[20yr] Sanda on San Mateo Ecovillage / retrofit
From: Fred H Olson (fholsoncohousing.org)
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2013 11:12:34 -0800 (PST)
Sanda on San Mateo Ecovillage / retrofit
Sanda Everette <ecosanda [at] gmail.com>
is the author of the message below.  It was posted by
Fred, the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at] cohousing.org>

This is Sanda's summary / update on occasion of the list's 20 years
about the San Mateo Ecovillage / retrofit experience.  I corrected a
couple typos and added a bit of foratting.

--------------------  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS --------------------

I ended up going to the archives and gathering snippets here in there
over the five years between 1997 and 2002 when it looks like I stopped
using the list. An interesting starting point from almost 15 years ago
as I plan for a brief trip to Costa Rica in two  weeks.

I wrote a concluding paragraph about where we are now.  Thanks Fred.


Subject: Re: Sanda in Costa Rica
Date: Sun, 24 Aug 1997 22:27:19 -0500
Greetings from Costa Rica where I am beginning the second week of a
four week program at a language school outside of San Jose. Yesterday
we visited a housing project, one of many in Costa Rica designed for
the poor, 40% single women. The government helps purchase the land but
it is a private enterprise. All families must contribute 30 hours/week
of labor. They may not sell or rent their houses. The community OWNS
the community. I will be returning to San Mateo the end of the month.
Some of you may recall that we are attempting to develop an urban
retrofit type mini-cohousing project on an inlet of San Francisco Bay
20 miles south of the city. Hopefully there will be a website for it
soon when Stuart updates the cohousing pages--for all I know he
already has.... There will be two opportunities coming up to join us
next month. There will be a wonderful 2 BR apartment available the
first week. It has a great deck, about 16x16, overlooking the water.
We will also be looking for someone to share our 3 BR apartment toward
the end of the month. You can write me in Costa Rica, include my name
in the subject or my husband, Brian, in San Mateo sand [at] bigfoot.com

We look forward to seeing many of you at the cohousing conference in
Seattle. Hasta luego, Sanda

I've had trouble remembering when we bought the first building - now I
know our anniversary date

Urban retrofit cohousing in San Mateo County
From: Sanda Everette (severetteed.co.sanmateo.ca.us)
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 00:34:17 -0600
We finally closed escrow February 10th on the first four-plex. .....

AND FROM 11/99

Well we are still chugging along in our efforts to develop retrofit
cohousing. Since the last time I wrote about it, the owner of the
second building put us off again. The purchase is now suppose to
happen in January. We are still looking for brave souls to buy in to
our mini-ecovillage in the suburban netherlands of the San Francisco
Bay area. On another note, I mentioned to some that we traveled to
Europe last summer and visited, among other places, Damanhur community
in Italy. I now have my European vacation pages on line with links to
photos I have taken as well as to Damanhur and other connections. I
hope this process gives you a bit more control than being invited to
see someone's home movies. You can link from my home page or just go
to http://www.wordrunner.com/sanda/Europe99/Europe99.htm Sanda and
Brian Everette http://www.wordrunner.com/sanda San Mateo Cooperative
Community http://www.wordrunner.com/sanda/smcc.htm Toward a
sustainable lifestyle: grow some of your own food and/or know the
gardener who is growing it.

Subject: an opening, the continuing saga in retrofit
From: Sanda Everette (severettesmcoe.k12.ca.us)
Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 08:02:10 -0600 (MDT)

