Neighborhood opposition and Eugene Cohousing
From: mmaskall (
Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2018 18:34:29 -0700 (PDT)
Tricia and all,


I have learned in my 13 year cohousing journey that virtually ALL neighbors
are NIMBY.  I agree with Katie that it's fear-based.  We at Fair Oaks
EcoHousing are FINALLY under construction (with move-in expected in Spring
2019).  It's our third site, and we've been beaten up a lot by neighbors,
despite our best effort to reach out.  We're in the Sacramento area, and we
have a few homes still available.


You might be interested in my  Ten Tips for Success in Building a Cohousing


1.      Join if you can!  It's much easier to join an existing community
than to start a new one.
2.      Appreciate the efforts of others who start a community - they need
our support.
3.      Get good help.  We hired Katie McCamant of CoHousing Solutions, and
that has made a world of difference.
4.      Learn all you can.  Go to every Cohousing Conference.  Buy the
Cohousing books.  Go to events & ask questions.  Get leadership training.
5.      Sell your vision to get others on board.
6.      Get land as soon as possible.  Until you get land, nothing is real.
7.      Avoid rezones.  Rezones are difficult and contentious.  
8.      NIMBY abounds.  Recognize that virtually everyone opposes
development in their neighborhood.  Most are NIMBY neighbors, many are
BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything.)
9.      Persist & avoid getting discouraged.  Obstacles are everywhere.
Nothing takes the place of persistence.
10.     Protect your health.  Strive for balance, eat well, have fun, and
get enough sleep.

Marty Maskall is a web designer, author, and publisher.  She has published
two books of inspiring quotations:  The Attitude Treasury: 101 Inspiring
Quotations, and The Athena Treasury: 101 Inspiring Quotations by Women. 
When Marty visited Southside Park Cohousing in downtown Sacramento in 2003,
she fell in love with the beautiful common green.  She was inspired by the
vision of a friendly community where neighbors know and care about each
other.  She decided she wanted to live in cohousing.   Marty Maskall has
been working to build a cohousing community in the Sacramento Suburbs since
2005.  Attempts in Orangevale and Folsom failed because of the economy,
neighborhood opposition, and zoning issues.  With Fair Oaks EcoHousing, it
seems the third time is the charm!


You can reach Marty at
<> , mmaskall [at]
<mailto:mmaskall [at]> , or 916-967-2472.  A few homes are still
available - please check us out.  


Message: 4

Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2018 18:59:35 +0000

From: Kathryn McCamant <kmccamant [at]
<mailto:kmccamant [at]> >

To: "cohousing-l [at] <mailto:cohousing-l [at]> "
<cohousing-l [at] <mailto:cohousing-l [at]> >

Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Eugene Cohousing (Lynn Dixon)


            <9E8F1CB4-41A5-4221-815B-8E661C1B4678 [at]
<mailto:9E8F1CB4-41A5-4221-815B-8E661C1B4678 [at]> >

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I must disagree with your assessment of the Oakleigh Meadow situation. I
have seen a lot of neighborhood opposition in my 30 years of designing and
developing cohousing and affordable housing communities. I work under the
assumption that all new projects will have opposition. The only time I
haven't seen opposition is when the proposed project was being built on a
property that was a known drug den (Berkeley Cohousing). Having spent
thousands of hours attempting to work with neighbors, I have come to the
view that most of it is driven by fear, and is not very rational.  


Just as interesting, most all of the oppositions' concerns goes away after
you move in. Living next to a construction site is never fun. But after the
community moves in, cohousing neighbors are the most conscious neighbors you
could ask for. I have a collection of letters collected by Marty Maskall
from neighbors that originally opposed an adjacent cohousing project, and
ended up really appreciating them as neighbors. One even had their
daughter's wedding in the common house. 


So, I absolutely DO NOT think neighborhood opposition leads to long term
resentments. Cohousers are great neighbors, and a plus to any neighborhood.
And guess what?  Turns out having 2-story condos across the street doesn't
destroy your way of life. 




Kathryn McCamant, President

CoHousing Solutions

Nevada City, CA 95959

T.530.478.1970  C.916.798.4755 <> 


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