Re: Common spaces and decision making
From: Mariana Almeida (
Date: Sun, 8 Jul 2012 22:05:47 -0700 (PDT)
Snip: How seriously should we take this?  Obviously feedback can be good,
but how should we address feedback from people who have self-selected
out of the community?

IMHO, you are exactly in the norm requiring a plan for such a high impact, 
complex activity such as raising ducks. 

I think what the family who departed is reacting to is the reality of living in 
community. It requires communication, planning and often compromise. This is 
not something most people are used to. I wouldn't waste much time thinking 
about it. It happens. "Not a good fit" comes to mind. As much as they might 
share your overall values, one value they must adopt is planning together.

Reminds me friends who didn't join a community in part because the community 
wasn't willing to discuss openly the proposed plan to have a daycare center at 
the community. God, if there's ever anything that would require mountains of 
discussion would be a daycare center, right? They wanted to discuss it; the 
community didn't. "Not a good fit" for each other.

Berkeley Coho in Calif

PS -- I can't speak on specifics of land use in this manner because we're quite 
urban. I can say that we developed an "impact scale" for events on the commons. 
Large and XL events need to have a mitigation plan communicated to folks before 
they can sign up. 

> From: Greg Nelson <ghn [at]>
>To: cohousing-l [at] 
>Sent: Friday, July 6, 2012 10:50 AM
>Subject: [C-L]_ Common spaces and decision making
>5. "Common land" areas.  These are areas that are not allocated to any
>   of the above.
>One family recently proposed to raise ducks.  For this purpose, they
>wanted the (non-exclusive) use of our community pond, which is also
>used for swimming and fire protection.
>In response to these questions, the household proposing the ducks
>first withdrew the proposal (without an opportunity to discuss) and
>eventually chose to withdraw from the community and move elsewhere.
>They cited, as a main reason for their decision, that it was "too hard
>to do the things that they wished to do" with a fairly explicit
>implication that they felt our decision making process itself was
>broken.  For them, needing to have more than one meeting on a
>proposal, or even having one meeting where they were required to
>defend or modify their proposal, was more than they wanted to put up

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