Re: associate membership policies
From: Lynn Nadeau / Maraiah (
Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2014 10:50:17 -0800 (PST)
At RoseWind we have no official status for former members. They are welcome at 
our social events, such as meals, as are visitors of any sort. Among our social 
visitors we have extended family members and close friends who come often. A 
number of us have parents or children who come often enough that everyone knows 
them and socializes with them. 

Renters have no status as members, though they are welcome at meals and events. 
Meal charges are the same for all residents, renters or owners, vs a slightly 
higher charge for guests. Some renters participate more than others. We've 
never had any who wanted to participate in decision making or come to meetings. 
A couple have pitched in on volunteer work; most do not. One family, who rent a 
whole house, is well enough known to us that we allow them to sponsor (host) 
events at the Common House. Unofficially, we also allow several of our grown 
children, though they no longer live on site, to host events here: having a 
younger crowd in the Common House for a dance, fundraiser, or house concert 
feels good, and we know and trust these kids. 

Members are strictly defined as owners. In a couple of cases, we have also set 
up contracts with immediate neighbors for membership equivalent to that of the 
rest of us. Strictly case by case. At present we have one such membership, and 
it is in fact "former members" in a sense. Long-time core members sold their 
house and built something more to their current needs on a lot adjacent to us, 
and we continued their membership by making them what we call Adjunct Members. 
The membership is identical to the rest of ours except that their property is 
not part of the project. Thus, it's a contract only for the people, as long as 
they live there. A RoseWind house is permanently part of the project, even if 
ownership changes. Not so for the Adjunct Membership. 

Normally, membership is tied to ownership of a lot within our community. This 
makes sense to me in the context of the longer term. Original owners have a 
stake in this place we've created over the past 25 years. Long term owners have 
contributed for years to our capital reserves. Owners who have bought on 
resales have presumably paid into the common assets, as part of their purchase 
price. Assessments are paid per member household. Any owner is more likely to 
stay around than the average renter. This seems to mesh with responsibility for 
policies or decisions which have long term effects, or financial impacts.

And frankly, our arrangement works for us. We have sufficient membership for 
decision making, sufficient income for operations and reserves, and sufficient 
numbers who have been here long term, for continuity. The ways renters, former 
members, and other "groupies" participate seem to work for them too. 

Maraiah Lynn Nadeau
RoseWind Cohousing, Port Townsend WA
where fruit trees are starting to bloom, crocus are up, and we still have 
vegetables in the garden 

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