Followup: how can a group use existing knowledge?
From: Molly Lazar (
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 04:15:46 -0800 (PST)
Tree Bressen wrote:
"Rather than adopt one other's community's structures wholesale (as someone 
else posted about), i would recommend that when considering a policy or 
approach to a new topic, a forming group look at the range of what's been 
adopted by other groups, and then decide what is the right fit 
for them.  To me that seems like a nice middle path between totally reinventing 
the wheel, and adopting something that you have no investment in or deep 
thought about."

It was our group, Blue Ridge Cohousing, that adopted another community's rules. 
 It needs a little more explanation.  Two out of our seven equity member 
families at time of land signing actually live in the other cohousing 
community, Shadowlake Village.  So we do have a lot of investment and thought 
about how these rules work and what they do.  We have adopted them with the 
knowledge that there were specific areas we wanted to change.  To change these 
specific items, we did research online and at the cohousing conference to get 
alternatives, like the library Tree suggested.  We then mixed elements we liked 
best out of these options.  Basically, our mantra has been "don't reinvent the 

One of the reasons we have done this is there were 2 other failed previous 
cohousing efforts in the Charlottesville area. So cohousing has a bit more of 
an uphill climb in Charlottesville.  We have extra pressure to do things as 
practically as possible.

Molly Lazar
resident, Shadowlake Village, Blacksburg, VA
member, Blue Ridge Cohousing, Crozet, VA

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