Re: hospitality-privacy quandary
From: Elizabeth Magill (
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2017 11:10:13 -0700 (PDT)
Interestingly Mosaic Commons Cohousing and Camelot Cohousing, built at
the same time, on the same property, have differing views on the
question of how open our space should be.

Our two communities are in an almost-rural location (lots of farms,
but also a mall nearby). Our land is between two pieces of town
conservation land and has trails used for walking and horseback

At Mosaic we have tried to be as welcoming as can be to outsiders--our
labor day, new years and memorial day parties, our porch crawls, our
meals are generally open to the public--although it is rare for
someone to come who is not connected to someone in the community.

But we've invited politicians who show up door-knocking to come back
later for a social event. Meals require an RSVP but are on our public
calendar and visitors come fairly often (like once a month?)

At Camelot there was a feeling that it was important to build close
relationships in their own neighborhood, especially at the start. (In
both our communities it took several years to finish selling the homes
so initial move-in was often a time for folk to get their first
in-depth knowledge of each other.) So they have mostly closed events
and no public web site.

I have to say that it is not clear to me that one way is better than
the other in this area. I'm glad that *I* live in the more open
community, but I don't see evidence that one way is better for
creating cohesion and the other is worse.

The fact is, both communities have people show up un-invited. We all
have to say hi to people we don't know, and the braver people ask
those unknown folk who they are going to visit. Whatever are our
internal rules and culture doesn't actually affect the decision making
of unknown people--because of course they don't know us!

What I would want to be clear to any community is that we can't
actually provide some of the safety (or whatever value) they think
they will get from making a rule about having unknown people around.
Only an actual locked gate can keep people out--and even then your
neighbors have relationships with people you don't know and they will
be allowed in.

One of the challenges that I see with cohousing is that some people
come with expectations that it will provide a safety or privacy or
certainty that it can't provide any better than any other


On Mon, Oct 16, 2017 at 8:43 AM, Alan O'Hashi via Cohousing-L
<cohousing-l [at]> wrote:
> in our urban community, silver sage village has a very lush and shady court 
> yard. there's supposedly a rule against dogs on the common spaces, but people 
> and people with their dogs wander through all the time without incident.. 
> itinerants are generally greeted and engaged.
> there are also neighborhood kids who stop by from time to time and like to 
> hang around on the detention pond grass. using the strength based approach, 
> they aren't shooed away, but welcomed.  
> *******************************************
> Alan O'Hashi - ECOS
> EnviroCultural Organization Systems
> Colorado 303-910-5782
> Wyoming 307-274-1910
> Nebraska 402-327-1652
> *******************************************
> _________________________________________________________________
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(The Rev.) Elizabeth M. Magill
Minister to the Affiliates, Ecclesia Ministries

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