Re: Need help - zoning
From: John Carver (
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2017 21:52:03 -0700 (PDT)
On 21/03/2017 8:45 AM, Ty Albright wrote:
1). I need actual examples of what zoning (land use) designations other
municipalities / cities have used to allow cohousing.
For us, none. We are registered as a condominium (called strata title here). Any zoning that allows a 25-unit multi-family residential would allow our development. What makes it cohousing is not the building but how the residents interact and work together. The fact that we have more facilities than a typical condo just makes it a classier condo.

2). Do you have suggested language to describe the zoning land-use that
would allow cohousing - but also be broad in scope to allow cohousing like
I would be uneasy about any specific designation for cohousing. I wouldn't want to see low-to-medium density zoning that didn't allow cohousing.

Having said that, I realize it can be different for ecovillages, where zoning in rural areas can disallow the clustering of houses, or more than one or two homes on a large property.

I'm working with the City of Denton Texas on a tiny house village for
homeless veterans - ...
Perhaps your case has more to do with the idea of tiny houses. Municipal rules and building codes may make it difficult to get those built. If that's the case you need to work on the idea of permitting scaled-down homes with the addition of more common facility.

For us, our difficulties with the city had to do with the building design, not the fact it was cohousing. I think they thought with our large kitchen and dining area that we were planning to run a restaurant. And our central feature, the atrium <>, they just didn't know how to handle. Malls have atria, not residences. As a result we ended up with the most over-engineered fire protection system in the region. The company that tests and maintains it had to get special training.

John Carver
Pacific Gardens Cohousing, Nanaimo, BC

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