Cohousing Zoning Ordinances
From: Thomas Lofft (
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2010 08:48:36 -0700 (PDT)

This is the complete text of the Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment we got 
approved for cohousing designation and planning concept as a cluster 
development in Frederick County, MD in 1996+/-:


The link to the entire County Code is at: 



Searching the Code for appropriate excerpts is tedious. Trying to print them 
seems impossible except by copy & pasting into a word processing file.


The postmortem is that Liberty Village didn't use these zoning provisions, but 
actually rezoned the property first to R-1, and then to PUD (Planned Unit 
Development) including a Comprehensive Plan revision to change approved land 
use from Agruicultural to Low Density Residential.


Best wishes to all. The greatest impediment to good land use planning is most 
often local government, saddled with unmitigated bigotry.


Tom Lofft

Liberty Village, MD


§ 1-19-10.200.  PURPOSE.
     The purpose of cohousing development is to provide a method of development 
that promotes social interaction, permits a quality living environment, 
safeguards children, conserves the natural environment, and conserves energy. 
The intent is to encourage resident participation in design, and planning, as 
well as self-management and community, in a compact and orderly development.

(Ord. 91-31-031, 11-19-1991;  Ord. 08-26-502, 10-14-2008)

§ 1-19-10.200.1.  SCOPE.
     The provisions of this division shall apply only to cohousing 
developments. Such developments shall consist of no more than 35 units, not 
including common facilities. An incorporated development organization 
consisting of a majority of the intended number of residents of the development 
shall be required for application under these provisions. All cohousing 
developments are subject to the requirements of § 1-19-8.620 through  § 

(Ord. 91-31-031, 11-19-1991;  Ord. 02-26-322, 11-21-2002;  Ord. 08-26-502, 

     Cohousing developments are permitted in all R Districts. The Planning 
Commission in approving subdivision plats may permit modifications in lot 
areas, lot width, yards (building restriction areas), including zero lot lines, 
or other requirements consistent with meeting the purposes of this division. 
Cohousing development is not permitted unless community water and sewer are 
provided, or such other available ecologically sound methods of water 
distribution and sewage disposal as may be approved by the county and state 
authorities. Individual wells and septic systems are not allowed.

(Ord. 91-31-031, 11-19-1991;  Ord. 08-26-502, 10-14-2008)

     (A)     The average dwelling unit density will be no greater than the 
permitted density for the districts in which the units are located.

     (B)     For the purpose of this division, DENSITY means the maximum number 
of dwelling units which could be built on net developable land area in the 
zoning district. Net developable land is that land remaining after flooding 
soils areas and rights-of-way for principal highways have been deducted from 
the gross site area.

     (C)     Attached housing is permitted in approved co-housing development 
projects in all R Districts under this division, provided any attached units 
comprise blocks of no more than 6 units each. 

(Ord. 91-31-031, 11-19-1991; Ord. 07-29-469, 9-4-2007;  Ord. 08-26-502, 

     Reduction of individual lot areas will be reserved as green area, which 
shall be conveyed to a nonprofit home association comprised of the homeowners 
of the development. The amount of green space shall be a minimum of 60% of the 
total land area of the development. Such green area shall not be impervious or 
include any parking areas, vehicular access or circulation driveways and shall 
otherwise meet the definition of green area in this case.

(Ord. 91-31-031, 11-19-1991;  Ord. 08-26-502, 10-14-2008)

§ 1-19-10.200.5.  PROCEDURE.
     The procedure to obtain approval of a cohousing development is as follows.

     (A)     A Concept Plan is submitted to the Planning Commission at least 45 
days in advance of the meeting at which is proposed to be considered which 

          (1)     The type of dwelling units, the common facilities, and 
building restriction lines;

          (2)     Vehicular and pedestrian street layout;

          (3)     Green area system;

          (4)     Vicinity map (scale no smaller than 1 inch equals 2,000 feet);

          (5)     Number of acres in the entire tract;

          (6)     Overall dwelling unit density; and

          (7)     The name of the incorporated resident development 

     (B)     The property in question shall be posted for a minimum of 30 days 
prior to the Planning Commission meeting.

     (C)     If the Concept Plan is approved by the Commission, the developer 
will then proceed in accordance with the regulations. Final plats on cohousing 
development shall bear a statement that the land lies within an approved 
cohousing development.

     (D)     In addition, the development is subject to the following 

          (1)     The development of land within the cohousing development is 
permitted only in accordance with the approved final plat.

          (2)     The agreements concerning the ownership and maintenance of 
open (green) space land will be recorded simultaneously with the final flat.

(Ord. 91-31-031, 11-19-1991;  Ord. 00-21-263, § 1, 7-18-2000;  Ord. 08-26-502, 

     The intent of this division is to encourage the removal of cars and roads 
to the periphery of the development. Therefore all parking shall be off-street 
parking and must be within the boundaries of the cohousing property. There 
shall be no minimum distance from a parking area to the home which it serves. 
Suitable emergency access lanes shall be provided to permit entry of fire and 
rescue vehicles to the immediate vicinity of each unit. All access points to 
state and county roads must comply with the requisite access permit 

(Ord. 91-31-031, 11-19-1991;  Ord. 08-26-502, 10-14-2008)


From: Liz Ryan Cole [mailto:lizryancole [at]] 
Sent: Saturday, June 26, 2010 4:10 PM
To: Cohousing-L
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Cohousing Weekend - July 16-18 in Conway NH
Hello list - As people who have been in this list for a while know, Pinnacle @ 
Loch Lyme Lodge (a forming cohousing community in Lyme, NH) owns 120 acres, on 
which we have a 100 year old cabin based business, but are in a town where 
multiple unit housing and clustered housing is essentially disallowed. Having 
done our community building (5 years) we are now presenting a proposed change 
to the zoning ordinance - one that allows cohousing. (If anyone wants more 
details please write to me off list). The questions we have for this list are 
two: Has anyone seen cohousing specifically defined as a permissible use? and 
What reactions would you have to this draft definition...
CO-HOUSING PROJECT. A residential development or project on one or more 
contiguous parcels of land,
developed ?by a group of people who define the community as cohousing and who 
intend to live in the community themselves ,? designed and built in accordance 
with the co-housing requirements of Article XIII operated as a condominium, 
co-op or similar form which allows for individual ownership of each dwelling 
unit, and including one or more common areas for use by the residents such as a 
shared kitchen, dining area, library, computer room, laundry, greenhouse, 
fitness area, play area or the like
Thanks to anyone who has thoughts on this subject.
Liz Ryan Cole
home 802.785.4124

The New Busy think 9 to 5 is a cute idea. Combine multiple calendars with 
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