Site Finances and NYS question
From: Rod Lambert (
Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2006 19:22:59 -0700 (PDT)
As Development manager and design coordinator of a new ecovillage, - "White 
Hawk" - based on cohousing south of Ithaca on 120 acres of land, I can give you some 
ideas per your 2 questions below:

1. While not required it will make more sense to incorporate the land cost into eventual mortgage costs. Banks will evaluate the homes to include land cost. So the value is there to roll the land cost into the homeowner's mortgage.
2. I have often been told that NY is one of the most regulated states in the 
union. I'm sure it is one of the reasons for birthing problems. The offering 
plan required by the Attorney General is quite daunting. There are ways of 
mitigating the expense and time but at the very least one must submit a request 
for exemption which is not without substantial time and money.
Lack of adequate skill sets ( dynamics), site selection, initial risk 
money/affordability, are among the other reasons that groups fail. I think 
there may be list of failure reasons on the CoHo website by now? I often find 
myself saying that the hardest part to get right is the social dynamics from 
which it seems everything else flows.
I often imagine a visitor from a "third" world country having quite a laugh to 
hear how hard it is to create something as simple as a little village in this country.

Hope this helps,


Sharilyn Rediess wrote:

<<Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2006 08:43:12 -0400
From: "Sharilyn Rediess" <sredies1 [at]>
Subject: [C-L]_ Site Finances and NYS question
To: <cohousing-L [at]>
Message-ID: <200610151243.k9FChFVo004806 [at]>
Content-Type: text/plain;       charset="us-ascii"


I am new to this list and am part of a newly forming Rochester NY Cohousing
group looking into developing on an urban infill site (among other
possibilities for urban cohousing).

I have two questions:

First, can someone tell me whether the purchase of land is ultimately rolled
into the unit cost, or is that a separate upfront cost that is never
reflected in the mortgages residents take out for their units.  I've read
the usual books and websites and can't quite tell how that works (or maybe
the books are clear on this but I am hoping that it is eventually rolled
into the mortgage and am looking for an answer I like ;) .

Second, I am wondering why there are so few cohousing groups in NY state and
wonder if there are regulatory issues in NY that make it more difficult.  NY
has a rep for having old and often oppressive regulation on a number of
things, so I'm wondering if that is a factor.  I'm aware of EcoVillage in
Ithaca, but on the Cohousing Members list there are only three other groups
listed (and NY is a big state).  Our city has a history of being home to
lots of progressive groups and yet as far as I am aware there was only one
cohousing group and it fizzled out a while ago.  Thoughts?

Thanks all.

Shari Rediess

As yet un-named Rochester Cohousing Group

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