Re: On talking with Community Development Organizations
From: Jessie Kome (
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2015 05:20:46 -0700 (PDT)

We don't have statistics, but anecdotally, Eastern Village Cohousing was the 
first redeveloped building in a blighted down county area of Montgomery County, 
Maryland that had been a mess for at least 20 years. The county "green-taped" 
our permitting and development, so we were up and running very quickly. 

One of our goals in our community vision statement is to engage responsibly 
with the neighborhood and greater world. One of the first things one of our 
members did was to set up a new neighborhood association, and as other 
residential developments got complete and occupied, EVC members got 
representatives from the other buildings to join. We bugged the county for more 
security, and also set up a neighborhood watch. The neighborhood association 
got an annual block party going, and got local businesses to sponsor parts of 
it. We got a small local park cleaned up, and helped roust drug dealers and 
prostitution out of some nearby hotels by making a lot of phone calls. We had 
kids and started pestering the school system for a better bus stop, which we 
got. A few of us subscribe to the listserv of the next-door neighborhood and 
sometimes coordinate events and issue actions with them.

In the decade plus of EVCs existence, our neighborhood has risen to be one of 
the most walkable and hipster cool in the nation. Send your peeps to come visit 
sometime. The place sells itself these days.

-Jessie Handforth Kome
Eastern Village Cohousing
Silver Spring, Maryland
"Where we're enjoying great coffee served by an EVC founding member's nearby 
new business, Bump and Grind."

Sent from my iPad

> On Mar 24, 2015, at 3:41 PM, aaron michels <aaron.michels [at]> 
> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I'm a quiet lurker most of the time, and love the list. I used to be a
> resident of Mariposa Grove in Oakland, CA, and am now part of a group
> trying to develop a community in St. Louis, MO. (We've recently
> provisionally named that group Winding Rivers.)
> I have a question for you all. I've occasionally been talking with
> Community Development Organizations in the area, and have spoken from my
> anecdotal experience at Mariposa Grove about the benefits to neighborhoods
> of having an intentional community as an element. I was wondering if any of
> you have good resources for having those conversations. Are there any
> metrics out there that I should know about? Or perhaps collections of
> anecdotal information? I'm looking for info on things like neighborhood
> stabilization or other city-planning level impacts of cohousing or
> intentional communities; something to bolster the pitch to planners and
> neighborhood associations.
> Thanks,
> Aaron Michels
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