|Re: Solar Eco-Village in Utah!||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Raines Cohen (rc3-coho-Lraines.com)|
|Date: Mon, 8 Jun 2009 15:30:20 -0700 (PDT)|
Charles and Janis - That's a great vision you have for Utah Valley Commons. I've been following the progress of your group for some time, looking forward to a second cohousing neighborhood in Utah. However, it does seem to me to be rather forward to be so specific about all the attributes of the place before there's a there there, so to speak... your website mentions consideration of several potential sites, but I find it hard to imagine that every single item you list will be possible and suitable for every site you select. And how about if future members have different priorities or ideas.. will they be welcome? I might be reluctant to join a group that was so seemingly certain about the plan for 40 homes when just a few households were engaged. What might be more illuminatory and enticing in engaging your future members could be more depth to the vision and how it came to be. Get people exposed to some of the process that leads to answer questions like: * Why timber-frame straw bale, as opposed to Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)? Why detached vs. attached homes? * What values are encapsulated in taking responsibility for your own water source AND treatment onsite, and what limitations does this place on potential locations for the community? (i.e. most urban jurisdictions require sewer tie-in and have water rights tied up already). If you found a site that was "easy commuting distance to Provo" but didn't meet those specifications to the letter, would you move forward with it? * What kind of time commitment and resident education will be involved in growing most of the community's own food, rather than the 1-3% at most that is typical of most cohousing to date? While your website has great pictures, the language slips between tenses at points... i.e you say it IS a condominium association, although unless Utah law is far different from most states' in this regard, you don't create a condo association until the land is secured and development is underway... your "Legal" page makes it clearer, but it doesn't lead to greater engagement and commitment by talking about all the different options to join the LLC or association. I also wanted to flag where you say 'We also prefer land that is "raw," and therefore uncontaminated with artificial chemicals and toxic substances.' While it may be possible to find a site that's never been mined or ranched or farmed with new toxics introduced or old ones exposed, of course there are plenty of naturally occurring toxics in land and water, and potential vulnerabilities to ones from nearby sites. You might want to enrich your website with more about the region, unless you expect most of your members to be familiar with it. Why would somebody want to move there? Help people fall in love with the place, and then join you in refining your vision and matching it to on-the-ground potential. Will I be seeing any Utah Valley Commoners at the National Cohousing Conference in Seattle this month? It would be great to explore your vision further and see how partners in the movement can help you make it a reality. Raines Cohen, Cohousing Coach http://www.CohousingCoach.com/ at Berkeley (CA) Cohousing just off the phone from coaching a forming group in Southern CA that found us via the Coho/US website, after spending a year trying to figure out how to get started. Reminding everyone to register today for the national conference for the best rates, if you want to get some free Cohousing Coaching at our booth: http://www.cohousing.org/2009/ Fresh from Saturday's Daily Acts Cohousing Coalescing driving tour of North Bay communities, Petaluma to Santa Rosa, which I carpooled with my Berkeley neighbor in a plug-in hybrid carshare vehicle, and toured several potential community sites afterwards.
- Today (June 8, 2009) is the last day for 2009 Cohousing Conference registration at the lower cost Craig Ragland, June 8 2009
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