Re: question about cohousing communities that have not made it
From: Elizabeth Magill (
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2021 06:15:32 -0700 (PDT)
Many of our members believe we are rural cohousing--we are pretty rural for
Massachusetts. Having a mall in town takes away the "rural" for me. It's a
town of 3500 people and many farms.
We are away from services, and have clustered housing that shares a water
treatment plant, two wells, and our own fire cistern.

It means our condo fees are very high. 60 households supporting a water
treatment plant.

And we have a person who tells us which nights to turn off our ground
lighting so we can all go out and see astronomical events. For sure, we are
not in the wide open of New Mexico, but I've engaged in more astronomy here
than before in my life.
(The Rev. Dr.) Elizabeth Mae Magill
Pastor, Ashburnham Community Church
Mosaic Commons Cohousing, sharing property with Camelot Cohousing, in rural
(or ex-urban?) Berlin, MA

On Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 8:54 AM Mac Thomson via Cohousing-L <
cohousing-l [at]> wrote:

> David,
> Sorry about your inability to attract enough members. You might want to
> check out our community, Heartwood Cohousing. Located in rural southwest
> Colorado at 7000 feet, I would guess that we have the best night skies of
> any cohousing community in the country, maybe the world.  :-)
> We will also soon be adding 14 new homes in our Phase 2. Our website link
> is in my signature below.
> If you go to this page on our website, you’ll see a picture of the night
> sky in our cluster:
> <
> In a couple of weeks I’ll be out in our hot tub enjoying the Perseid
> meteor shower.  :-)
> Cheers,
> Mac
> --
> Mac Thomson
> Heartwood Cohousing
> Phase 2 Project Manager
> **********************************************************
> > On Jul 29, 2021, at 2:21 AM, David Oesper via Cohousing-L <
> cohousing-l [at]> wrote:
> >
> > During the past year and a half, I have gotten nowhere trying to find a
> group of people interested in a cohousing community that is
> astronomy-friendly.
> >
> > Challenges we face are many.
> >
> > (1) Trying to build a core group when people are geographically
> dispersed, often don’t know each other, and have had little or no
> opportunity to meet each other in person
> > (2) Trying to interest people in creating a cohousing community outside
> of a city or town
> > (3) Trying to start a cohousing community in the desert southwest (NM,
> AZ, West TX)
> > (4) Adding a (strictly voluntary) public astronomy education component
> to the residential project
> >
> > We have formed an LLC to purchase land for the project, and though we
> have five members and a whopping $5K so far, only one couple (guess who?)
> is interested in cohousing.  Another couple wants an RV home base, and one
> single person would just like an occasional place to visit.
> >
> > I have been active in astronomy all my adult life, but as I enter my
> semi-retirement years, I am considering just giving up on astronomy and
> moving to the city.  Why?  Better medical care, and I'd love to live near a
> symphony orchestra, chamber music, and faculty & student recitals.  But
> you’d be unlikely to ever see the Milky Way, meteor showers, etc. from such
> a place.  Alas, too much light pollution almost everywhere these days, and
> it’s getting worse most places despite efforts to contain it.  Maybe it’s a
> lost cause.
> >
> > Even putting astronomy and cohousing aside, how often do you find a
> rural housing development that isn’t subdivided into parcels with the homes
> widely dispersed?  If you’re going to live rurally (even just a little ways
> out of town), wouldn’t it make more sense to have a cluster of homes with a
> shared water supply, septic, etc. and most of the surrounding land left
> undeveloped?
> >
> > David Oesper
> > Mirador Astronomy Village LLC
> > <>
> >
> >
> >
> > _________________________________________________________________
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> >
> >
> >
> >
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