Re: What next after group forms?
From: Michael Barrett (
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2012 14:36:58 -0800 (PST)

An issue for forming groups needs to be "What sort of community do we want to 
be?"  where the issues
of size, location (rural or urban), "greeness" and style of governance (to name 
only a few), will be
up for spirited discussion. This discussion is likely to reveal differences so 
that possibly group
splits may result, with losses of participants.  An issue for you personally 
may be, do you go along
with what appears to be an emerging majority opinion (to retain the largest 
number of active
participants) or do you stick to your "ideal" (community image) hoping to find 
enough participants
in the future.

I'd suggest some brainstorming sessions inviting expression of pros and cons on 
as many cohousing
styles as folks can think of, to be posted on the wall without comment.  This 
can reveal ideas (and
maybe misconceptions) about what cohousing living may be like.   Better to 
tease out these issues
sooner rather than later.   It will be a major disappointment (or disaster) to 
loose one or more of
your major participants (read financial resources) down the road because they have just realized that
the community-to-be likely isn't going to conform to their imaginings.

Orderly, logical meetings may be just that, orderly and logical to you, but 
suffocating to others
who may have a more free flowing, whimsical nature.  How much latitude do you 
want to allow for the
wide variations of human nature?  Your phase "head this off" did not resonate 
well with me.

Best wishes.  Climb on the roller coaster and prepare for the ride!

Michael Barrett   -  Shadowlake Village, VA and formerly Liberty Village, MD.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Don Benson" <benson6451 [at]>
To: "Cohousing-L" <cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2012 10:18 PM
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ What next after group forms?

We have found value in using a Formal Consensus Decision Making process and 
creating a consensus

Don Benson

It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation which give 
happiness.   (Thomas
Jefferson 1788)

On Nov 12, 2012, at 6:14 PM, John Leet <jwleet [at]> wrote:

We had our first info session.   Things went well. 16 attendees.  4 confirmed 
an interest to go
ahead.  Another few are possible.

I've scheduled another info session for people who could not attend, and a next 
step meeting on
Wednesday Nov. 21.  I have asked the newly committed to read one of the 
McCamant-Durrett books
and to study the book on consensus found at

What agenda a items would you suggest for the first meeting and the next few 
meetings?  Without
a clear agenda, there will be a tendency to jump to each person's burning idea: 
 location, perma
culture, house size, etc.  I'd like to head this off and proceed in an orderly, 
logical manner.


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