Re: Forming Group needs help
From: Mike Swettenam (
Date: Thu, 5 Oct 2006 15:14:22 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Maggie,

I am one of the founding members of Oak Creek Commons cohousing in Paso Robles, CA. We had a long haul to attract people to our 36 home community. What really helped us during our 4 year journey was hiring Neshama Abraham to work with us on our marketing. Here is the website with more information < >

If you have more questions, feel free to contact me.

Mike Swettenam
Oak Creek Commons
Paso Robles, CA

Neshama Abraham
On Oct 5, 2006, at 10:51 AM, maggiedutton wrote:

This message below is posted on behalf of a forming group in Nanaimo, a
gorgeous city on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Maggie Dutton

We Need Your Help!

Without five to seven new members invested in Pacific Gardens by December
21, 2006, the project risks folding.
Not only will the dream of a green cohousing community in Nanaimo die but many investors and owners risk the loss of all or some of their investments, over $800,000 to date – not a good thing for us or the cohousing world in
In retrospect we could have, and probably should have, done some things
differently but we’ve successfully danced our way through a maze of
rezoning, consultants, city requirements, design limitations, and more, only
to be thwarted by a lack of committed members.
We’re now ready to start building but without 17 owners, we will not be able to secure construction financing. We keep hearing from prospective members
that they will commit when construction starts – a classic Catch-22
situation. Unfortunately, the maxim “build it and they will come” is most certainly true but lenders don’t operate on the basis of that philosophy.
In August we announced the birth of our “Parachute Strategy,” an approach whereby new members could join Pacific Gardens without the risk that present owners and investors have incurred. Shares and shareholder loans would be
held in trust until construction financing was secured and the building
phase guaranteed. This offered what we thought was a great, risk-free
invitation to those teetering on the fence. Unfortunately, it hasn’t as yet
had the results we’d hoped for.
We offer a profitable opportunity for those who might wish to purchase a unit for investment or rental purposes complete with a list of responsible
community-minded folks who would love to rent it.
We are so close – but after years of effort, many owners at Pacific Gardens
have reached their saturation point, both from a financial and time
commitment. We see the emergence of for-profit green communities in Victoria
– how long before our idea is turned into a for-profit building?
How can you help? Maybe you know someone who’s looking for a cohousing
community or who wants to live on Vancouver Island.  Invest in us, talk
incessantly about us, send us your ideas – tell us what are we doing wrong
(or right), offer solutions, feedback – anything you think might help.
Thank you. 
Judy Delogne
on behalf of Pacific Gardens Cohousing Community


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