Re: "Cohousing Overlay" as Zoning Regulation
From: Muriel Kranowski (
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2011 08:04:58 -0800 (PST)
Two exceptions we needed in our rezoning request that I can remember from 10 years ago were to allow the houses to be closer to each other side-to-side than the minimum distance required for our zoning district, and to allow the houses to face each other instead of facing the street (an actual requirement here).

     Shadowlake Village Cohousing, Blacksburg, VA

At 06:40 PM 3/9/2011, you wrote:

I want to learn what kinds of provisions the readership would like to see in a "cohousing zoning overlay." Suncoast Elder Cohousing Community is working with the Sarasota County Planning Department to define a "cohousing overlay" to permit the unique, architectural, spacial, and construction aspects of cohousing which might ordinarily run afoul of current regulations. These would be specific to cohousing developments and would not effect any other current regulations.

The only topics which we're currently promoting is 1) for density to be increased with the use of cottages 600 ft2 or less (counting as 1/2 of a dwelling unit) and cottages between 600 ft2 and 800 ft2 (counting as 3/4 of a dwelling unit) and 2) eliminating the restriction on clustered housing that mandates that all homes lined up on any side be similar in design. We're all for variety; have five, basic models; and don't want to be told what house goes where. We planning only 24 cottages and a common house on five acres.

What other issues would you like to see included in a "cohousing zoning
overlay?"  We'd very much appreciate your input.

Thank you,
Van Deist, Organizer
Suncoast Elder Cohousing Community
Sarasota, FL
vandeist [at]

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