Co-owners' Club& Connection plans, multi-place based community
From: Fred H Olson (
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2001 08:53:10 -0700 (MST)
mark a demaio <mdemaio [at]>
is the author of the message below. 
It was posted by Fred the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at]> 
because the message included HTML ;      PLEASE do not post HTML, see

Note:  This message is quite long with various quoted messages but I
decided to post it anyway.  Fred , list manager

--------------------  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS --------------------

I am very interested in helping to develop what i'd like to call
multiplace based community. Any one interested in partnering in that sort
of thing? I would try to attend a meeting, but would not want to take the
lead at this point organizationally. Also see a couple of messages
relating to some email conversations I had on this topic prior to the
recent North American conference. Find below also an invite to an open
house in Concord, CA, USA

In Peace & Sustainable Community, Mark DeMaio, Concord (CA) Oasis
Where we completed a research quality straw bale flexible floor plan
and are seeking future owners/residents with community/ environmental
Green building site tours with hands on opportunities are being held on
925-687-2560(site/ message), 530-694-9501(weekday eves),
coasis [at]


On Tue, 2 Oct 2001 21:35:34 -0700 "Landry Wildwind"
<landrywildwind [at]> writes:
You expressed interest in Co-owners' Club at the Cohousing Conference.
I was planning a meeting for Sunday October 7. 
Due to the aftermath in my life of the September 11 attack, I must cancel
both the plan to meet on October 7, and also my participation in future.
If you are still interested in the idea, you are welcome to the materials
and resources developed so far:
20 names of interested parties including contact information.
promotional literature
A logo
A splash page for a web site and web consultant familiar with the
I do hope someone will be interested at least in bringing you together at
least once to exchange information.  
Regretting the necessity to stop work on this worthwhile project,
and wishing us all the best possible future,
Landry Wildwind

Concord Straw Bale House Complete! Nov 10&11 Tour and Demos, Future
Owners/ Residents Sought
Concord (Contra Costa County, CA) Oasis Ecohousing project proponent Mark
DeMaio received a temporary Certificate of Occupancy for the research
quality Straw Bale (SB) Ecohouse at 994 A Oak Grove Road, Concord on
Monday, October 29.
During the afternoons of Saturday and Sunday November 10th and 11th, we
expect to have site tours and perform some green building demonstrations
and hands on activities (rammed earth floor, wheat paste and lime amended
earth plasters, limewash, and possibly light clay/straw wall
construction). Feel free to visit, or contact us prior if you'd like to
We are also in the process of divesting in the property, and seek
potential future owners, occupants, affiliates and/or stakeholders, with
a preference to persons interested in carrying on the general community
and environmentally responsible goals of the project. To that end we are
in the process of generating an RFP which we will eventuallConcord Straw
Bale House Complete! Nov 10&11 Tour and Demosy post on our "under
construction" web site at . Although
there has been much progress since these series of pictures have been
taken prior to September 3, feel free to take a look at . 
In Peace & Sustainable Community, Mark DeMaio, Concord (CA) Oasis
Where we completed a research quality straw bale flexible floor plan home
and are seeking future owners/residents with community/ environmental
Green building site tours with hands on opportunities are being held on
925-687-2560(site/ message), 530-694-9501(weekday eves), 
coasis [at] .
Please excuse any duplicate messages, as you may be on more than one
mailing list. Send a reply, with the subject "remove" and your name will
be deleted from our database.
Going north on 680, get off at the Treat Blvd. exit shortly after the
680/24 "Y" and make a right onto Treat. Go approximately 2-3 miles and
make a left at light onto Oak Grove Road. Go through the next 2 lights on
Oak Grove Rd. on either side of a Bart underpass (David and Minert). Go
through the next light (Chalomar on your right, Keswick on your left) and
make a right on the unnamed private drive just past Concordia Lutheran
Church, just before the New Directions Counseling Center. If you come to
the next light (Whitman Road) or the following light (Monument Blvd), you
have gone too far. The property is located on the unnamed private drive
just behind the counseling center (2nd lot on left, follow new pavement
to the left). Although the property has an Oak Grove Road address, it is
not actually located on Oak Grove Road. Consider parking on Chalomar or
discreetly in the back of the church parking lot, as the Private Drive
has little parking capacity. Alternatively, access Oak Grove Road from
Monument Boulevard and look for the private drive on your left just
before the Church.
emails prior to coho national conference

