Re: Assessment abatement request
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 14:03:38 -0700 (PDT)
> On Aug 27, 2015, at 4:33 PM, Elizabeth Magill <pastorlizm [at]> 
> wrote:
> It can  take a really long time for new community to realize that all is
> not milk and honey in cohousing.

I think people understand from experience the hardness of getting built and 
attracting members—at least those who sign on early know. But from my 
experience at Takoma Village and the questions on Cohousing-L, after move-in 
many people become very altruistic. "Now that we are a community things will be 
different." "The hard work is over."

One person thought we should apply for support from the city because we had 
done so much for the community. We had contributed to society. Others wanted to 
open the CH to one and all and hold “jumping” parties for everyone’s benefit. 
Guests should be allowed to use the guest rooms without their host’s 
supervision. It went on and on for sometime before we began to learn how much 
our altruism was costing us.

It’s also hard to explain to new people how much work it was to develop things 
like the landscape and our ability to maintain the buildings How hard we worked 
because we had not a clue what we were doing with storm sewers and elevator 
inspections. Or grease traps! Our landscape is very lush with no hint of the 
conventional condo sculpted hedges and mowed grass. It is the work of many 
people but also 2-3 dedicated people who worked “all the time” on plantings, 
watering, mulching, weeding, studying plants, etc. Writing a grant and meeting 
the requirements to get 20 trees planted with no expense to us.

One new resident said when she bought a unit at the height of the market, you 
all moved in free while we had to pay an arm and a leg to live here.

While we had signed contracts before prices in the neighborhood began to rise 
so we did have relatively low prices, we had also moved in when the crime rate 
was not so great and we were the only new construction in the neighborhood in 
decades. We took a risk, and dealt with stolen bicycles and not walking 
anywhere after 9-10 o’clock. And we worked with neighborhood organizations and 
city officials to improve the neighborhood.

She and others had no idea how much work had been done. Not just physical but 

And then the people who move in with stars in their eyes and thing we should 
loosen up. Care more.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.