parking locations
From: Lynn Nadeau / Maraiah (
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2015 11:53:51 -0800 (PST)
RoseWind Cohousing, 26 years in, Port Townsend WA. 
Although having parking at the periphery is a core concept of cohousing, it is 
not the only possibility that can work. For a variety of reasons, including 
topography and City requirements for emergency access, our PUD design gave us 
parking that included at least one spot at each house (all of our units are 
single-family). We negotiated the, additional, requirements for on-street 
parking so that instead of parking strips alongside our roads we were allowed 
to have narrower streets and a number of parking bays, each accomodating 
several cars. Our 9-acre site is accessed by five different street extensions 
coming in from three directions. The parking by each house is either off one of 
these or off the streets that border our property. 

I don't think overall this has undermined community. We still have the whole 
center of our site which is car-free. Our pedestrian pathways see plenty of 
use, for walkers, bicyclists, dog walkers, people going to and from the common 
house, vegetable gardens, play structure, and each others' homes. Almost every 
day I walk past many of our homes, and I also see who is passing by on the main 
path and may step out onto my deck to greet them. 

The presence or absence of vehicles at other people's homes is another way I 
know what is going on with them: they are home so I could stop by, or they are 
not, or they have company. With the lens of community connection, it is 
actually another link. 

Even with our mild weather -- I just sipped morning coffee in my side yard, 
enjoying the bright green grass and first spring flowers in the sunshine, in 
just a light sweater-- I am often grateful to be able to access my car right by 
the house: with a sleeping grandchild, load of groceries, pile of stuff to take 
to Goodwill, in the rain, etc. In addition, the occasional truck can get close 
to refill my propane tank, make household repairs or deliveries. 

Much of what makes cohousing work is in the physical design, but your 
intentions and attitude and caring to connect with each other can override 
variations that aren't necessarily "by the book." 

Maraiah Lynn Nadeau
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