Re: Conservative towns and the success (or not) of cohousing
From: Shelly (
Date: Thu, 22 Nov 2001 06:30:02 -0700 (MST)

I have a question for anybody that has worked hard to bring a cohousing
community into a conservative area.

I live in Connecticut and while there are pockets of progressive thinking
here and there, a lot of the towns are conservative.  Especially the towns
where we might find available land.

We have worked hard for two years now to find a site.  We have not had any
success basically due to zoning, sewer and water issues, and competing with
developers with proven track records.  We are going to consider looking
further out from Hartford where land will be cheaper but the town will be
small and conservative.

In marketing the concept of cohousing, I thought, somewhat naively, that if
I could explain what cohousing is, people would want it.  That is not the
case here in Connecticut.  I am tired of explaining over and over the
concept of cohousing while people stare back at me with blank expressions.
The first question is always "you mean you eat together?"

We are the first group in Connecticut and we are having a difficult time.
We have to educate planners, town officials, basically everyone.

It seems that the first group in a state has a monumental task.  Have other
groups found that it is nearly impossible to bring cohousing somewhere?  I
was shocked to hear that resales took over a year in Utah.  I always assumed
if we build it they will come and the others will sign on to the waiting

Has anyone been burned financially or otherwise thinking this?

Shelly DeMeo
Greater Hartford Cohousing

I am on the membership committee
----- Original Message -----
From: "Sharon Villines" <sharon [at]>
To: <cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Wednesday, November 21, 2001 7:37 PM
Subject: Re: [C-L]_Resale

> > It's a very close-knit, cliquish culture.  People of other religions
> > frequently feel shut out -- some LDS families don't even want to
> > with anyone who isn't LDS, to the point of telling their kids not to
> > with neighbor kids who aren't.
> You could use this to your advantage if you can find out how to contact
> people moving into the area who are not LDS. University and government
> employees who are coming from elsewhere -- not always a move of their
> -- might welcome your community more than in other cities.
> If you want the community to survive, the sale of units is of major
> importance to all the residents. To say it is the owners problem is like
> saying that the schools are the parents problems (not to start that
> discussion again).
> Sharon
> --
> Sharon Villines
> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
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