|Trying to get set up||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Nicole Lorsong (nickittynicyahoo.com)|
|Date: Tue, 11 May 2010 02:36:03 -0700 (PDT)|
Thanks to everyone that responded to my last question about the lot development method. It's a lot easier to search for information when you know the proper name! :) In an effort to get our group off the ground in some way, I recently called a lawyer to go over our basic plan. He hadn't heard of cohousing before but gave me a short list of 'concerns', I guess you'd call them, and I wondered what the experienced cohousers thought of these and what advice or experiences you could share. -Zoning - How did zoning / these goverment type issues work for your community? Did you buy land in an area already 'properly zoned' for the number/density of houses you wanted, or did you need to rezone? For anyone that did rezoning - was it expensive? Difficult? I know this is largely area based, but I'm just looking for a vague idea to take back to my group. -Liability - The lawyer I spoke with was concerned about issues of shared liability. Fo r example, in cases where Household A has a guest that is injured on the property and the guest decides to sue- what keeps households B through J safe from litigation? Is homeowners insurance and a properly designed legal structure enough? -People leaving the community - Obviously at some point someone will probably move out, and statistically someone will probably get divorced. When a member separates themselves from the community, are there difficulities here? I think the lawyer was especially concerned with shared items. Ex: If we share a tractor, and Household A gets divorced, can Ms Household A include the tractor as part of her assets to be split from Mr Household A, and affect the rest of the community negatively? -Members that don't pay dues - I guess I'm a little confused on this point in the first place. So if the community's legal entity buys the land on which the houses are located, that land can be mortgaged, right? And the community dues essentially = an equal part of the mortgage + any extra community fees? If this is the case, then if one family doesn't or can't pay for a month (or more), then does everyone else pick up the slack or loose thier land/house, too? I don't know if I'm making sense, here. I guess I just don't really understand the finer details of the legal and money aspects. In my mind it's simple - we buy some stuff and we share it. :P But I guess in the 'real world' it's a little more complex. :) Lastly, if any one of the Maryland groups can recommend a good lawyer or any other good local contacts who might be able to help with basic set up, I'd appreciate it! Thanks in advance! -Nicole "Freedonia Commons' - A [very] new group in central Maryland
- Beep? Beep?? Did you forget to get your mom something for Mother's Day? Ann Zabaldo, May 10 2010
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