City and municipal zoning and laws.
From: Dean smith (
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2019 11:19:17 -0800 (PST)
Greetings all,  

I have offered to do a workshop at the 2019 Cohousing Conference on the subject 
of municipal codes, regulations, etc that block or favor cohousing.  Here is 
the blurb in the conference schedule:

"As we deal with the City, County, State and Federal governments in getting our 
projects started, there could be comprehensive Plans, Zoning codes, building 
code, subsidies, loan guarantees, etc.—all government instruments—that could 
benefit Cohousing just as similar provisions now benefit agriculture, defense 
and a myriad of other activities in our nation. We should be asking and 
lobbying government entities to better support cohousing in the future."

I am one of the founders of Sunnyside Village Cohousing in Marysville, WA.  We 
are just now dealing with the city, trying to get  the zoning and code 
definitions that we want.  It could be easy or difficult.  It occurs to me that 
we could be advocating NOW for favorable laws for cohousing to ease the path 
for future projects.  What are your ideas on this subject?  

A few of mine, for example:  1) better definitions of cottage housing and 
promulgation to all zoning densities.  2)  Some national or international 
certification body which could “qualify” cohousing projects for favorable 
treatment by local planning.  3)  Favorable requirements for parking (NOT 3 
spaces per household), lot size, fire, sewer service access, etc.  At the state 
or federal level, why not seek to have government loan guarantees for 
cohousing?  If a project is qualified under a certification body, then there 
would be little risk in this and it would ease working with banks.  

I am doing this workshop with Matthew Gephart.  Anyone know him?

Dean Smith
Call or text 425-328-9979
dean [at] <mailto:dean [at]>

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