Re: Possible Cohousing/Permaculture based farm project near Ann Arbor, MI
From: Fred-List manager (
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2015 05:26:51 -0800 (PST)
Carolyn Dyer <cdyer1621 [at]>
is the author of the message below.  It was posted by
Fred, the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at]>
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Possible Cohousing/Permaculture based farm project

In Iowa City, the zoning scheme specifies density on property and an option
for a "planned  unit development" which allows developers to meet the basic
principles of the particular zone by alternative means, such as clustering
homes and leaving surrounding area within the whole parcel undeveloped.  We
have to meet a lot of the specific requirements of the zone, such as
building setbacks from roads and distance between buildings, etc.

Given the description of your property, the reason for the 2-acre lot
requirement might be to avoid big dense subdivisions with 10 houses per
acre, for example, because other houses in that zone are McMansions whose
owners have sought out the quasi-rural setting away from the masses.
Alternatively, the reason might be that it is in an area not now served by
utilities, such as city water and sewer and a road paved to support the
heavy traffic a big subdivision might generate, and the local government
does not plan to extend those services at this time to the area. In that
case, proposing a dense settlement on just part of the property, but not
exceeding the overall average of one house per 2 acres over the entire
parcel and building your own septic system and getting water from wells
might be regarding as meeting the basic requirements.
Carolyn Dyer
Iowa City Cohousing
Building Prairie Hill

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