We have been waiting to hear from the owner of the second building as
to when we can proceed with the purchase of his building. He last told
us in February or March that it would be in June. (Of course it was
previously January 2000, June 1999, sometime in 1998.) He also said
that if there were any apartments available in the meantime, he would
let us know first so that we could rent to folks interested in the
community. We haven't heard from him since that time. Friday, we
started hearing rumors that one of the apartments was going to be
available. We put in a call to him but only got his answering machine
with no response yet. Our most positive thought was that he had not
told the property manager about our arrangement. Sunday we spoke to
the man in the downstairs two bedroom and found out that he is indeed
moving out on June 10th or sooner. He said that he had heard that the
property manager had an offer to rent the apartment for $1600/month. I
will try to reach the owner again today as well as the property
management company. If you are interested in our community and
available on such short notice, please contact us immediately and
arrange for a time to come for a visit. Meanwhile we are in process
with the architect to submit a drawing to city of San Mateo for us to
change our roof line to allow for solar retrofit. We are still
investigating photovolteic possibilities. Sanda and Brian Everette San
Mateo Cooperative Community http://www.wordrunner.com/sanda/smcc.htm
Toward a sustainable lifestyle: grow some of your own food and/or know
the gardener who is growing it.


Subject: continuing adventures in retrofit land
From: Sanda Everette (sandasmcpacbell.net)
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2001 19:47:01 -0700 (MST)

Well, since we last spoke we have our first newspaper story about us.
The only total inaccuracy is that he kept talking about six people,
not six apartments...with a total of 14 people. It is in the March 2,
2001 issue of a small local paper, the San Mateo Daily Jouranl. It is
available on line at http://www.smdailyjournal.com/ and then search
their archives for that date. I generally said what he recorded but,
out of context, some of it is a bit weird. I wonder if anyone from the
city will read the piece?? It wasn't very favorable to their level of
support for us. We did make sure we renewed our chicken permit in case
they did...probably the least of our worries. We have gained new
members in the past few moments with past experience with and
commitment to both community and gardening. We are still a community
of renters (except us) and still waiting to purchase that second
building. --

 Sanda and Brian Everette http://www.wordrunner.com/sanda San Mateo
Cooperative Community http://www.wordrunner.com/sanda/smcc.htm Toward
a sustainable lifestyle: grow some of your own food and/or know the
gardener who is growing it.

I found the referenced newspaper article from a dozen years ago

Re: Means and end
From: Sanda Everette (sandasmcpacbell.net)
Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2001 10:30:01 -0700 (MST)
I meant to write but didn't but I always find myself inspired by
Robyn. We definitely have more of a purpose than cohousing...but then
I guess we are not really cohousing anyway....some form of retrofit.
We definitely identify as an intentional community with aspirations of
being a mini ecovillage. We recently had our first one day retreat
including many heart opening activities as well as focusing on
structures, communication, decision making, etc. But then, I am also
what someone described as a retired hippie--I have been interested in
intentional community since the 70s and see cohousing as an extension
that makes it more available to more mainstream folks who may not know
that they are closet hippies. I just had a flash, a thought about it
in more modern terms, like multiple intelligences...one of the 7
intelligences is "intrapersonal." Maybe folks attracted to community,
whether cohousing or other, are high in this area...or feel a strong
pull to it. I recently heard that they identified a 8th intelligence,
naturalist. I also recently heard that a gene for altruism has been
identified. Perhaps some of this helps explain why some of us are so
pulled to make a difference on the planet while others are pulled to
the mall. Hmmm, I may be changing topics here. If anyone wants a
reference to this theory that I am talking about, here is one of many
found with Google, http://edweb.gsn.org/edref.mi.th.html

Growing a retrofit community
From: Sanda Everette (sandacohousing.org)
Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2001 14:50:02 -0600 (MDT)
We have hopes that our community will grow past our one four unit
building....in an N Street like model. As many of you know, we have
been negotiating to buy the neighboring building for two or three
years...not a motivated seller (though we have community members in
two of the four apartments and garden in its backyard.) Since I know
some folks want to live in their own house rather than an apartment, I
use to post when there were houses for sale on the block hoping to
expand the community that way. Even two or three years ago, I though
home prices were kind of high. Then the Silicon Valley exploded,
housing was scarce and prices soared. Now, it has imploded, there is
tons of housing on the market, and prices are dropping--though we are
still in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the country.
There are several houses for sale currently. If you are interested in
growing community within an existing neighborhood, drop me a line. If
you want to be notified about houses in the future, let me know that,
too. Note that I will be leaving on a vacation next Friday and will be
out of contact for about a month. -- Sanda and Brian Everette
http://www.wordrunner.com/sanda San Mateo Cooperative Community
http://www.wordrunner.com/sanda/smcc.htm Toward a sustainable
lifestyle: grow some of your own food and/or know the gardener who is
growing it.

