Re: consensus blocking/Tierra Nueva Coho
From: Bea Sochor (
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2013 08:36:43 -0700 (PDT)
The Tierra Nueva Cohousing is located in the beautiful Central California town 
of Oceano.

Community website is The consensus document is linked on the 
home page.

Lots of work went into creating the consensus document.

Thanks for the kudos, Richard,
Bea Sochor
10 yr resident & homeowner

On Mon, 9/9/13, Richart Keller <richart.keller [at]> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [C-L]_ consensus blocking
 To: "Cohousing-L" <cohousing-l [at]>
 Date: Monday, September 9, 2013, 7:31 AM
 I would suggest looking at the Resident Guidelines of Tierra
 Cohousing--available as a download from their web
 site.  The best I've
 I agree that "blocking" should really be viewed as objection
 rather than as
 "concrete blocks".  The injector really has a
 responsibility to hear and
 acknowledge the concerns which engendered the proposal and
 to work with
 others to find an acceptable alternative.  The
 proposers also have a
 responsibility to present clearly the problem to be solved
 and explain how
 the proposal would resolve it.
 A durable and successful resolution really has 3 goals: 1) a
 product, 2) to respect and/or improve the decision process,
 and 3) to
 maintain and/or strengthen relationships.
 My experience is that in such cases, repeated rounds do not
 sensitive listening or improved understanding but rather
 increase the level
 of frustration and a feeling of being "railroaded"...
 You are certainly faced with a difficult and frustrating
 situation which
 sounds like it has multiple dimensions. A long-term solution
 strengthens the sense of community may require more time and
 discernment than the proposal itself would seem to
 warrant.  Its important
 but often not easy for a community to recognize this. 
 Maybe a more viable
 approach would be delegating a small carefully chosen group
 to work with
 the objector and come back to the larger group with a
 Does your community have a mission/vision/values statement
 which would be
 In community.
 Rick Keller
 On Sep 9, 2013 7:15 AM, "Fern Selzer" <fernselzer [at]>
 > I know this topic has been around before, but our
 community is
 > experiencing frequent blocking by an individual
 who  explains it in
 > terms of her own wants and needs, not the needs of the
 community.  We
 > have been working around this and it has been taking a
 lot of extra
 > time and creating frustrations in our attempts to make
 > Yes, consensus takes extra time, but when one person
 > blocks almost every proposal unless it doesn't affect
 her at all, our
 > community is wanting to clarify the "blocking" choice
 in our decision
 > making.
 > I am asking for direction from any groups who have
 clear (written)
 > policies about how to handle blocking or determine
 whether the block
 > is legitimate when a group is getting bogged down with
 a lot of
 > blocking.  Could you please send this part of your
 policy to me, or
 > tell me where to find it if it's posted somewhere?
 > I am familiar with the article on blocking on the
 cohousing website
 > and our community has already worked a lot on this,
 > professional facilitation, now, we are trying to
 develop a policy.
 > Thanks to any one who can help us in developing our
 > Fern Selzer
 > New Brighton Cohousing
 > Aptos, CA
 > Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and
 other info at:
 Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other
 info at:

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