|Oakleigh Meadows Cohousing Resistance||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Thomas Lofft (tloffthotmail.com)|
|Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2018 18:58:46 -0700 (PDT)|
On Aug 1, 2018, at 12:52 PM, Kathryn McCamant <kmccamant [at] cohousing-solutions.com> wrote: "This type of useless neighborhood opposition, and the American resistance to any reasonable density (afterall, we are just talking 2-story townhomes with plenty of room for gardens) within established cities is only adds to keeping housing prices high and cities car dependent. I hope the larger cohousing community will support those communities that run into unreasonable neighbors..... unfortunately, this kind of unreasonable fear has killed or lessened many a good project." Sharon Villines suggested: "Perhaps other communities who faced these problems can share their stories so potential communities can understand that (1) it is isn't personal, and (2) how to change it or just live through it." Resistance comes in many forms, but perserverance is critical to achieving the dream. I think that was also the message of Martin Luther King. NIMBY's very typically resist with the statement, "I/we can understand the need for (projects) like this but not at this place, not at this time, (i.e. Not in My Backyard)." We fought a lot of resistance in establishing Liberty Village Cohousing as Maryland's first cohousing community in 1998. Now we have 18 homes completed and plan to build more in the year ahead. One early obstacle was the County's demand for a public road cul-de-sac at our entry in lieu of our proposed 24' wide driveway entry off the State Highway. It turned out the real reason was the County Schools wanted a school bus turnaround at that point and demanded a full width cul-de-sac (120' ROW) dedicated and improved public right of way. Aside from cost, the improvement also meant removing 6 - 75 year old maples along the existing entry drive. A further requirement was that County subdvision regulations required alternate vehicular ingress/egress for development of over some number, possibly 25 homesites, while we had planned to develop 38 new homes with a single entry driveway. We finally conceded to dedicate and build the cul-de-sac and negotiated for a concession from the County to waive dedicating and building a secondary private street for alternate ingress/egress, with a condition that County would accept dedication of an emergency ingress/egress via a driveway through the original farm road driveway of the 1753 Manor House which was to be subdivided from the property as a private sale. We also negotiated the acceptance of that emergency ingress/egress easement through the property to be sold as a concession by the purchasers, but recorded it as a private easement, denying any claim by the County for ultimate use as a public ROW. I look at it as a 3 way win-win-win whereby nobody got their perfect resolution, but everyone came away better off than if everybody had refused to budge. Fortunately we were only negotiating with bureaucracies and not emotional reactionaries. I was perfectly comfortable at not holding out for concensus on our final plan and glad to walk away with a 3-2 majority WIN! As to the scenario as I understand it for Oakleigh or pothers facing a similar issue, the trade off may be whether to reduce the number of homes and members and therefore income from lot sales, vs. whether to contribute to widening an existing roadway? First question might be whether the existing right of way for the present road would even allow pavement widening; would that also entail collateral drainage upgrades? If necessary, would any neighbors along the existing right-of-way willingly dedicate enough frontage to allow wdening or other necessities? Second Q: would the widening cost be paid by the jurisdiction, or shared by all the beneficiaries (including every property owner along the street) or be passed through in total to Oakleigh?; Third Question, Would the jurisdiction form an improvement district to bond the costs of road upgrades and assess it over 20 years to all property owners, including the existing as well as future homes in Oakleigh to spread the costs over as wide a list of beneficiaries as possible? Just some thoughts, although I have just recived a message that Oakleigh is fully approved. Certainly hope so! Best wishes for perseverance. Tom Lofft Liberty Village, MD
Oakleigh Meadows Cohousing Resistance Thomas Lofft, August 1 2018
- Expert Advice [was Oakleigh Meadows Cohousing Resistance Sharon Villines, August 2 2018
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