Re: RE: RetroFit Cohousing
From: Sanda Everette (sandacohousing.org)
Date: Tue, 9 Jul 2002 09:13:01 -0600 (MDT)
I thought I should perhaps pipe up on this thread. San Mateo retrofit
cohousing is continuing to grow with some delays and crises. We have
been promised the building next door for a couple of years....and
again for this summer. Hopefully this time it will really happen. We
are actively seeking coowners for that building. At this point,
everyone in our first building is a renter except my husband and
myself. That creates its own set of problems. There has been some work
on retrofitting the structure and lots on reetrofitting the social
relations. We have community meal and meeting weekly and lots of
informal meal sharing and social gathering. We have incredible organic
gardens, a focus of the community, and I eat most of my produce from
it. I have been frustrated that some folks do not seem as committed as
others. It was good reading Rob Sandelin's description in the thread
on time expectations. > In cohousing and many other communities for
that matter the most common > pattern looked like this: > about 1/4th
of the membership was most active > about 1/4th was least active >
about 1/2 varied from active to inactive. It seems that way here, too
and I working on being less upset about it so I can stop making myself
unhappy and unsuccessfully guilt tripping others. The group convined
me about a year ago to let go of hourly expectations and just let
things flow. We started monthly work parties in April and that has
been good. The difficulty is that since we are such a small group, all
the work does not always get done....and that is hard in a garden. We
are 14 adults currently in five apartments (12 bedrooms)and when we
get the second building, we will have 20 bedrooms in 8
apartments....with some space devoted to common space. There are lots
of photos on line, particularly in Yahoo scrapbooks. Enough for now. I
just wanted to let you know that I am still out here.

opportunities in San Mateo
From: Sanda Everette (sandacohousing.org)
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2002 22:50:01 -0600 (MDT)
There probably are not folks out there looking for retrofit community
in San Mateo (San Francisco bay area) or I probably would have already
heard from you. Just in case there are, this is my current posting on
Craigslist. You can also check out our website.
http://www.craigslist.org/sfo/pen/rfs/4700043.html -- Sanda and Brian
Everette http://www.wordrunner.com/sanda San Mateo Cooperative
Community http://www.wordrunner.com/sanda/smcc.htm Toward a
sustainable lifestyle: grow some of your own food and/or know the
gardener who does

Summary Now
SHORTLY after that we got our own domain and my website can be found
at http://www.greensolutions.org/smcc.htm

We also started identifying as a mini Ecovillage rather than
Cohousing. It looks like I stopped posting on Cohousing-l

So we definitely have a retrofit community here but it did not take
the form of cohousing as we hoped.  We had hoped to have a community
with at least half owners but the mortgage market tightening up and
people's concerns about being on shared mortgages Limited that
possibility. Over the years we have three sales. Of those 3, we had to
buy the people back out because it just didn't work out. The third
owner is still an owner but he no longer lives here and rents his
apartment out to somebody else in the community.  We did eventually
get that second building about seven years after the first one. We are
now 19 adults and three children in eight apartments with a total of
20 bedrooms. We have extensive organic gardens have planted about 30
fruit trees and last year put in an aquaponics system. We continue to
want to be a model for more sustainable living in a suburban setting.
I'm still dealing with my frustration of people not doing the work
around here that they say they will and of my making myself upset
about it. I guess that part has not changed. It is time to get up and
go out to our scheduled garden party I must admit I'm not too hopeful
about too many people showing up. I know we will have a community
dinner tonight as we do on a weekly basis. You can read more about
what we doing on our always somewhat out of date webpages with links
to lots of photos in Picasa albums

San Mateo Ecovillage

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