Re: Question about accepted norms in the common space
From: Elizabeth Magill (
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 2020 10:51:33 -0700 (PDT)
We don't. If people say they need/want something, we generally make sure
that our common house  provides that option.

It varies based on how much cost it is to the rest of us more than on
anything else. So we agreed to no fragrances because most of us already
don't use them. 2 of the 3 washing machines are fragrance free.

We don't have restrictions of firewood in people's yards or homes, but do
have it in the common house.

Remember that in consensus, or consent, we are not looking for what is
"right and true" but rather "what works for our community." So we don't
need to evaluate what other's state --- we only need to decide if we can
live with that.
If we can't live with it, then the people involved talk to each other about
finding something both parties can live with.

Liz Mosaic Commons.

On Thu, Oct 22, 2020 at 1:39 PM Abe Ross <cohoyote [at]> wrote:

> How do you distinguish between allergies (needs) and preferences (wants)?
> Abe Ross
> Treehouse Village Ecohousing
> Bridgewater, Nova Scotia
> OK to colour outside the lines occasionally but when you do it
> consistently you are just sloppy.
> On 10/22/2020 2:33 PM, Elizabeth Magill wrote:
> > We have a noise agreement developed
> many
> > years after move-in but it is only about morning, evening, and
> construction.
> >
> > And a fragrance agreement that was
> > made before move-in because we have many people allergic to such things.
> >
> > We also chose a gas fireplace to account for the fact that someone (me)
> is
> > allergic to firewood.
> >
> > But in terms of creating a culture of caring about such things I have to
> > agree with those who have said--you have to ask individuals to stop what
> > they are doing. They don't know they are bothering you unless you tell
> them.
> >
> > Liz Magill
> > Mosaic Commons Cohousing in Berlin, MA
> >
> >
> > On Thu, Oct 22, 2020 at 10:29 AM Dick Margulis <dick [at]>
> wrote:
> >
> >> An additional factor is that in a population of older adults, many
> >> people will be somewhat hearing impaired and will also have a diminished
> >> sense of smell. (This is in addition to the psychological fact of
> >> accommodation that reduces our awareness of the familiar smells of our
> >> own households relative to visitors' awareness of them, which affects
> >> people of all ages.)
> >>
> >> So it may just be that people don't realize how loud their tv is, or
> >> their phone voice, or their conversational voice, nor how garlicky their
> >> food really is. Maybe all that's needed is a polite reminder and a
> >> request to close the door.
> >>
> >>
> >> On 10/22/2020 9:49 AM, Sharon Villines via Cohousing-L wrote:
> >>> We had a person who was very allergic to perfumes, chemicals, etc. plus
> >> flowers and pollen. We became very sensitive to this so in general we
> are
> >> careful of these things. And we would be reminded if we forgot.
> >>> Our design means odors wouldn’t go into the CH if people opened their
> >> doors; they just dissipate outdoors. And noise is supposed to stay
> within
> >> one’s unit — people are good about turning things down. And others are
> good
> >> at reminding them. Many people are totally unaware of the loudness of
> their
> >> own talking or music. Or unaware that it is intruding on others. You
> have
> >> to speak up. “You seem to be playing music in my bedroom."
> >>> I would suggest that you have a design problem also. Do your units have
> >> exhaust fans that take odors in the other direction? They may be pulled
> >> into the common space by air currents.
> >>> Explaining the canyon effect to people can help too. We can understand
> >> conversations 3 floors down in the piazza for the same reason. And our
> >> wings are much farther apart. The people on the first floor had no clue.
> >>
> >> _________________________________________________________________
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> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
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(The Rev. Dr.) Elizabeth Mae Magill
Pastor, Ashburnham Community Church
Minister to the Affiliates, Ecclesia Ministries

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