thanks for your replies, pasted below. i'm somewhat familiar with
arcosanti, having browsed thier web site some time ago, and heard a talk
related to some aspect of it. seems like everything i heard about the
program was excellent, only the pace of the project was somewhat slow-
sounded like what it would need, though, to develop commitment at a deep
level among participants with a project of this magnitude of vision to be
done correctly. Chris, i saw you speak once, and asked a question or made
a point- i think in berkeley for the old BayCHUG (Bay Area CoHousing
Umbrella Group). I liked your balance in your presentation. 

I think BayCHUG started doing tours, and the folks doing all the work got
burnt out and disbanded it. I remember being extremely dissapointed, in
that I thought that it could have led to a future evolution level of
community/ cohousing. most of the people running the group were either
riding on the fence of wanting to live in cohousing, or already in it.
there wasn't a lot personally to be gained by those doing the hard work-
not even quality of life wise. 

Here are a couple of potential win-win scenarios where a larger stable
super-group could make a difference.
-a group buys equity as an investment in an alternate location,
complimentary with thier desires (urban/ rural; employment area/ resort
area.) and helps develop the guest/ short term rentals.
- A supergroup emerges with front end capital to develop or initiate the
development of a cohousing "canvas", the future residents bring the
paint. The supergroup might wish to manage a number of the units, with
residual income genarating potential to make the entity more sustainable.
i've seen a number of non-profit senior housing entities develop rental
housing projects using somewhat similar formulas.
- a cohousing group (consisting of one or more communities) buys a
vacation home (or time shares?) for it's members, and possibly vacation
rental purposes. the vacation home may or may not be a retrofit seed
source in the vacation community.  (as a side note, i've watched tax
auctions where a few people waited around till the timeshares came and
went from the block the first time, having done thier homework and picked
them up cheaply when the auctioneer asked for "any bids". my guess is
that some of these folks can't wait till they pick up 52 timeshares, and
sell their RV.)
- A coop that was not place based (or it could be), might purchase units
on behalf of it's members, thus assisting with the financing/ qualifying,
enabling more lower income participation, and increased freedom to move
around without a property transfer.

my personal situation is a little different. i tried to start a 3 parcel
mini-cohousing seed source, and got married and moved out of the
immediate area while still trying to complete the the initial common
area/ multihousehold home. in the mean time, i tried to form a link to a
defunct ski area that was hoping to redevelop- until the then current
owner went under. So now i have this nearly complete, rather large
community oriented structure, that i'm not quite sure what to do with- i
sold the other two homes out of neccessity- i just couldn't handle it
all.  i'm reluctant to put it on the open market where it's community
potential is less likely to be realized. And i'd always thought that if
there had been an entity out there that could have seen the potential and
wore some of the hats, the project could have blossomed further than it
has.  I was close a number of times to getting a group together, but
sometimes the fickleness and uncertainty surrounding potential new
individuals coming in, and the inherent stability of projects in thier
early stages/ small size makes the reliance on "encounters" an element of
chance that cohousing may soon be able to average out.  i challenge that
there are other ways to bond than through the adversity of the
development process- i know that not all community minded folks need or
want that to live in a community that they built- most just want it to
work.  Still, i know the potential of the work i'm completing, and know i
desire to divest, but could see keeping an interest in  it with a group
that would be interested in multiplace based community- i'd love to be
free to go back to the bay area for a shot of culture once in a while
when i'm bored of mountain living. and my parents are getting older, and
my mom might like a smallish suite in the bay area to retire to. in my
outreach efforts, i have ran into a number of people with similar ideas-
how can we help link some of this good work together? i could see trading
my project in as equity into a larger cohousing pool.

