Re: Increase in housing values: A boon or disaster for cohousing?
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2006 04:36:12 -0700 (PDT)

On Jul 17, 2006, at 4:38 AM, ken wrote:

It was actually very frustrating because the neighbors all knew what
was going on but the city inspector had to witness the events and
somehow that just never happened. For months. the Apple Spa was
functioning with reportedly wall to wall beds with lovely Asian women
on them. Downstair is the Chinese take-out many of us went to for food.

So are they still there?  Or, if not, how did you get them out?

Constant calls to the city to get an inspector to show up again. I didn't mean to suggest that Takoma Village did this all by themselves but I moderate the very active neighborhood listserve. On the list we just constantly reported sightings and inaction on the part of the city. Those emails are forwarded to the city office in charge. Eventually an inspector had to show up at the right time, without a clipboard in his hand as a tip off. Yes, clipboard.

A seedy building in a seedy neighborhood across from a park full of probable druggies and alcoholics seems to be written off by the city as fair game -- anything goes.

And on a related subject, email for neighborhood action is a godsend. It is so much easier to reach our current membership of 800 people on issues like this. Our local ward leader is on the list and his office actively monitors postings. All complaints are sent to the city official in charge with a question "When can I expect a response?"

At that time the membership was about 200 but we could never have spread the word or gotten action as easily without the list. We also have a neighborhood newsletter that is distributed on paper on foot but it is a weak forum for calls to action. It is best for distributing calendars, crime reports, information about specific events. The email list works better -- no meetings required and it's immediate. No lag time.

We also have monthly meetings (I don't attend because Coho meetings are enough for me) of the full association and small groups form for special issues -- like getting the local bar to monitor its patrons so they didn't trash the neighborhood at 3:00 am.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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