Re: While we're on the subject of accounting . . .
From: fergyb2 (
Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2017 06:27:41 -0700 (PDT)
      Sounds like your bookkeeper will be overworked if you have all those 
separate use fees to collect and keep track of.  I would recommend keeping 
things as simple as possible--remember these are volunteer jobs which everyone 
is fitting in to their already full lives.  Easier to have a social committee 
with an agreed upon budget from HOA dues every year for the fun stuff.
         Bonnie Fergusson
         Swans Market Cohousing
         Oakland, CA

Sent from my iPad

On Aug 7, 2017, at 5:18 AM, Dick Margulis <dick [at]> wrote:

> [prompted by Michael Rulison's question but better kept to a separate thread]
> As construction approaches (two more bureaucrats to get past before that 
> happens) and we look toward eventually moving in to Rocky Corner (first 
> cohousing in Connecticut), questions arise about how different categories of 
> things will eventually be paid for. Here are the assumptions I've made, but 
> I'd like some feedback on whether I'm headed in the right direction or there 
> might be something simpler.
> 1. The condominium association is required by law to do certain things (snow 
> removal, landscape maintenance, septic and stormwater management maintenance, 
> building maintenance, capital fund for major repairs, corporate accounting 
> and legal expenses, etc.). That is all paid for by the monthly condo fees, 
> which are decided at an annual meeting of all owners. To the extent owners 
> agree to take on tasks (in the spirit of cohousing communities being managed 
> and maintained by members), the budget doesn't have to cover paid outside 
> services. If no one is willing to get up at five in the morning to plow snow, 
> then the monthly fees will be higher.
> 2. The condominium association can, as part of the budget process, decide to 
> fund the construction of accessory buildings and other improvements, as time 
> goes on. For example, initial construction does not include carports, but we 
> have sufficient skills within the community to design them, get them 
> permitted, and construct them, with the only outlay being for materials and 
> permits. Everybody gets a carport space, eventually, even if we don't get 
> them all built at once, so this cost can be shared equally.
> 3. Groups of individuals can organize informally to propose improvements that 
> they will fund themselves and have exclusive use of (a storage shed shared by 
> a few neighbors, for example), and the community can agree to that proposal. 
> This might extend to facilities a small group of people want badly enough to 
> pay for but that others might make use of later, for a fee paid to the group 
> that funded it in the first place.
> 4. The cohousing community (essentially a social club, unincorporated) can 
> organize community events of various sorts. These activities could be funded 
> a couple of different ways: Some might involve a price per ticket (community 
> meals, concerts, dances); others might be funded out of an annual activity 
> fee, separate from the condo fees, that would be collected per person rather 
> than per home, and that would be voluntary (hey, if you don't want to take 
> part, no one is going to force you).
> 5. Everyone has the right to full access of the common facilities (by law), 
> but activity fees can be collected for making use of common facilities. 
> Examples: an hourly fee for using the workshop; a fee for hosting a private 
> party; an hourly fee for using the kitchen for canning or other production 
> (i.e., not for a community meal); a fee for the use of your allotment in the 
> community garden (there's space for everyone to have an allotment, but only 
> the people making use of it would share in the costs associated with 
> maintaining it). These would seem to be something the condominium association 
> could collect and account for, but maybe that would have tax consequences and 
> they would be better collected by the unincorporated club instead.
> Thanks for any insights.
> Dick Margulis
> Rocky Corner
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