a regulation that might vaguely cover such an abomination.

My, co-housing looks as though it may be rather more interesting than I'd

"Distrust everyone in whom the impulse to punish is powerful." Nietzsche

-----Original Message-----
From: Ann Zabaldo [mailto:zabaldo [at]] 
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2006 7:12 PM
To: gebser [at], Cohousing-L
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Rules & Regs Violation

Hello all --

This is a truly interesting thread.  I've enjoyed reading everyone's
thoughtful posts -- there's quite a bit to grapple with and I've certainly
learned a lot about how people view "rules."  Thanks to everyone for sharing
your wisdom.

However...I'm slow.  I'm still back on what led up to this behavior by this
resident.  I don't feel the whole story (all zillion sides of it) has been
presented. (Or did I miss this?)

As I said in an earlier post, I don't think this kind of behavior happens in
a vacuum and person's "violator" is another's "liberator."

I'd like to know why the resident wanted satellite.  Is there an
architectural review committee and did he petition the committee for a
variance?  How many meetings did he sit through to have his request heard?
Or was it dismissed before being considered because of the restriction in
the condo docs?  Was this the first time he "violated" the rules or is this
a repeated behavior?

I'm reminded of the old saying that "rules are meant to be broken."  That's
how we get change. 

A big part of what's so glorious about cohousing is that we are "living"
communities.  We are not bound to enforcing 400+ pages of condo docs that
regulate everything from mailbox sizes to the number of goldfish you can
have in a 5 gallon tank.  We have the possibility of modifying agreements to
meet changing circumstances or ...  even just a personal request by a

Of course, the possibility exists that the resident was being self serving.
I'd just like to know more about the circumstances that led up to him
sticking the dish on the side of the house.  We might learn a lot knowing

BTW -- I LOVE this quote from Hitchhiker's Guide:  "We demand rigidly
defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!"

Ann Zabaldo
Takoma Village
Washington, DC

³The Road to Enlightenment is Long and Difficult...
So Bring Cookies and a Magazine.²

Wk  202 546 4654
FAX 202 291 8594

On 4/11/06 7:53 PM, "ken" <gebser [at]> wrote:

> Fillard Rhyne wrote:
>> Ken and Thomas have brought up some good points -- e.g., rules work
>> best when there are very good reasons for them, and there are clear
>> benefits to a non-restrictive approach.

>> _________________________________________________________________
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