I see the streamlined development model is bringing with it more success
in developing more successful projects.  Maybe a Coop or non-profit
should/ will emerge that can assist at many levels getting fledgling
groups over the hump to create more cohousing projects, or provide solid
links between groups, from social to financial.

Relative to my statement regarding "nomadic", i think our culture is more
nomadic than we'd like to admit, with most folks nationwide moving 7
years or so.

i too, like judy, would like to go to the tropics once in a while. judy-
i don't really have a distribution list, but fell free toschedule a visit

sorry if the message was a little long winded

In Sustainable Community, Mark DeMaio, PE
County Engineer/ Assistant Public Works Director- Alpine County (my other
CA's least populated County, with the highest % of publicy owned land
Where the population soars an order of magnitude(10x) on a busy ski


Iím there.  When and where?

On another list, I am currently working with others developing the early
stages of a program and development plan to create a small city of 20,000
to 30,000 using the principals of arcology (
and cohousing.  A car free city using the cohousing model for
neighborhoods within that city structure.  I have been working on this
idea since 1969 and it is just now starting to take form.  This is why I
have been doing cohousing.

The nomadic among us DO INDEED need a place within this neighborhood and
urban structure.  I have advocated for years, to no avail, that all
cohousing projects should include RV connections and multiple
guest/extended stay rooms for this reason.  Teens moving out, slowly.
Nomads moving through, slowly.  Several years ago I was involved in the
planning of a waterfront cohousing project with livaboard boat slips,
townhouses, RV hookups, and common facilities.

Letís get together at the conference.

Chris ScottHanson 

On Fri, 29 Jun 2001 14:26:11 -0700 "Judy Miller" <judym [at]>
> Hi Mark,
> I like your vision of belonging to a community that has
> housing in several locations, so that we can move around.
> I'd like to see one location in the tropics...
> I'm also interested in learning more about straw bale houses,
> so please add me to your distribution list:
> Judy Miller
> 2709 La Terrace Circle
> San Jose, CA 95123
> (408) 997-5417
> judym [at]
> Thanks, and see you at the conf!
> Judym
> On Jun 29, 10:54am, mark a demaio wrote:
> > Subject: cohousing evolution, multi-place coho
> >
> > Faith Popcorn, well known futurist, talks about the potential 
> growth and
> > political strength of the community movement in the future. I'm 
> quite
> > interested in whether the conference may be a good place to do 
> some
> > visionioning excercises on where the cohousing movement may go in 
> the
> > future, and what it might look like. In 2020, or in 2525, if man 
> is still
> > alive (as the old rock and roll song goes.) Who wants to start the 
> first
> > cohousing group on the moon, and is mars next? Could be a fun 
> topic,
> > particularly for kids who this reality may not be a joke.
> >
> > I've always been intrigued about the potential for multi-placed 
> based
> > community, which might be better organized in a coop format, so 
> that the
> > more nomadic of us might have an opportunity to move around 
> without
> > suffering financial losses (closing costs/ realtor fees, etc.) 
> inevitable
> > in real estate closings, but still not lose connection. I could 
> see a
> > mutual benefit or non-profit cohousing "supergroup" or three 
> which
> > self-managed numerous properties in a psuedo- timeshare type 
> arrangement
> > of various periodicity (from weekend to lifetime).  Such a super 
> group
> > could also assist in critical project development stages, if not 
> being
> > the project proponent/ development catalyst also. Might this be an
> > appropriate topic to discuss?
> >
> > In Sustainable Community, Mark DeMaio, Concord (CA) Oasis 
> Ecohousing

> >-- End of excerpt from mark a demaio


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