Re: Request names of 3-story cohousing communities
From: Raines Cohen (
Date: Sun, 11 Dec 2011 14:56:52 -0800 (PST)
Marty -

That's a good sign that the planners are finally getting to that level
of detail in reviewing your project.

In addition to your examples and TVC in Washington, DC, as Ann
mentioned, and the 2 Boulder communities Bryan brought up, I think
you'll also find these communities of the 102 I've visited in the U.S.
include 3-story structures:

* Jackson Place cohousing near downtown Seattle, WA, has a number of
2-story houses (at least 4 are attached) with in-law apartments below.
Like your beautiful site near the American River in historic downtown
Folsom, it is built on a slope.

* Nyland Cohousing in Lafayette, CO (near Boulder), the first built in
Colorado, has similar designs for some of the units. At the time,
having the in-law units and their projected rental income made it
easier to finance the project.

* Nomad Cohousing in Boulder, CO, has 2-story units with finished
basements that have lightwells that let them function as effectively 3

* Swan's Market Cohousing (Oakland, CA) includes some units that have
a full second story (not just a loft like mine), and all are built on
platform with parking and retail below, inside an existing structure,
so the building (existing structure from 1917 used as a shell) is
effectively 3 stories. The Common House has 2 levels above a basement,
but it is so tall at one end that it effectively reaches 3 stories. In
fact, original plans called for a mezzanine loft that was not built,
but the windows installed on that level remained designed to be opened
by someone standing there, and to this day require a ladder to

* Nevada City (CA) Cohousing includes some units with finished
basements below two stories, again working with the existing slope so
that entry is at ground level from the rear. That's pretty close to
you, so much so that planners could go see it in person.

* Some of the existing buildings recently added to Los Angeles
EcoVillage may be 3 stories; the community's primary building is

* I believe at least the Common House at Cornerstone Cohousing in
Cambridge (MA) extends at least 3 stories.

* Pioneer Valley Cohousing in Amherst, MA, has a functional basement
(at ground level at the back) below two stories of Common House.

* Touchstone Cohousing in Ann Arbor, MI, has both ground-level
functional "basements" and "lofts/attics," and two stories inbetween,
so if you look at photos and count windows above one another the
buildings appear to be four stories high. Great Oak cohousing,
nextdoor, has some similar designs that appear to be at least three
stories high. Ditto for the area's first community, Sunward.

* Village Terraces neighborhood at Earthhaven Ecovillage not far from
Asheville, NC, has 3-story structures (including ground level common
spaces), although it doesn't use conventional cohousing
ownership/financing models.

* The building most recently added to Mariposa Grove Cohousing
(Oakland, CA), a small urban-retrofit community, has 3 stories, or at
least a functional attic and ground floor with one regular floor

* Petaluma Avenue Homes, the affordable-rental cohousing community in
Sebastopol (CA), includes wing that is 3 stories tall, with stacked

* Nubanusit Neighborhood & Farm (Peterboro, NH) has some 3-story
single-family homes and fourplexes; in some cases, the buyer has a
choice of attic storage or a finished room on the top floor.

* At Casa Verde Commons (Colorado Springs,CO), upper units include a
loft and lower units include a basement, so they are 4 stories (3
above ground).

Of course, there are many more examples in Europe; most of the
Stockholm cohousing neighborhoods I visited last year were at least
three stories tall, if not taller.

Raines Cohen, Cohousing Coach
Cohousing California community organizer, living at Berkeley (CA) Cohousing

On Sun, Dec 11, 2011 at 10:54 AM, Marty Maskall <mmaskall [at]> 
> We are looking for the names of three-story cohousing communities.

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