Re: Access to common areas
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2017 06:09:16 -0800 (PST)
> On Jan 18, 2017, at 8:37 AM, Bob Leigh <bobleigh [at]>
> Why not just change the code or codes periodically?

I’ll respond as Phillip hasn’t yet and it raises another point — education and 

Most systems are not easy to change so someone has to keep up-to-date on how to 
do it. If ours gets wiped out for some reason (lightning, etc.) it takes hours 
to reenter all the information — names, telephone numbers, unit numbers. 
Changing the code is a bit simpler BUT everyone has to be informed in a way 
that they remember. 

The inability to get into your front door at midnight when you are tired and 
frustrated already is not a welcome experience. On any given day several people 
will be doing triage in one part of their lives or another. If they do remember 
that the code was changed, they will likely not remember the new one.

About half our units are entered through the CH keypads first. It’s sort of a 
hotel lobby, as one of our nanny’s called it. So none of those people can get 
in or out the moment the code is changed unless they remember it. When you’ve 
run out to the compost bin with no phone, no note in your pocket, etc., you are 
out of luck until you are able to get the attention of someone who will let you 
in. With snow and rain, it can be not pleasant.

Education and communications become more and more complex the larger the 
community becomes. Residents are not all together ever. Everyone has different 
communication styles — reading email once a day, once a week, or several times 
a day. Or never. Checking or not checking cubbies for a handout. Reading or not 
reading the community calendar in the front hall.

Cohousing is large set of a multi-headed tasks. The fewer heads you decide to 
change, the less likely you are to get bitten.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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