Re: Elevators and exclusions
From: mrbouchez06 (
Date: Fri, 9 May 2008 03:46:30 -0700 (PDT)
it's been interesting following  this thread because good points are made 
from several angles.  so with that  said, i have to second  Rob and Matt and 
several others who introduced  the thought  that exclusionary aspects reach far 
beyond accessible floors  for all members of society.  in trying to solve one 
issue, we heap on many  more, one being affordability to many.
i am presently discussing a  "retrofit" concept with a local government and 
of course the first   discussed roadblock was ADA compliance.  The suggestion 
was made to raze  the present building, a mere 8 years old,  and build a new 
structure  .  (yes, destroy/decimate/total) So the tradeoff here would be 
nothing for  anyone, no common meeting/gathering space because eliminating a 
million dollar structure and rebuilding another is cost-prohibitive.  
one might say, pick another  location but the idea here is to  retrofit an 
existing community, not start a  community.  so, regulations per se that exist 
as well as mindsets of those  passionate about an issue such as elevators and 
the  like  must consider new solutions/new ways of approaching age-old  
problems.  otherwise, by taking "a one-size-fits-all situations" approach,  we 
absolutely no progress for anyone. 
my fifty - cents  worth (cost of gas is significantly driving up the cost of  
In a message dated 5/8/2008 12:00:47 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
floriferous [at] writes:

By  building a cohousing community you are excluding most people right from
the  start who would never choose to live in such close association with
their  neighbors. You are excluding those who do not like meetings, you  are
excluding those who want privacy. The list of exclusions involved  in
creating a community from scratch is huge and probably the biggest in  many
cohousing endeavors is economic. Lots of people simply can not afford  to buy
a house.  So to worry about being exclusionary is not worth the  energy.

Instead, you might think about what goes on upstairs which is  being denied
people if you choose not to host the expense of an elevator.  If dinner and
large meeting space is on the accessible floor, then what  exactly would the
upper floors be used for?  And then take into  account if those activities
could be moved to the lower floor if needed to  accommodate someone.  If
upstairs is secondary meeting rooms, library,  etc then you might not want to
host the expense of an elevator and rather,  if the need arises, simply move
those activities down to the main  floor.  A large dining room can host many
activities besides  dinner.

Rob Sandelin
Sharingwood  Cohousing

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