|Re: Neighborhood opposition and Eugene Cohousing||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Philip Dowds (rphilipdowdsme.com)|
|Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2018 06:02:02 -0700 (PDT)|
One of the construction project challenges that has emerged over the last four or five decades is the increasing prevalence of special permits in lieu of as-of-right permits. In the old-fashioned as-of-right system, the rules were unequivocal: “You can build your thing within these limits, and with these features.” The building inspector measured a bunch of parameters on the drawings, and if the design was compliant with the zoning rules, you got your permit (no public hearing required). But with modern let’s-make-a-deal special permitting, it’s more like this: “You can build a tiny thing as-of-right. But if you want to build a bigger, better thing, then you must meet these extra design standards and provide public benefits”. Where as-of-right rules were non-ambiguous (“No more than 40 feet tall”), the new “design standards” trend toward the subjective (“At a height compatible with similar buildings in the neighborhood”). Which is why the building inspector is no longer qualified to make the permit decision. To get your bigger/better permit, you now must bargain with the Planning Board, and do all these public hearings. Well, the above is something of a hyperbolic over-simplification, and the now-ubiquitous special permit “design reviews” often do encourage (or compel) more consideration of the public good. But an unintended side effect is that project design review has empowered neighbors: When angry neighbors (often well-known to the Planning Board members) show up to complain, the Board is usually very reluctant to award a special permit without the applicant making significant “concessions" — even when the Board members know that the complaints are not grounded in reality, or even dissimulations. I do agree that much or most public resistance is now driven by fear. Not a generic fear of the new or unfamiliar, but rather a generic fear of change and loss. I think many or most Americans now feel like they are living in a time of great insecurity and fragility, and that any kind of change may trigger an unexpected forfeiture or disaster from which recovery will be impossible. We no longer live in a climate of optimism and ingenuity. I do not know when such a climate will return. Thanks, Philip Dowds Cornerstone Village Cohousing Cambridge, MA mobile: 617.460.4549 email: rpdowds [at] comcast.net > On Aug 6, 2018, at 9:34 PM, mmaskall [at] pacbell.net wrote: > > Tricia and all, > > > > I have learned in my 13 year cohousing journey that virtually ALL neighbors > are NIMBY. I agree with Katie that it's fear-based. We at Fair Oaks > EcoHousing are FINALLY under construction (with move-in expected in Spring > 2019). It's our third site, and we've been beaten up a lot by neighbors, > despite our best effort to reach out. We're in the Sacramento area, and we > have a few homes still available. > > > > You might be interested in my Ten Tips for Success in Building a Cohousing > Community > > > > 1. Join if you can! It's much easier to join an existing community > than to start a new one. > 2. Appreciate the efforts of others who start a community - they need > our support. > 3. Get good help. We hired Katie McCamant of CoHousing Solutions, and > that has made a world of difference. > 4. Learn all you can. Go to every Cohousing Conference. Buy the > Cohousing books. Go to events & ask questions. Get leadership training. > 5. Sell your vision to get others on board. > 6. Get land as soon as possible. Until you get land, nothing is real. > 7. Avoid rezones. Rezones are difficult and contentious. > 8. NIMBY abounds. Recognize that virtually everyone opposes > development in their neighborhood. Most are NIMBY neighbors, many are > BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything.) > 9. Persist & avoid getting discouraged. Obstacles are everywhere. > Nothing takes the place of persistence. > 10. Protect your health. Strive for balance, eat well, have fun, and > get enough sleep. > > Marty Maskall is a web designer, author, and publisher. She has published > two books of inspiring quotations: The Attitude Treasury: 101 Inspiring > Quotations, and The Athena Treasury: 101 Inspiring Quotations by Women. > When Marty visited Southside Park Cohousing in downtown Sacramento in 2003, > she fell in love with the beautiful common green. She was inspired by the > vision of a friendly community where neighbors know and care about each > other. She decided she wanted to live in cohousing. Marty Maskall has > been working to build a cohousing community in the Sacramento Suburbs since > 2005. Attempts in Orangevale and Folsom failed because of the economy, > neighborhood opposition, and zoning issues. With Fair Oaks EcoHousing, it > seems the third time is the charm! > > > > You can reach Marty at www.FairOaksEcoHousing.org > <http://www.FairOaksEcoHousing.org> , mmaskall [at] gmail.com > <mailto:mmaskall [at] gmail.com> , or 916-967-2472. A few homes are still > available - please check us out. > > > > Message: 4 > > Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2018 18:59:35 +0000 > > From: Kathryn McCamant <kmccamant [at] cohousing-solutions.com > <mailto:kmccamant [at] cohousing-solutions.com> > > > To: "cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org <mailto:cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org> " > <cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org <mailto:cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org> > > > Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Eugene Cohousing (Lynn Dixon) > > Message-ID: > > <9E8F1CB4-41A5-4221-815B-8E661C1B4678 [at] cohousing-solutions.com > <mailto:9E8F1CB4-41A5-4221-815B-8E661C1B4678 [at] cohousing-solutions.com> > > > Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8" > > > > Tricia, > > > > I must disagree with your assessment of the Oakleigh Meadow situation. I > have seen a lot of neighborhood opposition in my 30 years of designing and > developing cohousing and affordable housing communities. I work under the > assumption that all new projects will have opposition. The only time I > haven't seen opposition is when the proposed project was being built on a > property that was a known drug den (Berkeley Cohousing). Having spent > thousands of hours attempting to work with neighbors, I have come to the > view that most of it is driven by fear, and is not very rational. > > > > Just as interesting, most all of the oppositions' concerns goes away after > you move in. Living next to a construction site is never fun. But after the > community moves in, cohousing neighbors are the most conscious neighbors you > could ask for. I have a collection of letters collected by Marty Maskall > from neighbors that originally opposed an adjacent cohousing project, and > ended up really appreciating them as neighbors. One even had their > daughter's wedding in the common house. > > > > So, I absolutely DO NOT think neighborhood opposition leads to long term > resentments. Cohousers are great neighbors, and a plus to any neighborhood. > And guess what? Turns out having 2-story condos across the street doesn't > destroy your way of life. > > > > Katie > > -- > > Kathryn McCamant, President > > CoHousing Solutions > > Nevada City, CA 95959 > > T.530.478.1970 C.916.798.4755 > > > > www.cohousing-solutions.com <http://www.cohousing-solutions.com> > > > > _________________________________________________________________ > Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at: > http://l.cohousing.org/info > > >
Neighborhood opposition and Eugene Cohousing mmaskall, August 6 2018
- Re: Neighborhood opposition and Eugene Cohousing Philip Dowds, August 7 2018
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