Re: 12 Unit Cohousing - Too Small?
From: eva (
Date: Sun, 20 Sep 2020 05:20:56 -0700 (PDT)
We are in the process of developing an 8-unit cohousing community just
outside of Port Townsend, Washington. We know that it is pushing the
boundaries of smallness, for all the social and work-related issues
discussed, but the site is unlikely to be able to accommodate more homes
for a variety of reasons (slope, runoff, septic, road). Chuck Durrett
did our feasibility study, and initially wanted to talk about more
density, until he saw the site. He talked about small (in the 8-unit
range) cohousing developments that are happening in Denmark - it seems
We are not so close to Port Townsend that members can walk to stores or
other social events, but we do have over 16 acres of wilderness that
people can hike around in and be alone in nature.
It will be interesting to see how the "enough labor to get it done"
thing works out. In community, Eva Holm [1]

On 2020-09-19 23:30, Doug Huston via Cohousing-L wrote:

We are on 1.3 acres with 13 units (townhouses) for 13 years now. A couple of 
things we often have said about our size is when it's good it's very sweet, and 
when it's not so good - there's nowhere to hide. And there are much of the same 
tasks to be done as with a larger community, but with less members do to it. We 
are very much 'in town' in a city/town of 20,00 population in Ashland Oregon 
where we recently had terrible fires. We did have to have it rezoned for 
increased density which resulted in the seemingly obligatory opposition by 
neighbors. We ultimately succeed after a prolonged journey. We self-developed 
(think hard about that before doing it - or don't do it). Two-Acre Woods in 
Sebastopol, CA is also a similar sized cohousing community.

- Doug Huston (Ashland Community Cohousing)

On Sep 19, 2020, at 4:42 PM, fergyb2 via Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at]> wrote:

I believe Doyle Street Cohousing in Albany, CA  where  Chuck and Katie Durrett 
once lived is a similar size but also in an urban environment.  Also New 
Brighton Cohousing in Santa Cruz County, CA is small.  Usually the trade off is 
more intimacy in a small community vs maybe not enough folk to do the necessary 
Bonnie Fergusson
Swans Market Cohousing
Oakland, CA

Sent from my iPad

On Sep 19, 2020, at 4:21 PM, Scott Wild <wildscott [at]> wrote:

First listserv post so bear with me!

We recently met some kind, motivated folks forming a cohousing group
around a 1.5 acre parcel near a small city. They're aggressively
pursuing the parcel as land in the area is rare, expensive, and zoned
for large single family homes.

Due to zoning restrictions they're planning on 12 approx. 1,000-1,500
sq ft cottages, and don't seem immediately interested in lobbying the
city for more dense permitting - a la duplex/quadplex construction.

Does anyone have familiarity with smaller cohousing communities? I'm
aware of Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing, which seems quite successful at
9 units, but they're in a fully urban environment.

Thanks for your input!
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